Kevin C. Cox
With Kyle Harris struggling and and Mike Matulis struggling to remain healthy, A.J. Cann and Corey Robinson are expected to start against the Vols.
On the first snap of the Florida game, Connor Shaw was blindsided (albeit on his non-blind side) by a Loucheiz Purifoy corner blitz. This occurred mere moments after the television audience was blindsided with the news that South Carolina offensive line Coach Shawn Elliott made the last minute decision to replace the offensive linemen on Connor Shaw's blind side (LT Corey Robinson and LG A.J. Cann) with Mike Matulis and erstwhile backup center Kyle Harris.
This week, Robinson and Cann are back atop the depth chart. Coach Elliott, in his characteristically candid fashion, offered some insight into the decision-making that went into returning Kyle Harris to his backup role:
He didn't look very good. Didn't look good at all. You won't see him back out there. Definitely A.J. (Cann) is back out there.
On why he started Harris over returning Freshman All-SEC teamer in Cann last week:
I always thought A.J. was the man for the job... I just think there's times you try to fuel the fire in somebody. You need to get somebody's attention at some point. We'll see if it works.
While the Cann/Harris situation seems have been borne out of an attempt to motivate the talented redshirt sophomore, Robinson's return to the starting position seems to be due, at least in part, to yet another Mike Matulis shoulder injury:
Corey Robinson will be back out there at left tackle. Mike Matulis is nursing a shoulder injury right now. I don't know if he'll be ready to play or not... It's not the same shoulder (as the one he had surgery on last winter). That's the sorry thing about it, you know? He came back from the other shoulder a year ago, and then he hurt his other shoulder, and now he's got two bum shoulders. It's a tough situation for a young man that could be a really good football player, and I hate it for him.
One last quote from Elliott on the development of redshirt freshman Brandon Shell at right tackle:
I think he's been solid. He makes the typical mistakes that a young freshman will make, but he's been a pretty solid right tackle. And to tell you the truth, I thought the center (T.J. Johnson), right guard (Ronald Patrick), and right tackle last week were pretty decent as far as it was concerned. No huge, glaring errors, but we can get better of course.
This is the part where I would embed the video of the always entertaining Elliott's comments if the athletic department's website offered that kind of groundbreaking technology. You know, the kind that would drive more traffic to their site. But hey, maybe Charles Bloom well get to crackin' on that after the SEC Championship game.