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Stiff back keeps Connor Shaw out of practice, Spurrier says

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Shaw and Lattimore

South Carolina's Connor Shaw hands off to Marcus Lattimore against Vanderbilt during fourth-quarter action in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011.

COLUMBIA — Ninth-ranked South Carolina held its 23rd practice of the fall on Thursday.

The highlights:

* Steve Spurrier said on his call-in show that Connor Shaw didn’t practice due to a stiff back. Shaw could “hardly move,” Spurrier said. He is hopeful that with the Gamecocks not practicing on Friday, Shaw will heal up.

* Practice was again cut short by a massive rainstorm.

* Mike Davis said that he has no preference about whether he redshirts or plays this season, “as long as it helps the team.” Davis is considered third string behind Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Miles, with Shon Carson and Brandon Wilds out of action. Davis feels good with his ability and knowledge of the playbook and the college game in general, and has leaned on Lattimore for advice. The biggest adjustments were blocking and watching out for the linebackers.

* Bruce Ellington said he’s been running with the first group of receivers in practice and has put a full effort into learning everything there is to know about USC’s football game plan. Unlike last year, Ellington already has a full year of football under his belt. While a depth chart hasn’t been released, Ellington will definitely be among the top six receivers and could be one of the top three to start. Ellington says that he and Ace Sanders have no fear of being the undersized receivers on the field. Ellington also says that he’s been still working out with the basketball team, but sparingly, and Frank Martin has given him some DVDs to study of USC’s defense.

* Damiere Byrd said that his sprained shoulder is fine (it was iced) and he only missed one day of practice. He injured it after diving for a catch.

* D.L. Moore became the latest player to suffer a groin pull in practice. He did it during the practice. There was no immediate word on the severity.

* Players in yellow or who did not practice due to injury were: Shaw (back), Moore (groin), Shon Carson (wrist), Reginald Bowens (groin), Akeem Auguste (groin), Phillip Dukes (concussion), Brandon Wilds (ankle), Marcquis Roberts (knee), Drew Owens (knee), Rico McWilliams (knee), Jacob Baker (knee) and Kendric Salley (knee).

* The next practice is at 7 p.m. Saturday. It is closed to the public.

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