The South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) practiced Wednesday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields. The Gamecocks are headed to the plains this weekend to face the No. 5/6 Auburn Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday, October 25, at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The SEC Network will televise the 7:30 p.m. ET game nationally with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer in the booth and Maria Taylor on the sidelines.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle J.T. Surratt (hamstring) was able to get in some running today. Linebacker Jonathan Walton (concussion) participated in non-contact drills. Defensive end Mason Harris (knee) returned to full practice.
Offensive guard Mike Matulis continues to make progress after seeing his first action of the season last Saturday against Furman. Matulis was penciled in as the starter at right guard prior to the start of fall camp, but injured his knee in the preseason camp and had not played until Saturday.
“Practice has been good for (Mike) this week,” said offensive line coach Shawn Elliott. “Last week he was kind of skittish so to speak, but he’s looked really good this week. It’s good for our morale (to have Matulis practicing),” continued Elliott. “He kind of picks up everybody’s spirits. He has fun at practice. It’s good to have him back. He enjoys football and we enjoy having him.” Will Sport remains the starter at right guard, but Matulis is expected to see some playing time on Saturday, according to Elliott.
“I haven’t played in over two years. I was just so happy to be out there again, said Matulis of his opportunity against Furman. “I’m close to (100 percent). I’m still recovering a little bit. It’s not a full 100 percent. I’d say I’m at 95 percent. I’ve only been out there for four practices, so it’s coming along. I feel like I’m progressing well.”
Elliott dismissed the talk about left guard A.J. Cann tipping off plays with his hand position. “We’ve discussed it,” said Elliott. “I told A.J. to put two hands down this week – right and left. So we’re really going to trick them this week,” he laughed. “I can tell you one thing, they have no idea what plays we’re running based on his right hand or his left hand being down. If they do, I would imagine they would stop us a whole lot more.”
The Gamecocks are scheduled to practice again on Thursday afternoon.