Josh Kendall

Kendall’s Morning Meeting: Mason Zandi absence could be a problem

South Carolina will play The Citadel game, and perhaps the Clemson game, without starting right tackle Mason Zandi, ending a run of good health along the Gamecocks offensive front this season.

Zandi suffered a high ankle sprain in a 24-14 loss to Florida and will not play this week and might miss the final game of the regular season as well. It will be the first game missed this season by one of South Carolina’s offensive guards or tackles.

Center Alan Knott has missed three starts due to injury, but the remainder of the Gamecocks offensive line had escaped injury until Zandi’s ankle sprain. Zandi, a 6-foot-9 junior from Chapin has played in 36 games and started 11 at South Carolina.

True freshman Blake Camper filled in for Zandi to finish the Florida game and is expected to start in his place against The Citadel, although the Gamecocks could choose to move guard Mike Matulis out to tackle and replace Matulis with freshman Zack Bailey, who started at center while Knott was injured.

The offensive line shuffling might not make a huge difference against the FCS Bulldogs this week (although it could), but it will be particularly noticeable if Zandi can’t return to play the Tigers, who are sixth in the nation in tackles-for-loss with 8.4 per game.