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Injury limited Culliver's efficiency

KNOXVILLE, TN  SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009 PHOTO BY ERIK CAMPOS--- Tennessee fullback No. 45 Kevin Cooper pulls down a pass in front of South Carolina junior free safety No. 17 Chris Culliver and South Carolina sophomore cornerback No. 3 Akeem Auguste during the second quarter at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009. Erik Campos/ecampos@thestate.com
KNOXVILLE, TN SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009 PHOTO BY ERIK CAMPOS--- Tennessee fullback No. 45 Kevin Cooper pulls down a pass in front of South Carolina junior free safety No. 17 Chris Culliver and South Carolina sophomore cornerback No. 3 Akeem Auguste during the second quarter at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009. Erik Campos/ecampos@thestate.com

As it turns out, there was an excuse for Chris Culliver's poor tackling at Tennessee.

The South Carolina free safety hurt his shoulder during pregame warm-ups, according to Lorenzo Ward, Culliver's position coach. Culliver had several glaring tackling gaffes in Saturday's game, leading coach Steve Spurrier to say a day later that his "tackling effort was not good enough."

"I saw him hurt, but he told me he was OK, and I trust that," Ward said. "But when you watch the film, you could see he never tried to tackle with his left shoulder, because he felt like it was going to come out."

It was the same shoulder Culliver had surgery on this spring. Ward said it was still hurting Monday, and the junior would have to wear a brace.

Ward said his initial thought was that Culliver was taking poor angles.

"It was probably more my fault for not seeing it, or getting it seen from the box that he was doing that," Ward said. "Because you could see even if a ball went to his left he would try to get all the way to his right to tackle him and he'd miss him."

King questionable

Left tackle Jarriel King was sent home from Monday's practice after symptoms similar to a concussion. That led offensive line coach Eric Wolford to say it was a "possibility" that King would not play at Arkansas.

"But I think Jarriel wants to play," Wolford said. "So I'm sure once he's medically cleared he'll be back. Should be good to go."

Other than King, there will be at least two new starters on the line. Lemuel Jeanpierre, who was replaced at left guard at halftime of the Tennessee game, is slated to start at center over Garrett Anderson.

Walk-on Garrett Chisolm, who played the second half of the Tennessee game at left guard, gets the nod there.

"I'm encouraged by some of the things he's done," Wolford said. "I really like the way he approaches the game. He's serious about it. He's at places five minutes early and does things right. We like guys like that."

Wolford was asked what it said that a walk-on was going to get significant playing time over scholarship players.

"I'm not gonna call anybody out like that," Wolford said. "It's a good thing for Carolina football because we've got a guy in there who has a chance to be a decent player. So it's a positive thing."

He said it

"We beat Arkansas last year. Weren't you here? We beat Tennessee last year. We had a two-game win streak right there at home. ... We got beat the last two and the bowl game." - Spurrier when asked how, in recent years, the late-season slides started at about this point in the season.

Extra points

The Nov. 14 game against Florida will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be broadcast by CBS, the league announced Monday. It will be the first CBS game of the season for the Gamecocks. ... Cornerback Akeem Auguste didn't start at Tennessee because he overslept a 3 p.m. meeting the day of the game.

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