Gamecocks’ head coach Will Muschamp held a conference call with the media, Sunday, following South Carolina’s 31-27 loss to Tennessee. Muschamp laid out some of the positives he saw from his team in the opener and some of the mistakes that need to be corrected before the trip to Gainesville to face 3rd-ranked Florida.
One of the major questions heading into Game 1 was how the running game would perform. Starter Kevin Harris (13 carries, 55 yards, 1 touchdown) and Deshaun Fenwick (6 carries, 31 yards) each showed flashes and ran with great effort. Muschamp credited his backs for running through contact, but thinks there is work to do with blitz pickups. Muschamp also thinks there’s more the staff can do to get the backs going, “The first thing Mike (Bobo) said to me this morning was we needed to stretch the field more in the first half. That would have helped us in the running game.”
The other element to the run game, the offensive line, may not yet be settled. Muschamp indicated Dylan Wonnum could move back to right tackle to give junior college transfer Jazston Turnetine another look at left tackle. The Gamecocks have just six days to determine the best combination before squaring off with Florida. The Gators, coming off a 51-35 victory over Ole Miss, have opened as 22-point favorites.
Additional comments from Will Muschamp’s conference call:
Cam Smith didn’t hear the “poison” call on the game’s final punt.
Israel Mukuamu (cornerback) and Sharrod Greene (linebacker), each of whom left the Tennessee game with injuries, are day-to-day.
If Mukuamu cannot go against Florida, Muschamp indicated he has confidence in Jaylin Dickerson to fill a role in the secondary. Muschamp said Dickerson set the edge well and did some good things against Tennessee.
Defensive line got knocked back a bit and bounced out of some gaps. Needs hold up better against the run.
Covered punts well but 1st year punter, Kai Kroeger, didn’t punt as well as could have or as well as he should have. Muschamp said Kroeger is very talented
Muschamp said he and Steve Spurrier talk every now and then. He hasn’t reached out this week but he’ll be there.