Freshman Ryan Hilinski had completed 69% of his passes for 606 yards through two starts before losing his touch at Missouri
(Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

Will Muschamp addressed a number of topics, including the pending transfer of safety Jamyest Williams, during his weekly press conference. Muschamp answered questions on Williams curtly, saying only that he “loved coaching Jam” and “supported him 100 percent.” Muschamp also touched on the lack of running game in the loss to Missouri. While Muschamp would like to see the running game improve to take pressure off his freshman quarterback, he also defended the play calling, “Of the first 26 plays, 17 of them were either called runs or RPO’s. Ryan (Hilinski) made really good decisions as far as throwing in the right situations. Now, we weren’t always accurate with the throw, we didn’t always win on the top end of a route, creating enough separation. And we had a couple of protection issues.”

Whatever the issues are that have led to the Gamecocks’ 1-3 start, the worst beginning for a team under Muschamp, the head coach claims he is not preoccupied with the disgruntlement of some fans, “There is more pressure internally than there is externally.”

South Carolina will host its first night game of the season with the official kick time at 7:39 p.m. The Sports Information Department announced there are less than 1,000 tickets still available. Despite losing the last five in the series, the Gamecocks are a 2-point favorite over Kentucky.

Some key notes from Will Muschamp’s press conference

  • Said third down is critical in this game. When you play Kentucky, you have to get off the field. They’re comfortable running the ball 40+ times. There will be a lot of 3rd and 3’s and 3rd and 4’s. You have to win those and get off the field.
  • On turnover margin: No. 1, we need to be more opportunistic defensively. DJ Wonnum made a great instinctive play (on interception) … But it’s hard to win on the road when you give up 14 points without the defense on the field.
  • On goal-line interception: They zoned us and we probably should have handed the ball off.
  • Despite inconsistent offense, has not considered changing play callers.
  • Message to fans: We’re excited for the night game. Under the lights, it’s as good as anywhere in the country. We’re not worried about the fans. We know they’ll be there and supportive. It starts with the Gamecock Walk and we’re excited about it.
  •  On health of Ryan Hilinski and sore elbow: Ryan looked great in practice. No cut in reps. Making all the throws.
  •  Injury: C Hank Manos still struggling with ankle. Otherwise, very healthy.

Will Muschamp press conference

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