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  1. Gamecocks reveal uniform combination for senior night against Chattanooga November 15, 2018 South Carolina football is ready to honor the troops on Military Appreciation Day at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks will go with white pants, garnet jerseys, white helmets as they look to secure bowl eligibility for the third consecutive season against Chattanooga. South Carolina has never played the Mocs. It closed SEC play with a 4-4 record
  2. Jaycee Horn holding his own as a true freshmen November 15, 2018 The usual risk with a freshman defensive back in college football is a simple one: For any good plays, there’s usually a big one allowed to match. But that’s not the case for South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. Try to burn him. Teams have. But according to numbers from CFB Film Room, he’s quietly done everything asked. The first thing that stands out, he’s not given up a gain of 20 or more yards, all season. That’s despite working in the slot against some shifty receivers, and often having to kick outside against the taller ones. Based on those numbers, opponents connected on only 43.8 percent of the passes that went his way. He’s contested more than one third. He came to Columbia as a four-star prospect, one of the top players in the 2018 class. He’s delivered on more than that. A Day 1 starter, the son of NFL Pro Bowler Joe Horn has been one of USC’s most consistent and reliable defenders. For the season he has 38 tackles and eight pass breakups.
  3. Gamecock injury report from Tuesday weekly news conference " how's how's out" November 13, 20218 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp announced injury updates for Steven Montac, Jaylin Dickerson and Randrecous Davis.South Carolina football will again be down a pair of key defenders going into this weekend. South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp announced injury updates for Steven Montac, Jaylin Dickerson and Randrecous Davis. South Carolina football will again be down a pair of key defenders going into this weekend. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said safety Jaylin Dickerson is out with a hamstring. Defensive lineman Aaron Sterling will likely miss the game with a knee injury. Dickerson was hurt against Florida and Muschamp said he was doubtful as of Sunday. His loss is another hit to a woefully thin position. Sterling didn’t play last weekend. His loss hurts at a spot where USC just lost senior end Bryson Allen-Williams.
  4. Muschamp expects he’ll get Josh Belk on the field for South Carolina soon November 12, 2018 It’s been a long wait for South Carolina defensive tackle Josh Belk. Still trying to get his conditioning in order, an ankle injury has kept him off the field for the past few months. He made some off-field headlines with a visit to his former school, Clemson, but has had to wait for an on-field chance. The wait might be over. “Hopefully he’ll be able to get out there this week,” Will Muschamp said Sunday night. “He practiced last week and did a nice job. Hopefully he’ll be able to get involved this week. Absolutely.” South Carolina faces FCS team Chattanooga this week. Belk played in USC’s first two games against Coastal Carolina and Georgia. Then he hurt his ankle and has not played or made the gameday dress roster in weeks. He’s been working to improve his conditioning, as he came in at 359 pounds. Belk was a four-star prospect, ranked No. 102 in the final 247Sports Composite rankings for 2018, seventh among defensive tackles and second in the state. South Carolina was recruiting him hard through 2016 before he committed to the Tigers in late January of 2017. He announced a transfer in the spring and soon after committed to USC in June. He was ruled eligible just before the season opener. Muschamp praised Belk’s progress late last month. He finished his senior season with 116 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, seven caused fumbles, a recovered fumble and a pass deflection. He was a U.S. Army All-American.
  5. Will Dakereon Joyner play this season? Muschamp weighs in November 12, 2018 The question still lingers: Will South Carolina football fans get a chance to see four-star quarterback recruit Dakereon Joyner on the field this season? The Gamecocks host FCS Chattanooga this weekend, likely meaning some backups will play. Muschamp was asked directly about it, and he didn’t rule it out. “Whether it’s Dakereon or anyone else, if they can help us win football games, we’re going to play them,” Muschamp said. “That’s the most important thing.” Through the offseason, there was some talk of a run-centric package for the dynamic dual-threat player from Fort Dorchester High School. He led Fort Dorchester to a state title and a 40-3 record. As a senior, he threw for 2,376 yards and 31 touchdowns. On the ground, he ran 149 times for 980 yards and 18 touchdowns. This season, he started as the No. 4 QB for USC, but moved up to No. 3. He’s behind Jake Bentley and Michael Scarnecchia, who have both started games this season. At several points, Muschamp said his passing still needs to come along. But a chance to play him could come soon. “Obviously if you’re in a situation where you can play some younger players and give them an opportunity, that’s what we’d like to do,” Muschamp said.
