Eric Wolford has tried lineup changes.
South Carolina's first-year offensive line coach has tried motivational tactics, handing out a pink boa every week to the lineman who played, uh, the most dainty.
But Wolford plans to do nothing drastic this week following the line's worst performance of the season - a season-high five sacks allowed and a season-low 64 rushing yards in a 20-6 loss to then-No. 2 Alabama.
The former Illinois assistant had a simple message for the line: Don't let Alabama beat you twice.
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"I expect us to rebound," Wolford said following the Gamecocks' Monday night practice. "We had a setback. We've got to move on."
After trying a number of different combinations up front, Wolford said he is sticking with the five who started at Alabama: tackles Hutch Eckerson and Kyle Nunn, guards T.J. Johnson and Jarriel King and center Lemuel Jeanpierre. Center Garrett Anderson and tackle Quintin Richardson also are expected to play.
A neck injury to guard Terrence Campbell and the uncertain status of guard Heath Batchelor limit any personnel moves Wolford might make. He has talked about taking the redshirt off freshman guard Nick Allison.
But after seven games, these are the players Wolford has to work with.
"I'm not going to be able to wave a magic wand and all of a sudden I've got a couple all-pros out there," Wolford said. "These guys are all good kids, and I think they're determined to come out and play better next week."
The Gamecocks have improved their running game - a big offseason emphasis - but still rank in the bottom third of the SEC in rushing. But the real problem area continues to be sacks: USC's 20 sacks allowed are the most in the conference.
Wolford said the line's troubles are not from a lack of trying.
"We're trying to be tougher. I don't see effort (problems). We're not walking around when plays are going on. I see us trying to hustle," he said. "I just wish we were a little bit better and did some little things that we need to do better."
USC coach Steve Spurrier said blown assignments and mental lapses were to blame for the line's shaky outing in Tuscaloosa.
"We messed up a bunch of blocking assignments up front, just turned defensive linemen loose on a couple of run plays. It's ridiculous," Spurrier said. "Hopefully, we can coach Garrett and those guys a little smarter to play their assignment."
Wolford said the 6-foot-5, 312-pound King looked OK in his first career start at guard after moving from left tackle.
"He takes up a lot of space in there," Wolford said. "I think he feels more comfortable there."
King stepped in for Batchelor, a junior who has left the team at midseason for the second year in a row. Batchelor took a medical withdrawal last year and returned home to Alabama to work through what he described as personal problems.
He was re-admitted to USC in June after agreeing to comply with a number of university-imposed stipulations. After Batchelor was suspended for the S.C. State and Alabama games for missing classes, he told friends he had left the team.
But Spurrier said Monday night he has not spoken to Batchelor.
"From what I hear, he's still going to class. He's suspended from the team, and I don't know what his status is," Spurrier said. "Hopefully he'll stay in school and go to class."
Wolford said the first priority is for Batchelor to get his personal life in order.
"We've got people that are on it. Just trying to make sure we're getting him in a situation where he can do what's best for his life," Wolford said. "The last thing we want to do is let one of our own just go off and fail."
In the meantime, Wolford will try to get things straightened out along the line before Saturday's homecoming game against Vanderbilt.
And though the Gamecocks do not have any sure-fire All-SEC candidates up front, Spurrier believes they have talent.
"Our guys are pretty good athletes. They really are. They should play better than they do. I don't know why we can't get it out of 'em," Spurrier said. "I've been saying that for five years, haven't I? Maybe this week they're going to play gang-busters."