Florida Week Football Media Availability With The HeadCoach & Assorted Players
Gamecocks Face Gators on Saturday in Gainesville at Noon on ESPN
VIDEOS BELOW ARTICLE
"We've got Florida in Gainesville at noon (on Saturday). It's a great opportunity for our football team on the road. I've got a lot of respect for Dan (Mullen) and his staff and the job Dan did at Mississippi State and back at Florida, the job he and his staff are doing this year. I know a lot of his staff members, and they do a really good job. (There's) a little uncertainty at the quarterback position, but Feleipe Franks can make all the throws. He's got tremendous arm talent. I know he shown flashes this year of being a very effective quarterback. Kyle Trask has done a really nice job in the opportunities that he's had to go in there and perform offensively. Emory Jones is a young man from Heard County in Georgia that's really talented. (He) played against Georgia a little bit. Certainly, Kadarius Toney is a guy who played quarterback at Blount High School in Mobile (Ala.) and is playing receiver for them, and (He's) played at some wildcat situations. We'll be prepared for all situations as far as our guys are concerned. With whatever they decide to do as far as the quarterback position.
"They're very big and explosive outside with (Freddie) Swain, (Van) Jefferson, (Trevon) Grimes, (Tyrie) Cleveland and (Josh) Hammond. They're all guys that can run vertically. They're all big guys that can go judge the ball down the field (and) finish plays down the field. The position that really strikes you is the running back position. (Jordan) Scarlett), (Lamical) Perine and (Dameon) Pierce are all very similar backs: compact, big lower body, (can) run through contact. (I've) been very impressed with them and their offensive line and the movement they get in the run game. Dan does a really good job offensively in keeping you off-balance and giving you some different looks week-to-week. We'll have to make some adjustments in the game.
"Defensively, the guys that jump out at you: (Jabari) Zuniga, (Jachai) Polite and CeCe Jefferson are all fast-twitch guys on the edge. (They've) been very effective. They've forced 18 turnovers. They're plus-six as a football team this year, third in the SEC behind LSU and Alabama. That tells you a ot of their wins, when you go back and look at it, it's the turnover margin: taking care of the football offensively and getting it off people defensively. Todd Grantham, their coordinator, again does a really good job week-to-week giving you some different things you're probably going to have to block (that) you haven't seen on tape. His guys are forcing turnovers, and they're ball-hawking the ball. (Vosean) Joseph is a very active linebacker, and they've got a really talented secondary.
"(They have) two really good specialists as far as (Evan) McPherson and (Tommy) Townsend. They've got really good team speed, and Swain and Toney are really good as returners. We've got our work cut out for us there at noon in Gainesville."
On the team's injury situation
"I hit on Javon Charleston and (Jamyest) Williams (already). (They're) both having surgery this week. Nick Harvey and J.T. Ibe will be out. Everybody practiced except for Bryson (Allen-Williams), Rico (Dowdle) and Aaron (Sterling) and I'll know more on them as the week goes. They're day-to-day at this time. They didn't practice today, but I hope to get them out there tomorrow and Thursday. We'll see how it goes. At this time of the year. Everybody's banged up. Everybody's got injuries. That's part of the deal. Man down, man up."
On the options in the secondary as the team deals with injuries in the defensive backfield
"Jonathan (Gipson) will be prepared to go. That's a possibility there. Obviously, Rashad Fenton gives us a lot of flexibility. (He) can play nickel, can go back and play safety of he needs to. He repped with me today (individually) and we're going to have him mentally prepared to go in the game. Shi Smith is a guy who can go in at corner for us if we need some snaps there. We'll have a plan ready."
On the options at defensive end if Bryson Allen-Williams and Aaron Sterling can't play Saturday
"Shameik (Blackshear) has played really well, (including) a big third-down stop in the game Saturday. Obviously (D.J.) Wonnum can play at the end. (Daniel) Fennell, Brad Johnson (and) Keir Thomas can play end. (Kingsley) Enagbare can play end."
On the expectation that Jamyest Williams and Javon Charleston will be back for spring practice
"I haven't thought that far ahead on both situations. I'd expect them to both be back, I just don't know."
On having Shi Smith ready to play defensive back in case he is needed
"I watched him in high school and he was a really good defensive back at Union. He has good coverage skills and really good ball skills and ball judgment down the field. He's tough. He can tackle. He's on special teams for us. We just met with him to mentally prepare him. It's not as much about repping as it is more about getting him to our sidelines and if we get into a jam, being able to communicate on the things he needs to do. He'll be fine."
On preparing for two quarterbacks (Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask) heading into Saturday's game
"I don't know. I don't know that they change a lot depending on who the quarterback is. Obviously, Dan (Mullen) is going to play to their strengths and the things that they like in the throwing game. I don't know that there's a whole lot of difference in contrast to those two guys."
On any difference in the team after the season's first winning streak
"I think our guys have been pretty steady in their approach each week and understand the workmanlike mentality on a Tuesday. Same for Wednesday and Thursday. That's the one thing these guys do is go in and work I think their preparation has been very good to this point. Obviously, we're a little inconsistent with our play on Saturdays earlier in the fall and hopefully we're getting better."
