USC is dealing with a two game losing streak heading into its Homecoming game against Vanderbilt Saturday night. In losses to Florida and Tennessee, the Gamecocks held the second half lead only to see it slip away. At his Tuesday press conference, Gamecock coach Will Muschamp emphasized that offensively quarterback Ryan Hilinski has got to become more consistent in the passing game, and defensively, the secondary has to do a better job against the pass. Those issues, especially in the Tennessee loss, have been a problem all season that have not been rectified.
Some of Will Muschamp’s key comments:
- Rico Dowdle is out for Vanderbilt, moved around well today in practice, Dylan Wonnum, AJ Turner and Damani Staley also remain out this week, hope to get them back for Appalachian State.
- They are not getting the production in the second half of games, 7 of their 10 turnovers against Power 5 teams have come in second half, 6 possessions ended on downs.
- They’ve been ineffective consistently throwing the football for several reasons, protection being one. And Tennessee called some pass plays that were excellent calls for the defense they were in.
- Hilinski has done a nice job standing up in the pocket, not drifting and taking the hits. He delivered some nice throws Muschamp said late in the game at Tennessee even when UT was bringing the pressure.
- Dakereon Joyner is as healthy as he has been the last 2-3 weeks going into the Vanderbilt game.
- Not opposed to Hilinski running ball when necessary but that’s not what he does best, and he said they need to throw the football better.
- Wants to see more out of the running game, noted that throwing the ball 50 times a game is not a good winning formula for them.
Will Muschamp press conference previewing Vanderbilt