COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- There may be no more valuable player for No. 14 South Carolina than defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles.
Quarles has more sacks than Jadeveon Clowney and is playing through pain like quarterback Connor Shaw.
The 6-foot-4, 298-pound junior leads the team with seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss, topping Clowney's two sacks and 6 1/2 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Quarles also rivals Shaw for times this season he's had to be helped from the field after a play.
But Quarles is usually there when it counts most for South Carolina.
He hopes to step up again when the Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) play at home for the first time in a month Saturday, hosting Mississippi State (4-3, 1-2).