Lattimore earns SEC honors; QB Shaw still on the mend

South Carolina junior tailback Marcus Lattimore has been selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Vanderbilt the season opener.

Lattimore, a 6-0, 218-pounder from Duncan, S.C., returned to the gridiron for the first time since last October when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a win at Mississippi State. He responded with a game-high 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 23 carries to lead the Gamecocks to a 17-13 conference win over the Commodores.

Lattimore also caught three passes for 21 yards. Lattimore’s 29-yard touchdown run in the first quarter put the Gamecocks in front early by a 7-0 score. His second score, a one-yard run in the fourth quarter, proved to be the winning points in the contest.

Lattimore, who leads all current collegiate players in average yards per game for a career, was selected as the league’s Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career.

The Gamecocks may need Lattimore’s legs more than ever in Saturday’s game against East Carolina after starting quarterback Connor Shaw suffered a deep bone bruise to his throwing shoulder and missed Monday’s practice. He isn’t expected to be able to practice until at least Wednesday.

If Shaw can’t suit up against the Pirates, the Gamecocks will have to go with freshman Dylan Thompson or untested senior Seth Strickland on Saturday. The duo failed to complete a single pass in relief of Shaw, going a combined 0-for-4 against Vanderbilt. Shaw completed an efficient 7 of 11 for 67 yards. A decision on the starter is expected later this week.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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