Considering the schedule USC faces this season, the Gamecocks badly needed to defeat Tennessee last Saturday night in Williams-Brice Stadium. On paper, and in Vegas, that looked like a winnable game against a nationally ranked opponent. And it was. The Gamecocks rallied from a two touchdown deficit in the second half, and were it not for a blunder on a punt return with ninety seconds to play, they would have had the ball with a chnce at victory.
There were, of course, several other Gamecock miscues in the game, but there were some bright spots as well. At his Tuesday press conference previewing the Florida game, Gamecock coach Will Muschamp said the overall performance was not as bad as the loss felt, and many of their mistakes can be corrected.
Some key comments from Muschamp:
- Thought they had a good practice this morning, a lot of good on good, guys had right mindset. Impressed with Trask, evades rush, keeps eyes downfield, lots of explosives. Pitts probably best tight end in the country, difficult matchup.
- Mukuamu and Brown are day to day, Greene has a hip fracture and is out 4-6 weeks, Huntley is out this week.
- Need to play better on the right side of the offensive line, they will continue to look at that this week, all positions on line are open, need to run the ball better, stretching the field more will help with that.
- Other receivers besides Smith have got to win in man coverage, not just going to throw it to a guy to throw it to him, he’s got to get open against man coverage, Doty to get more of a look this week.
- Kicked last field goal because he felt they would get ball back with 1:30 to go and have a chance to go win the game, he wasn’t playing for a tie, and he said things worked out that way to get ball back with time except for the miscue on the punt.
- They’ve not heard anything back from the NCAA on the Brooks’ appeal, they are working thru that right now.
- Hill has a calm, cool demeanor and has an air of confidence, said there was no panic when they were down 21-7. They were confident they could move the football.
- Staley will be the starter at WLB with Greene out, Kaba will be the backup.
- DE Devontae Davis had been away dealing with some off the field matters, nothing from a disciplanary standpoint, back at practice today and working him back into the roatation.
- Got to do a better job getting the ball off people, again they did not create turnovers in the loss to Tennessee.
- They’ve got to punt the ball better, new punter in first game so he understands that, but he’s got to be better and he can be.
Will Muschamp press conference previewing Florida