Auburn Football: Scouting the South Carolina Offense

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Oct 18, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard A.J. Cann (50) on the sidelines against the Furman Paladins in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

Believed to be among the best in the SEC at the beginning of the season, if not one of the premiere units in all of college football, the South Carolina offensive line has not been consistent in 2014.

After shuffling starting units for the first three weeks of the season, it seems the Gamecocks have finally settled into a starting five that consists of Corey Robinson and AJ Cann, who have started all seven games at left tackle and left guard, respectively, Will Sport and Brandon Shell at right guard and right tackle, and Alan Knott at center.

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Cann is one of the best linemen in the nation and is likely to be a first team All-American and All-SEC performer. Robinson is highly thought of – and a mountain of a man at 6-foot-8 and 348 pounds – but his footwork and mechanics need some work. Shell is not much smaller at 6-foot-6 and 334 pounds, and the three together have been steady performers for the most part.

It’s the center and right guard positions that have been unsettled. Brock Stadnik started the season opener against Texas A&M, but Knott has started every game sense. Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott mentioned this week that Knott, a redshirt freshman, has made some mistakes recently putting the offense in its proper protection schemes. That could signal more of Stadnik in the future.

“The difference between (Stadnik) and Knott right now is that Knott is a much better run blocker,” Elliott said. “Clayton gets up on his toes and has some problems.”

Cody Waldrop was the starter at right guard in two of the first three games of the season, but he will not play Saturday due to a knee injury. Sport will be making his fourth straight start.

Mike Matulis, a Freshman All-American that missed most of the last few seasons, finally saw action last week against Furman. Should he regain form and stay healthy, Matulis could emerge has both a starter and stabilizing force on the line.

Next: South Carolina at Auburn: Preview and Predictions

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