  6. South Carolina lost to Florida. Here’s what it means for complexion of the season November 11, 2018 There’s a psychology experiment that shows once a person possesses something, they find it more valuable. That is to say, you might pay only so much for an object, but once someone gives it to you, it will likely take more money to buy it off you. Coming into Saturday, South Carolina’s football team beating a ranked Florida squad would have been like found money. Even if the Gators were scuffling, they’d had an arguably stronger season to date, were at home and had seemed to be bouncing back toward their usual spot as a top team in the SEC East. But it doesn’t feel that way with a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. It feels like that money was seen, picked up and just about in South Carolina’s pocket before a sudden gust of wind ripped it away. Letting the chance slip through their fingers changes, in a large way, what this season can potentially be. If South Carolina wins the two games it’s supposed to, Akron and FCS Chattanooga, but can’t upset No. 2 Clemson, you’re looking at a 7-5 season. That’s a far cry from where many predicted the team would be in the preseason, but by the midpoint of the season, that already seemed assured. So what’s the difference between a 7-5 and 8-4 editions of these Gamecocks? If USC got that Florida win, it would’ve been able to add the second ranked win of Will Muschamp’s tenure. Big wins are collateral for a coach. They buy goodwill. They make a given record seem a little more special. Barring a Clemson upset, the best team South Carolina will have beaten will be a Missouri squad that will need to run the table for a 7-5 regular season. The Gamecocks’ hype and promise this season came with the caveat: Four teams on the schedule were breaking in new coaches, and a fifth was replacing a highly successful offensive coordinator with Derek Dooley (also the idea Kentucky wouldn’t suddenly ascend). USC went 3-2 in those games, beating Ole Miss by four, Tennessee by three, Missouri by two (in a shootout) and dropping the Texas A&M and Florida games by a combined seven points. USC entered the game Saturday with the possibility of back-to-back eight-win or better regular seasons, and back-to-back winning seasons in SEC play. The latter only happened in two instances (one a four-year stretch). The former only twice times outside the 42 wins in four years from 2010-13. A win would’ve meant third place in the division after second a year ago. USC will settle for fourth. It happened because the offense many questioned ran out of gas after a strong day overall, and the defense Will Muschamp has built and been slowly recruiting to came apart at the seams. Even with Saturday’s loss, South Carolina will be a team that slipped in the face of large expectations, but managed to get back on its feet enough to be competent. But there’s definitely the sense they let slip a chance for the season to be a little bit more.
  7. Gamecocks bringing back Script Carolina helmets for Florida game November 08, 2018 South Carolina football is going Gator hunting for Saturday’s game at Florida and bringing back Script Carolina helmets for it. The Gamecocks will go with black pants, white jerseys, garnet Script Carolina helmets as they look to secure back-to-back winning records in conference play for the first time since 2012-2013. South Carolina took the last meeting 28-20 in Columbia, but dropped the last trip to Gainesville 20-7, quarterback Jake Bentley’s first road start. The Gators (6-3, 4-3 SEC) lead the all-time series 26-9-3.
