In what many consider to be a make or break game for the South Carolina Gamecocks and Tennessee Volunteers, the Gamecocks will be without their leading tackler Skai Moore. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward announced the news on Thursday evening.
Moore was impressive during his freshman year campaign and has been just as productive during his sophomore season, recording 51 tackles and a sack. Still, Moore suffered a sprained ankle during last weekend’s 42-35 loss at the hands of No. 4 Auburn. The three-star recruit has surprised many around the conference and has developed into one of the SEC’s best linebacker. Losing him for such a pivotal game is a major loss.
Moore has a bright future in front of him, but his first step to stardom is recovering from the injury and prepping himself for the stretch run. The Gamecocks need at least two more wins in order to become Bowl eligible. Their remaining games are very winnable, with only two games left against SEC opponents and then non-conference contests against South Alabama and Clemson. Still South Carolina has struggled in recent weeks, dropping three of their last four contests with their lone win coming against Furman. They must improve if they hope to uphold head coach Steve Spurrier’s high standards.
Through the Gamecocks struggles, their glaring weakness has been their defense and the loss of Moore surely wont help. Jonathan Walton is expected to fill Moore’s roll with the assistance of T.J. Hollomon. Walton, a fellow sophomore, has recorded 23 tackles during his reserve duties.
*Section Photo credit to L.G. Patterson, AP; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jim Dedmon, USA Today Sports.