The USC football team is 0-2 for the first time since the winless campaign of 1999, and at his Tueday press conference Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp pressed the issue of explosive plays as a major factor in the slow start…those his offense is not making and those his defensive is yielding. The Gamecocks are ranked 68th out of 74 schools in passing yards per completion at 9.47. Coastal Carolina leads the nation at over 17 yards per completion. And Muschamp noted the defense has allowed 10 explosive pass plays (15 yards or more) in the first two games. The Gamecocks are preparing to play at Vanderbilt Saturday seeking to break a five game losing streak. Their last win was against Vanderbilt last November. USC is a 13 point favorite for the Noon kickoff on the SEC Network.
Some key comments from Muschamp on the Vandfebilt game:
- Said they had a very good practice Tuesday as they began work on Vanderbilt, lot of energy and effort, need more of the same Wednesday.
- Mukuamu will play cornerback this week after playing safety last week, some corner in the red zone, was concerned about his groin last week.
- Lot of respect for Vanderbilt OC Todd Fitch, who was at USC with Lou Holtz, also at Louisiana Tech with Skip Holtz, will uses a lot of 12 personnel.
- They’ve given up 10 explosive passes in two games, way too many, they’ve gone back and looked at each a lot over the last 48 hours, they have to do a better job of getting the ball off the receiver.
- They’ve had just one interception this season, need to get their hands on more passes, allowing 8 yards per pass attempt which is too high, need to be 5 or less. Need to do a better job of knocking the ball to the ground.
- Drops hurt against Florida, wanted to convert and stay on the field as much as possible, improved the run against Florida, explosive plays against the defense are the biggest issue on that side.
- The operation on that last drive at Florida needed to be faster, needed to get to the line quicker, needed to get the plays off quicker.
- Jahmar Brown moved around a good bit in practice this morning, hopes he can do more in practice Wednesday.
- Xavier Legette tweaked his groin at Florida and Rico Powers came in and did a good job in second half, and they needed more pass rush going into the game and that’s why Rick Sandidge did not play.
- Burch and Hemingway will continue to get more snaps. Both are talented and very smart.
- They will practice with a wet ball the next couple of days in anticipation of rain during Saturday’s game.
Will Muschamp press conference previewing Vanderbilt