  8. Older Gamecocks believe they can snap The Swamp’s spell November 08, 2018 THE STATE The last time South Carolina visited The Swamp, Jake Bentley was undefeated as a college quarterback, Bentley took over the Gamecocks starting job midway through that 2016 season and opened his career with home wins over UMass, Tennessee and Missouri. Then he took South Carolina to play Florida on the road in what would start the Gamecocks current eight-game losing streak against ranked opponents. “Last time me, all of us were so young,” Bentley said. “We got down by 10 or 14 and you would have thought we were down by 50. I remember that vividly. No one had a positive attitude. We were so young that we got down on ourselves. That’s the biggest thing I remember is thinking about how much we’ve matured since then.” On Saturday, the Gamecocks (5-3 overall, 4-3 SEC) hope that maturity turns into a victory against the No. 19 Gators (6-3, 4-3). “We’re an older team,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “We have more experience on our football team. You want to continue to move the program forward, you’ve got to win tough road games, and this will be a tough road game.” Bentley’s experience in particular should help the Gamecocks. He is 37-of-62 for 462 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions two games against Florida. His last game in The Swamp, he was sacked five times, and South Carolina punted seven times before it scored its first, and only, points of the game in a 20-7 loss. “It’s definitely one of the most difficult places to play,” Bentley said. “Growing up you always see that stadium, and I always wanted to play there. Getting to play there has been really cool for me. It’s really loud though. It definitely is going to be a great atmosphere there.” South Carolina is 2-14 all-time in Gainesville, Fla., with those wins coming in 2010 and 2014. “The Swamp is up there. It’s probably top three (toughest places to play), Texas A&M, The Swamp and probably Clemson,” junior wide receiver Bryan Edwards said. “Those places get real rowdy so you have to come focused and prepared.”
  9. Senior predicts freshman will be among top safeties ‘to come out of South Carolina’ November 07, 2018 THE STATE When asked about the ceiling of R.J. Roderick, South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp took a moment to consider the question. His first-year safety seems to have a world of athletic potential but is plenty raw. But the coach seemed to want to get the phrasing just right. “I think he has a high ceiling, I really do,” Muschamp said before going into greater detail. What he didn’t know was his veteran safety Steven Montac had already done his fair share of talking up the former quarterback. “He’ll definitely be one of the best safeties to come out of South Carolina,” Montac said. “He looks like a linebacker. He runs like a corner, and he hits like a linebacker too, can cover like a corner. He’s special, and he’s really going to be special.” The praise is high, but parts of it seem accurate. The Cane Bay High School product is tall and stocky for a player at his position. He moves well, runs well and is suddenly being counted on for a lot. He was a 1,700-yard rusher as a high school junior, and overcame a back injury as a senior. Quickly after arriving in the spring, it became clear he’d have some role in 2018. But a nagging injury in August cost him days and reps. That matters because he was learning a position he’d hardly played. “He played situational on third down only, as a man-to-man cover guy or a deep safety,” Muschamp said. “So that’s all he’s ever really understood and known as far as a defensive back. “There’s a lot of first, multiple times. I’m saying, he hasn’t been exposed to these things, so he doesn’t know.” The coach likened it to the movie “50 first dates,” new starts again and again. But now the player who started the season as a special teamer buried on the depth chart looks set to start. The Gamecocks are down four safeties. Roderick played more than 60 snaps in a high-tempo game against Ole Miss. There were ups and downs, but South Carolina didn’t have more than one massive bust (only one pass allowed longer than 26 yards). Roderick was solid enough, and only has room to grow. And his approach helps. Muschamp said Roderick works hard to take things in, to carry them forward and adapt in the week-to-week shifts of facing different opponents. But he’s already got the physical tools, and each day, his feel for the position grows. “He’s able to transfer those things very well because he’s so intelligent,” Muschamp said.
