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Chris Culliver Out for Arkansas Game

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Chris Culliver has been benched for the Arkansas game due to a combination of being injured (shoulder) and an unspecified disciplinary issue. Per The State:

Culliver, the Gamecocks’ third-leading tackler, had a couple of glaring missed tackles in a 31-13 loss to Tennessee. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said Culliver re-injured his surgically-repaired left shoulder in pregame warmups, but indicated he could play.

I'd be interested to know what the disciplinary issue is. There's been speculation that Culliver has his eye on the NFL, and his effort on tackles and unwillingness to take hits on kickoff returns suggests that may be the case. If that's so, Spurrier might just be saying that he's going to play the guys that put in effort. I'm just speculating, though; perhaps we'll hear more as the week progresses.

As far as how this effects us Saturday, it's hard to say. Culliver is obviously a great player, but he hasn't been playing as well as some others lately. Moreover, Akeem Auguste is capable of playing his position, and C. C. Whitlock will be ready to take over for Auguste at corner. In other words, I'm going to hesitantly say that we should be OK, although depth is obviously a concern, especially for late in the game as the starters wear down.

I'm frankly more worried about not having Cliff Matthews in a game where we'll need our pass rush, but there, again, we can hope that Devin Taylor can step up and play well.