Gamecocks leading rusher Rico Dowdle is back at practice and will be ready to go in Athens despite suffering an injured ankle against Kentucky.

Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp addressed the media, Tuesday, ahead of South Carolina’s sixth game of the season. After breaking a losing streak to Kentucky and an open date, the Gamecocks are looking to end another streak, having lost four consecutive games to Georgia. Making the task even more daunting, South Carolina will be making the trip to hostile Athens. The Gamecocks haven’t beaten the Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium since 2011. More to the point, no team has knocked off Georgia in Athens since 2016, Kirby Smart’s first season.

South Carolina will take its crack at the nation’s no. 3 team at noon, Saturday. The Gamecocks are 24.5-point underdogs.

Key comments from Will Muschamp

  • Injuries: WR/QB Dakereon Joyner has returned to practice and is expected to be available for the game at Georgia.
  • On open date: You can go back to training camp mode and work on things we need to work on. Also gives you a chance to look ahead to some of the concepts you’ll see down the road.
  • On his time as a player at Georgia and connections he continues to keep: I enjoyed it … maybe too much. The coaches there still text with me and so many of them had a huge impact over my life and career.
  • On QB Ryan Hilinski: He’s progressed well and practiced well. He’s getting all the reps now. We expect for him to play well this week and beyond.
  • On defense: Bottom line is we have to be more consistent. We’ve done some good things, we just have to do them more often.
  • On run game: Important to have balance. Too tough to move the ball in our conference when you become one-dimensional. To run it, we have to have talented runners. You can’t just get a hat on a hat. Our runners have to make guys miss.
  • On Georgia defense: Two guys that jump out to me are their safeties. Erase a lot of things and communicate really well. They also have elite special teams units, including kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.

Will Muschamp press conference