  10. Will Muschamp puts questions of Josh Belk’s Clemson visit to bed November 06, 2018 When Will Muschamp was first asked about his four-star freshman Josh Belk visiting Clemson while the Gamecocks were on the road at Ole Miss, he had a short answer. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Muschamp said Sunday night. He got asked about it again Tuesday and did know about it, dealing with it quickly and concisely. “Josh and I had a conversation,” Muschamp said. “We’re fine. We’re moving on.” Belk was spotted by a TV reporter and fans after Clemson’s game Saturday. He wasn’t on USC’s travel roster and went to Death Valley to see old friends, as his college career started in orange before a transfer saga this offseason. After the news and video picked up social media traction, Belk tweeted out a simple explanation, assuaging some of the questions fans had. “Good seeing my boys that I went in with, but on the other hand good #gamecock win,” Belk wrote. “Back to business #spursup.” Players not on the travel roster don’t have any expectations for what they need to be doing on Saturdays. Muschamp noted some go home, but the coaches don’t have any policies on what they should do. Belk played in USC’s first two games against Coastal Carolina and Georgia. Then he hurt his ankle and has not played or made the gameday dress roster in weeks. He’s been working to improve his conditioning, as he came in at 359 pounds. Belk was a four-star prospect, ranked No. 102 in the final 247Sports Composite rankings for 2018, seventh among defensive tackles and second in the state. South Carolina was recruiting him hard through 2016 before he committed to the Tigers in late January of 2017. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman finished his senior season with 116 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, seven caused fumbles, a recovered fumble and a pass deflection. He was a U.S. Army All-American. He committed to USC in June and was ruled eligible just before the season opener. Muschamp praised Belk’s progress late last month.
  11. Takeaways from South Carolina’s win over Ole Miss November 05, 2018 All set to slip away again, and here they come again. South Carolina had that game lost a couple of times, after Shi Smith dropped a third-down pass and Mon Denson was stood up on fourth-and-inches, but didn’t give in. As Will Muschamp said, his team is resilient and doesn’t bag on itself, even when the circumstances look bleak, and the result is a victory and a much rosier postseason picture. Saturday night, the Gamecocks enjoyed it. Then the final injury report came back Sunday. Seven takeaways from USC’s win over Mississippi: As great as they wanna be USC had to answer every Mississippi point and did it better, scoring four more than the Rebels and winning the game. It was probably — mostly — the result of playing the worst defense in the SEC. But they did it well, and that kind of success breeds confidence. People stay put in Hanahan, South Carolina because of the affordable houses, vibrant schools, recreation programs and a sense of community that runs as deep as the Goose Creek Reservoir that borders the west side of town. Plays like Bryan Edwards’ one-handed grab, then step-out for a touchdown, will have him thinking of that the next game, not the drops he had earlier in the year. USC’s offensive line will remember how fun it is to look at their running backs getting smaller and smaller as they run downfield. The confidence Jake Bentley showed in those two scoring drives to retake the lead will do wonders for him, especially when he did it without any turnovers. Bench strength The good thing is the Gamecocks are getting a lot of playing time for their backups. The bad is the backups are nearly all that is left. Muschamp announced Sunday that Jamyest Williams (shoulder) and Javon Charleston (foot) will have surgery this week and are out for the season. It’s the second season-ending surgery for Williams in his career (and to the same shoulder) and thins a defensive back spot that was already too thin. The Gamecocks have seven defensive backs that have played in a game to last the rest of the season. Three are true freshmen and another, Jaylin Dickerson, is a redshirt freshman who didn’t play at all last year. “Everybody else, right now to me, is day-to-day,” Muschamp said. “I’ll know more Tuesday.” That appears to be good news for running backs Rico Dowdle (ankle sprain) and Ty’Son Williams (bruised hand), who each left Saturday’s game. Ditto for left tackle Malik Young and defensive lineman Aaron Sterling. This is why teams have to recruit for the future, and Muschamp always says that injuries are no excuse … but it’s getting real close to where injuries are going to have be somewhat of an excuse. Stay on the line Mississippi runs up nearly 600 yards of offense against three quarters of soft zone defense, then gets 18 when USC goes press man. Obviously a team as thin as USC may not be able to afford to play man the whole game because it would further tire