South Carolina, already struggling to defend the pass, will have to play these next few weeks and possibly the rest of the season without starting cornerback Chris Culliver.
Culliver suffered a torn pectoral muscle Saturday in the 38-24 win over Tennessee, and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he will be "out a while." The Gamecocks are last in the SEC in passing defense, giving up an average of 259.9 yards per game, and are 11th in pass efficiency defense. Lately, they haven't been able to stop anybody throwing the football.
Culliver had dealt with his share of struggles this season in coverage. Still, this is not the time to be losing experienced defensive backs with Arkansas' No. 1-ranked passing offense coming up this Saturday and a trip to Florida the following weekend. The Florida-South Carolina matchup will determine the East champion.
Junior C.C. Whitlock will likely move into a starting role in place of Culliver. The Gamecocks are thin enough in the secondary that former walk-on Brandan Davis and current walk-on Marty Markett may have to play some Saturday.