Practice report: Jerideau questionable

Practice report: Jerideau questionable

Byron Jerideau has been an anchor on the inside of the South Carolina defensive line that is among the nation's elite. Jerideau injured his ankle in Saturday's win over Georgia and is questionable for Saturday's contest at LSU. If Jerideau can't go, J.T. Surratt would likely get the start.

Byron Jerideau's long journey to become a starter at the homestate school of South Carolina finally ended in the preseason when he earned one of the starting defensive tackles. Jerideau has responded by having a very impressive season halfway through the season. Jerideau is not a player that you can look at the stat sheet and see that he has had a great season. He has a modest 13 tackles and one quarterback hurry, and does have two sacks, but those are not all that impressive. However, when you look at an opposing running back get the ball and is forced to the outside it is because Jerideau has clogged the middle. At 6-1 and 315 pounds Jerideau can clog up a lot of holes.

At the beginning of Tuesday's press conference head coach Steve Spurrier said that Jerideau suffered an injury in Saturday night's 35-7 demolition of Georgia and might not be available Saturday when the third-ranked Gamecocks travel down to the Bayou to take on ninth-ranked LSU. That was after no injuries were reported from the locker room following the game.

After Tuesday's practice, defensive line coach Brad Lawing expounded on the injury that Jerideau suffered in the second quarter of Saturday's game. Georgia was driving inside the five on a drive that eventually ended with a D.J. Swearinger tackle of Rantavious Wooten to turn the ball over on the Carolina one. Jerideau was rolled up on the previous play and injured his ankle.

"He's just rehabbing and trying to get back to the game," Lawing said Tuesday afternoon. "I'd say he's probably questionable."

Lawing said he "rolled it up pretty good" and may not be available Saturday night.

If Jerideau is not able to go, Lawing said that J.T. Surratt would get the start. Surratt's journey has been similar to Jerideau's in that he has had to learn the game and sit back and watch other people play.

"It's taken two years for him to learn how to play football like he needs to and I think he feels like he has a lot to prove. "He'll tell you most of the football he's learned he learned here," Lawing said.

Surratt, a redshirt sophomore, sat out the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules prior to the season. As soon as Surratt was eligible to come back Lawing has gotten him on the field. He worked out on the scout team during his suspension and was physically in shape to return to action immediately. He has played in each of the last three games, recording five tackles and two tackles for loss. He had his best game Saturday against Georgia, where he recorded three tackles, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hurry.

"J.T. is an athlete," Lawing said. "When I first saw him he was running down on kickoff making tackles. He's a 295-pound athlete that's strong and powerful. Ever since he came off of that suspension he's been a workhorse."

While South Carolina will be better off with Jerideau healthy and ready to play against an LSU offensive line that has the talent to switch guys in and out the entire game to keep everyone fresh, if Jerideau is not able to go Surratt is a viable option to replace him.

Notes

- Akeem Auguste was also injured in the win over Georgia and is also questionable this week.

- DeVonte Holloman visited LSU during the recruiting process and compared the environment in Death Valley to the environment Carolina has built at home.

- LSU has won their last 21 games in Tiger Stadium, the longest streak in the country. They have not lost a home game since 2009 against Tim Tebow and Florida. That loss came on October 10th, just over three years to the day of Saturday's match-up.

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