out an already weary defense, and it gives teams a look to exploit early and then, all USC could do was go back to a zone. But boy, it was distressing to watch the Gamecocks give up chunk after chunk of yardage and have their defensive backs playing 8-10 yards off the receiver. Spackler The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium playing surface looked like the final scene of “Caddyshack.” It was chilly when the game started, and there was a heavy rain two days ago — but the field was unsafe. Not saying the field was directly responsible for the injuries, and Mississippi had guys slipping and sliding, too. But it certainly didn’t have players bouncing off the turf. The Dead Zone USC scored 48 points. Fourteen came from Deebo Samuel’s kick return and Edwards’ 75-yard touchdown. Another 14 were created from long plays just before the scoring play. Some others, USC got points but not what it wanted. First-and-goal at the 7 turned into two short runs, an incomplete and a Parker White field goal. First-and-goal at the 6 turned into a sack, a touchdown-wiping penalty, a nice catch-and-run, an incomplete and a field goal by White. To their credit, the Gamecocks were able to find the end zone when they had to, like twice in the fourth quarter when they started at the 4 each time. Easy to look back in a win and say, “Hey, those got away, no big deal,” but those are the ones a team kicks itself about with the other result. Chomp Gator Bowl representatives were all about USC, passing out literature and talking to Ray Tanner. It’s a perfect destination for USC, with most fans within a four-hour drive and in a nice city on a post-Christmas date. In years past, the Gamecocks have placed themselves too high or low for it. This year, with Chattanooga and Akron still on the schedule, five wins already and not knowing what will happen at Florida or Clemson? Whatever happens, two more wins will at least have USC accomplish the goal of every bowl season — no Shreveport or Birmingham. Luscious Jackson That band said it best — “I got heart.” The Gamecocks lived up to their nickname. They didn’t give up. Not with half the team bandaged, trailing 10 on the road and unable to stop the Rebels’ offense. Perhaps it took being backed into a corner, but as long as they got there …
  12. South Carolina players of the Game vs Ole Miss November 03, 2018 There were so many players on both sides of the ball on Offense, Defense and Special teams who played keys roles in the outcome of the game. In the Gamecocks 48-44 win over Ole Miss. So below are my players of the Game. Well played guys!! (MORE)
  13. Thumbs up, thumbs down: South Carolina vs. Ole Miss November 03, 2018 THE STATE Thumbs up The fight In a shootout, a two-score lead can mean the end. USC went down by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter. Instead of folding, the Gamecocks responded with a touchdown and then four defensive stops to make sure the last score gave USC the 48-44 win it needed. Jake Bentley through the air The junior has oft been maligned this season. Against a defense that isn’t all that good, he was superb. He connected on 22-of-32 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns, plus ran for the game-winning score. That included a throw to a covered Bryan Edwards who made a beautiful catch and went 75 yards. Deebo’s spark South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel came into the year with a lot of hype, but had yet to fully produce the explosive plays that were his trademark in three games last season. He got his first kick return touchdown since Week 2 of 2017, the fourth of his career, and gave the Gamecocks the big-play start they’d need. Air Ty’Son Tailback Ty’Son Williams only played a half before coming out with an undisclosed injury. In that half, he caught three passes for 105 yards, with gains of 50, 31 and 24 yards and a rushing score. Thumbs down That defense Even with four stops to end the game, USC got tagged for 6.3 yards per play and more than 600 total yards. Ole Miss can stretch a team, but the Gamecocks ended up giving up a lot of space, with 11 passes of 15 yards or more. Staying healthy Part of the defense’s struggles were the injuries. The Gamecocks lost a slew of safeties at various points, plus reserve defensive end Aaron Sterling. On offense, South Carolina played the second half down its top two running backs (Rico Dowdle and Williams), and was down to its third-string left tackle in Blake Camper. Short-yardage running Will Muschamp came out with an aggressive call facing fourth and inches, going for it on USC’s own 37. The coach said his offensive line got whipped as the run got stuffed. A big, big drop Shi Smith didn’t have a drop in nearly his first season and a half at USC. He had a big one Saturday, letting a perfectly thrown third-down fade ball slip through his mitts in the third quarter. At the time, South Carolina was aiming to go up two scores, or at least flip the field, and instead Ole Miss got good field position and soon took the lead.
