South Carolina's offensive line had its struggles against Vanderbilt in The Opening game of the season. Connor Shaw and the rest of the South Carolina quarterbacks were under constant pressure from the Vanderbilt defense. The limited time in the pocket hurt the quarterbacks' production to the tune of just 67 yards and raised concerns about the ability to make plays through the air.
The Gamecocks' offensive line played much better in week two against East Carolina. South Carolina was able to throw for nearly 400 yards and Dylan Thompson and the rest of the quarterbacks had time to allow plays to develop.
Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott thinks his unit has gotten better as well.
"I think we improved from week one to week two. There's going to be up's and down's through the course of this season but I think we're on track. They've got a good focus and great attitude. If they want to be a great o-line, they can do it."
Focus is something Elliott wants from his players on a daily basis and there's a Gamecock who's focus hasn't quite been there during his career. Offensive lineman Corey Robinson has found himself on the sidelines more than on the field but, for whatever reason, something "clicked" with him last week, according to Elliott.
"Corey always been a guy with great potential. He's probably one of the most athletic guys to be as big as he is and moves really well. He came out last week wanting to be a good player. First time I've seen the focus where he said I want to be a great player. There was thoughts from all of us last week that we may start him."
Robinson saw the first significant action of his career this past Saturday and appears to have given the coaches another player they can count on in the future at the tackle position.
Another tackle, Brandon Shell, has been in and out of the starting lineup in two games this season but Elliott thinks he's done well at both tackle spots for the Gamecocks. Shell was moved from left tackle to right tackle last weekend against East Carolina.
The emergence of Robinson has given the Gamecocks four quality tackles that have been cross-trained at both tackle positions. All four players have the ability to play either side according to Coach Elliott. He also says that the guards have been cross-trained as well. However, Elliott says you won't see a guard play tackle and vice versa.
Right now, the starting tackles are Mike Matulis and Cody Gibson but Coach Elliott said Wednesday that he'll play the guys on Saturday's that show the focus during the week.
"Right now we plan to start Mike and Cody and see how it goes. I told these tackles to practice hard and practice with focus and if I feel like you've got that focus you'll play on Saturday. Right now, I see them all playing."
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