David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger Soundoff: Tough to see Matulis face more adversity

08/16/2014 12:49 PM

08/16/2014 12:56 PM

South Carolina went two weeks without anybody suffering a serious injury. It caught up to them on Saturday.

Projected starting right guard Mike Matulis sat on the trainers’ table, towel over his head, ice on his left knee. It’s never good when teammate after teammate walks over for a consoling hug, an encouraging word or a pat on the back. The expression on Matulis’ face said it all – “Not again.”

A Freshman All-American in 2011, Matulis’ career was nearly derailed by bum shoulders in 2012 and 2013. He started at left tackle against Florida in 2012 and hasn’t played since, with the left shoulder, then the right, requiring surgery.

But he was so good in the spring, taking over the spot vacated by Ronald Patrick and playing well, then keeping at it during the summer and first two weeks of camp. His experience made the Gamecocks’ offensive line even more formidable – at 6-foot-5 and 307 pounds, Matulis has a mean streak in him. He was the team’s biggest surprise.

Steve Spurrier was hoping the injury wasn’t too severe and Matulis may be OK. If not, USC has been hit at the one position it could least afford to – while the O-line starters have massive experience, they don’t have a lot of depth behind them.

That aside, it’s awfully tough to see a kid that did everything right be treated so wrongly.

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