Gamecocks hope starting guard can return midseason


The good news for South Carolina is that a member of its starting offensive line is expected to play this season. The bad news? It’s going to take a while before he gets back on the field.

At a press conference Sunday, head coach Steve Spurrier said he’s hopeful starting guard Mike Matulis (pictured, No. 76) is ready to play midseason. The offensive lineman suffered what was described as a severely sprained knee during a scrimmage last weekend.

Midseason for the Gamecocks this year would be somewhere around the Oct. 4 game against Kentucky or the Oct. 18 game against Furman, meaning Matulis is expected to miss the first five games of the year.

Matulis, who entered camp as the starter at right guard, missed the entire 2013 season after suffering a shoulder injury during summer camp. He started five games in 2012, one year after being named a Freshman All-American.

On the depth chart released Sunday, redshirt sophomore Cody Waldrop is listed as the starter, with redshirt freshman Alan Knott listed as the backup.

Additionally, Spurrier said he is expecting star running back Mike Davis to be back to full speed by Thursday, the same day the Gamecocks open the season against Texas A&M in Columbia. Davis, a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, has been hampered by a rib injury for a good part of summer camp, missing a couple of practices early last week.

He returned to practice late last week, with Spurrier indicating Davis would play in the opener.