The first-team offensive linemen played very well in the spring game despite matching up with backup defensive linemen.
South Carolina’s offensive linemen held their ground in both run blocking and pass protection, yet the backups did not look as solid.
With the wear and tear of the college football season, injuries can play a major role a team’s success, especially along the offensive line. One hole in the line can present major issues for both running and passing the football.
The Gamecocks have high goals for this season and will need every backup offensive lineman to be ready to enter the game and play at an extremely high level.
Redshirt sophomore Will Sport will have a major role in addressing this concern if it comes up. Sport can play both guard and center, which provides Spurrier with a versatile lineman who can step in at multiple positions.
Junior Mike Matulis is in a similar position to Sport since he can play on either side as an offensive tackle. Matulis is recovering from shoulder surgery, which is a concern in itself, but he is an improving lineman who will be needed if a starting tackle cannot play.
Throughout the spring and specifically in the spring game, the backup linemen were slow out of their stances and lacked the aggressive pop to initiate blocks.Spurrier and his offensive line coach Shawn Elliott need to teach assertiveness and have these linemen ready to jump into the game as they are needed.
Depth and having strong linemen who can fill in for injured players without the offense missing a beat is key for a championship-caliber team. The Gamecocks will need all they can get out of the backup linemen.