The South Carolina Gamecocks have tunnel vision heading into their game against Marshall, Saturday, being careful not to look back or too far forward.
During their media obligations this week, USC players seemed to have flushed the loss last weekend to Georgia, and have been mindful not to think about the incoming Hurricane Florence that’s destined to impact the Carolina coastline.
South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner told the Post And Courier he would make a decision on this weekend’s game by Thursday afternoon, to allow for ample time for Marshall to make plans one way or another.
The Gamecocks are no stranger to this problem, having to move their game against LSU in 2015 to Baton Rouge because of Hurricane Joaquin and in 2016 pushing their home game against Georgia back one day in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
One player who it would be expected to have a divided mind is Gamecocks wide receiver and Conway native Bryan Edwards, whose family has evacuated the coast to be with him in Columbia.
Edwards says, however, he and his family have the strength to stand up in the face of Florence:
USC WR Bryan Edwards
If the game is played on time, the Gamecocks will need to rebound from lackluster second-half effort against the Bulldogs.
South Carolina QB Jake Bentley threw for 269 yards on 47 pass attempts, representing a concerted effort by the Gamecocks to try and force the issue through the air.
The USC QB said the team took a long look at themselves over the weekend, but now has its focus on the Thundering Herd:
USC QB Jake Bentley
Gamecocks Head Coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday that he and Bryan McClendon concluded after the Georgia loss their team needs to be more “hard-headed” with the run game.
South Carolina rushed just 20 times for 54 yards, accounting for less than one-third of their total offensive plays.
Running back Ty’Son Williams led the Gamecocks with just 26 of those yards on just six carries. USC running back Rico Dowdle also cast an unflattering spotlight on himself and his position group with a couple of key drops in the passing game, one of which resulted in an interception return for a touchdown to open the scoring.
Williams said it’s up to his group to execute better so the Gamecocks can play more balanced football:
USC RB Ty’Son Williams
As for the defense, South Carolina’s lack of adequate depth was exposed by Georgia in the second half on Saturday.
After going into halftime down ten points, the Bulldogs ambushed the Gamecocks with 21 unanswered points on three straight touchdown drives to put the game out of reach.
Sherrod Greene stepped into some of the biggest shoes this offseason replacing Skai Moore at the weak-side linebacker position. He believes this defense is better than it showed last Saturday:
USC LB Sherrod Greene
South Carolina and Marshall are still scheduled to play Saturday night (weather pending) at 7:30 PM on ESPNU.