Select Gamecocks met with the media following Wednesday’s bowl practice in Jacksonville. South Carolina’s offense closed on a high note, posting over 1,000 yards of offense in the final two games and spoiling the playoff hopes of Tennessee and rival Clemson.
But when USC takes the field for the Gator Bowl Friday afternoon, there will be some different players called upon to produce in the wake of losing running back Marshawn Lloyd (transfer), tight end Austin Stogner (transfer) tackle Dylan Wonnum (opt-out), receiver Josh Vann (injury), receiver Jalen Brooks (undisclosed off-field issue), tight end Trevion Kenion (retirement) and the versatile Jaheim Bell (transfer). The loss of all that production doesn’t even account for the departure of coordinator Marcus Satterfield (Nebraska).
But to hear the Gamecocks speak, Wednesday, you wouldn’t think this week of preparation was different from any other as they exuded confidence in themselves, each other and the game plan. Christian Beal-Smith says he’s fully healthy for the first time this season and Juju McDowell said he’s ready for more carries and to make his mark on Special Teams. Wide receiver Juice Wells expects the chemistry between himself and quarterback Spencer Rattler to carry over into the Gator Bowl. When pressed on how the offense may operate differently with the loss of so much personnel, there was a collective shrug and a common refrain pulled from a Kai Kroeger tweet, “All we got is all we need.”
South Carolina will put that confidence to the test against Notre Dame when Gator Bowl kicks off from TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m., Friday.