USC still awaiting rulings on pair

Guard Rok Watkins (73) and the offensive line got better as the Southern Miss game went on, line coach Shawn Elliott said.

COLUMBIA -- While Georgia got news Wednesday about its NCAA-investigated player, South Carolina is still waiting to hear about senior cornerback Chris Culliver and senior left tackle Jarriel King.

Both players missed part of practice Wednesday -- Culliver the first part, King the latter portion -- dealing with their respective matters.

The NCAA has been looking into an insurance policy Culliver took out to protect his pro prospects, specifically who was paying for the premium.

Although most everyone related to the NCAA's probe into The Whitney Hotel was cleared, King was not.

"You've got to go with the guys you've got out on the field," Gamecocks first-year line coach Shawn Elliott said.

Kyle Nunn started in King's place in the Southern Miss opener. Coach Steve Spurrier praised Nunn's play earlier in the week.

Spurrier didn't speak with reporters after practice Wednesday. He did say earlier in the day, on the SEC teleconference, that he expected to hear something Wednesday afternoon about the players' eligibility.

He said he thought there would be news by today, at the latest.

Tight end Weslye Saunders remains suspended for violating team rules. The NCAA's investigation into Saunders' alleged contact with agents is what sparked the other aspects of the inquiry. It still has not ruled about Saunders, either.

Getting on line

Elliott repeatedly called the line's play "average" in the opener, his debut as the position coach.

"We didn't play at a championship level," Elliott said.

He did concede, though, that the unit settled in after a sluggish start, including a pair of false-start calls. The line -- consisting of Nunn, Garrett Chisolm, T.J. Johnson, Rok Watkins and Hutch Eckerson for most of the night -- didn't commit a holding call and prevented Stephen Garcia from taking a sack.

"I told them, 'It's just a game, guys,'" Elliott said. "'The practice and preparation and hard part's over with; let's go have fun.'"

Elliott said Terrence Campbell could play some this week at right guard, though Watkins will again start. Campbell is coming back from an ankle injury.

Maddox's 'move'

Brian Maddox's move from tailback to fullback is more of a technicality than anything.

"It's not a big move," the senior said. "It's basically the same thing I've been doing already."

Maddox said it's a matter of trying to get him on the field at the same time as either freshman Marcus Lattimore or sophomore Kenny Miles.

The Gamecocks are running more and more two-back sets, including the one they started in against Southern Miss.

Going up

South Carolina opened in Las Vegas as a 2 1/2-point favorite against Georgia -- the first time the Gamecocks have been favored in the series since since 2001.

With the news about Green, that number has increased to 3 points. It could continue to rise as kickoff approaches.

For more South Carolina football coverage, go to postandcourier.com/gamecocks.

-- Travis Haney