Practice Report: No change to the game-plan

The Gamecocks have their hands full with some talented, athletic players on the Georgia defense. Coach Shawn Elliott talks about how he feels about the star defenders for Georgia and what the plans are for the Gamecocks' offensive line.

Everyone knows the accolades that Jarvis Jones brings to the table for the Georgia Bulldogs. He was a first team All-American on several lists last year and is off to a strong start again this season in 2012. Currently, Jones has 32 total tackles with 8.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Most teams would likely adjust their game-plan trying to account for a talent like Jones on the field.

Not the Gamecocks if you believe offensive line coach Shawn Elliott. Elliott is more focused on getting his players to do their job than worry about who is lined up on the other side.

"I don't target any players. Those guys are great players - Jarvis Jones, the big Jenkins guy inside - but it has nothing to do with the game plan. We're not going to change our game plan. We've got to go out there and do our job. If we changed every week we'd never be good at anything. Hopefully we'll stick with what we do and play well and go out there and put on a good show."

While Jones will do his best to terrorize the Gamecocks this weekend, South Carolina will have to focus on the continued shuffling of the offensive line. Mike Matulis was unable to play against Kentucky this past weekend after missing some time due to a shoulder injury causing the Gamecocks to readjust the starting line up once again for the offensive line.

"With Mike (Matulis) having the injury last week we had to install Brandon (Shell) at right tackle so it was kind of a new combination group that was playing together. But all in all, I'm optimistic about where we're headed. I think we can improve. I think we're getting better and I think we'll see the results."

The good news for the Gamecocks is that Matulis has returned from injury and practiced the past two weekends. "Mike's practiced both days. Full go. No limitations. I think he's in good shape getting ready to go," said Coach Elliott.

Matulis was replaced by Brandon Shell, who started the season-opener against Vanderbilt, but may or may not be in the starting lineup this weekend according to Elliott. No decision has been made at this time.

An area of focus for the offensive line has been improvement in run blocking. Coach Elliott thinks his players can do better but there's one player that can make a difference and that's Marcus Lattimore.

"I think it can be better at times. I think anytime you put the ball in 21's hands there's something special that can happen and right now, I'd like to see that done."

Marcus Lattimore carried the Gamecocks in the second half with 18 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns as the Gamecocks pulled away from Kentucky to win by a score of 38-17.

Lattimore has obviously had his success against the Georgia Bulldogs the past two seasons. His first performance against the Bulldogs was a special day as Lattimore carried the ball 37 times for 182 yards with two touchdowns as he introduced himself to the college football world.

Like Coach Elliott said, anytime the ball is in Lattimore's hands, something special can happen.

His offensive line could play a major role in making it a special day for Lattimore and the Gamecocks. We'll see what happens on Saturday.

Post-Practice Notes

-Running backs coach Everette Sands said Lattimore's confidence continues to grow and he gets stronger every day.

-Wide receiver Ace Sanders said that there is more energy around this game because both teams are undefeated and in the Top 10.

-Tight end Rory Anderson says he's out there trying to do what he can do to help the team.

-Wide receiver Bruce Ellington said that they will prepare for this game like its any other game.

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