Spurrier addresses injury situation

During the course of a long and difficult SEC schedule, one of the biggest factors that can make it more challenging for a team to win is injuries. After practice on Wednesday, Coach Steve Spurrier highlighted some of the defensive injuries the Gamecocks are facing as they prepare to meet a high-powered Arkansas offense this weekend.

Spurrier said that his star defensive end Cliff Matthews is "definitely" out with a dislocated shoulder, and he hopes to have him back in two to three weeks. With Matthews out, the Gamecocks will look to redshirt freshman Devin Taylor to step up.

"I think (Devin's) done okay," said Spurrier. "I haven't watched the defensive coaches, but Brad Lawing our d-line coach will get him ready to play. We've got Kenny Davis ready in there and Nate Pepper, Melvin Ingram. So maybe one of those guys can move out to end if they need to."

But the Gamecocks' defensive unit is banged up beyond the line. Free safety Chris Culliver will miss Saturday's game with a lingering shoulder problem, and he will be replaced by versatile sophomore Akeem Auguste in the lineup. Strong safety Devonte Holloman has a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, but did say he will be okay to play this weekend. On offense, Spurrier said that offensive guard Terrence Campbell's status has not changed, and he will still miss the rest of the season with a nagging neck stinger.

One injury that will affect this weekend's lineup on the offensive line will be the concussion of tackle Jarriel King, who Spurrier said will sit out the Arkansas game. Spurrier singled out two players, Kyle Nunn and Garrett Chisolm, as the main options to fill his void at left tackle.

The Head Ball Coach has been particularly impressed by Chisolm, a walk-on, as he is set to step into the starting role at left guard and provide depth at left tackle.

"He's not a real talkative guy, he just goes and plays (and) does what you ask him to do," noted Spurrier.

The USC players know that they are going to have to score some points against one of the top rated offenses, not just in the SEC, but in the nation. Spurrier said that quarterback Stephen Garcia and the offense as a whole still have some work to do if they hope to be as efficient as the Hogs.

"We looked about like we always do. I wish we could just practice a little bit sharper and throw a little bit better out here, but we haven't done it on a consistent basis yet," said Spurrier. "(Garcia) does some good things and then he'll have a few errant plays but we're still coaching him and he's doing the best he can. Hopefully he can play better. He plays well at times, but I wish we could get him to really play well."

According to Spurrier, that does not just apply to the quarterback position, as he said, "Some of our guys don't know what playing well is all about, and hopefully someday we can get to that level."

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