On quarterback controversies affecting the football team
"Every situation is probably different, whether it's inconsistent play or lack of production or two really good players. There are so many different scenarios you can look at and how it affects the team, how it affects your other offensive players, how it affects the defense and special teams performers. I think it would be hard to put it in one category and say this is what I think. That situation can go in so many different levels as far as what is the controversy."
On the candidates to step into increased roles at offensive tackle
"I think again with Sadarius Hutcherson, (he) can be bumped outside if need be. He would be the next guy to go play the tackle position. Chandler Farrell can go play center, Donell (Stanley) can play guard, either guard position, and Jordan Rhodes is another guy that we feel comfortable with. So, we will continue to rotate those guys, and as we get closer to game day, narrow down exactly what we're going to do."
On Blake Camper's role after losing his starting job against Tennessee but playing crucial snaps against Ole Miss
"Blake is a great teammate who supports our football team. I think he obviously sees the ability that a guy like Dylan Wonnum has as he continues to mature. Nobody was probably more helpful to Dylan than Blake, as far as helping him out and wanting him to be a successful player. Blake is also a guy that has been here a long time, and he understands that this is a long season. I told the team today: 'be ready when your number is called, and don't let your teammate down.' When you get your opportunity to play, be productive. I had three or four guys come to me last week asking about playing time. When your number is called, be ready to play. If your number gets called, step up and play well.
On the possibility of playing Dakereon Joyner at safety
"I am committed to him as a quarterback."
On the four freshmen that are playing key snaps in the secondary
"It's good as for us as we move forward. They give me a couple of gray hairs, but those guys are all extremely bright and they work really hard. I think If you look at Jaycee (Horn), the year he has had and put together, has been very impressive. Israel (Mukuamu) is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in. Jaylin (Dickerson) has been through a tough road; I don't think people realized the severity of the injury he had, when he lost feeling in his arm and that muscle was not firing. We had the surgery and he went, really, eight-to-ten months without being able to lift. In the last three or four weeks, he has gained the confidence back in that arm to be able to have the contact and some of the things that we ask him to do. He has been a very valuable contributor on special teams. R.J. (Roderick) continues to improve each and every day. Again, their best football, for all four of them, is ahead of them. That's the thing we have to realize and as we install and look at different things to make sure that we're not asking them to do too much, and we aren't asking them to think, they need to be reacting on game day and playing fast, which I thought they did for the most part on Saturday. Continue to do a good job of communicating to give themselves and their teammates the opportunity to get into a position to be successful."
On if Florida does anything different defensively than other teams the Gamecocks have faced
"I think calling each week, they do a good job of game planning and giving you some different looks. As you go through their run game, I put it on the board last night with our defensive staff, by personnel grouping, there are a lot of runs. There's a large volume, and they are very successful. So, in my opinion, what that tells you is they do a really good job of game-planning. They do a really good job of figuring out what's going to work in the run game, because they have been successful running it."
On the possibility of playing man-to-man coverage the entire game with the injuries in the secondary
"If they throw a deep ball, whether you are in zone or man, you're going to get tired. That's part of it, so we'll figure out what we need to do to give us the best chance."
On how the team has been able to bounce back from early disappointments
"I think we have good leadership at the top of our team, that have a 'so what, now what' mentality. We talk to our team about it all the time, whether it's something you do really well, or something you do very poorly, to move to the next play. We talk in terms of winning downs, and that wins possessions, and that wins games. So, regardless of the circumstance or situation, just keep playing. That's something you continue to sell in your organization; it's not something we just talk about one week or one game. It's every single day. And over a period of time, it becomes your culture."
On the running back position and if Mon Denson is the number one back
"Yep, he and A.J. (Turner), and Ty'Son (Williams) is going to be fine. We're going to cut back on (his) cast. All three of those guys are number ones."
On the differences between this trip to Florida and the 2016 trip to Gainesville
"We're an older team, number one. We have more experience on our football team. For me, it's another SEC East opponent. I know y'all have a hard time believing that, but it really is. We spend as much time at the office this week as we do every single week that we have. It's another great opportunity for our team on the road. (If) you want to continue to move the program forward, you've got to continue to win tough road games, and this is a tough road game."
On the importance of finishing over .500 in the SEC, which would happen with a victory Saturday
"It would be the fourth time in school history (for) back-to-back winning seasons in the Southeastern Conference. I think it was done in 2000 and 2001 and then the run from 2010-2013, and then obviously last year we were 5-3. It's just progress. You're making progress with the program. You're seeing progress, being able to have tangible results for your team and your fan base. That's something that is important to our football team."
Will Muschamp Weekly News Conference — 11/6/18
Ty'Son Williams Media Availability — 11/6/18
A.J. Turner Media Availability — 11/6/18
Keir Thomas Media Availability — 11/6/18
Steven Montac Media Availability — 11/6/18
Damani Staley Media Availability — 11/6/18
Keisean Nixon Media Availability — 11/6/18
Sadarius Hutcherson Media Availability — 11/6/18
Rashad Fenton Media Availability — 11/6/18
Bryan Edwards Media Availability — 11/6/18
Jaylin Dickerson Media Availability — 11/6/18
Blake Camper Media Availability — 11/6/18
Mon Denson Media Availability — 11/6/18
From USC Sports Information