Jordan Wright suffered an injury two weeks back that kept him sidelined for this past Saturday’s game against Chattanooga. According to Stoops, Wright should be active for this week's game in Columbia.
It’s no secret that this defense needs to find ways to get opposing quarterbacks on the ground. Wright returning brings some more explosiveness off the edge, as well as help give some rest to the team's best pass rusher in JJ Weaver.
Weaver, who just returned from an ACL injury, has been playing more snaps in Wright’s absence. Even though his knee is back to 100%, getting up to game speed and limiting his snaps early on is something this staff wants to do.
With Jordan’s return this week, not only does it add another great athlete to this defensive front, it also helps solidify the pass rush as this team starts its SEC schedule.
On the other side of the field, South Carolina could be without its starting quarterback from the first three games in Zeb Noland.
During Saturday night's game against Georgia, Noland had his throwing hand stepped on and was forced to leave the game. Head coach Shane Beamer is hopeful that Noland will be able to go, but did add in a press conference Sunday that his hand is in pretty bad shape.
“Zeb’s hand is bandaged up pretty good right now and obviously not able to throw the football and struggling to get feeling back,” Beamer said. “But we anticipate him being healthy and ready to roll Saturday night, assuming he comes back like we think he will this week.”
Noland started the season as a graduate assistant on the South Carolina coaching staff, but after Luke Doty got hurt in training camp, Noland decided to use his extra-year of eligibility from COVID. He played last season at North Dakota State.
If Noland can go, it should be interesting to see who Beamer decides to run out on the field for the first drive. Expect Mark Stoops and his staff to prepare the defense for facing both signal-callers.