  14. Will Muschamp wants to get Dakereon Joyner into a game. Why it hasn’t happened yet November 01, 2018 THE STATE In college football, it’s not often a No. 3 quarterback, even one with as much curiosity surrounding him as South Carolina’s Dakereon Joyner, finds his way into a ball game. Joyner has worked behind starter Jake Bentley and veteran Michael Scarnecchia. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said Joyner has been doing extremely well, but explained on his weekly call-in show why the freshman from North Charleston has yet to see the field. “It’s a situation, it just takes time sometimes,” Muschamp said. “Especially at that position, to get an opportunity. We’ve been in a lot of tight ballgames. We haven’t been in a lot of situations to give guys some snaps and get them playing time, which we certainly would’ve love to have done. And we still may have that opportunity moving forward.” USC’s past three ballgames have ended with a margin of a field goal or less. The game before, the Gamecocks trailed Kentucky most of the way, and before that Scarnecchia saw much of the late work in blowouts. Joyner came to Columbia as a four-star prospect and Mr. Football winner. He led Fort Dorchester to a state title and a 40-3 record. As a senior, he threw for 2,376 yards and 31 touchdowns. On the ground, he ran 149 times for 980 yards and 18 touchdowns. Through the offseason, there was talk of a special package for him, or perhaps moving him to another spot. Muschamp waved off the latter idea, and has spoken well of Joyner’s work at the quarterback spot. “I’m very pleased with where he is and where his progress has been,” Muschamp said. “He continues to improve every day. He’s extremely bright. He’s got a great work ethic and excited about his future at South Carolina.”
  15. Gamecocks should run, numbers say. Doing it well has 2 key benefits November 01, 2018 Against Tennessee last week, South Carolina’s offense had its highest run percentage of the season. The Gamecocks ran the ball 40 times and threw it 16 in a 27-24 win over the Volunteers. Senior offensive lineman Malik Young wants to do it against Saturday against Ole Miss. “If we are run heavy, we will win the game,” Young said. “I feel like if we have over 100 yards, we will win the game.” Young has reason to believe that. South Carolina is 17-3 under head coach Will Muschampwhen it runs for more than 100 yards in a game. “That’s the thing, we have to run the ball, the offensive line has to get some movement, so that is on us,” Young said. Opponents haven’t had a hard time getting movement against the Rebels defense. Ole Miss (5-3, 1-3 SEC) is last in the SEC and 113th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 217.9 yards per game on the ground. South Carolina (4-3, 3-3 SEC) is 12th in the conference in rushing offense with 163.7 yards per game. Running the ball effectively on Saturday will have at least two benefits for South Carolina — moving the ball down the field and controlling time of possession, something the Gamecocks haven’t put a lot of emphasis on this season but could help against Ole Miss. South Carolina is last in the SEC and 128th in the nation in time of possession (25:25 per game). The quick strike Ole Miss offense is 13th in the SEC and 124th in the nation in time of possession (26:41). “They have an explosive offense so you definitely want to try to keep the ball out of their hands,” Gamecocks running back Ty’Son Williams said. “If we can get a long drive and then put points on the board, that’s the ideal situation.” The Rebels are third in the SEC in scoring offense with 38.4 points per game. In conference games only, Ole Miss is 12th in the conference in scoring offense with 19 points per game. “It’s very important” to maintain possession, Young said. “We have to run the ball, get some time off the clock and capitalize on all our opportunities. South Carolina recommitted itself to the running game after a 26-23 loss to Texas A&M in which it ran the ball only 18 times on Oct. 13, Young said. After that game, South Carolina added more physical drills and running work to its practices, he said. Still, Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley isn’t ready to say his team is going to ride the running game Saturday. “We are going to play how we play,” Bentley said. “We do know we have to play well but that’s every game. We are just going to do what we do and move the ball and stay balanced and put up some points but that’s the plan every week. We have to respond. We know that. They are an explosive offense.”
  16. Stalwart of South Carolina offensive line ‘doubtful’ against Ole Miss October 30, 2018 One of the anchors of South Carolina’s offensive line doesn’t look like he’s going to be ready to play against Ole Miss on Saturday. Starting left tackle Dennis Daley “is probably doubtful” due to an ankle injury suffered last week against Tennessee, Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday. Daley was wearing a walking boot and did not practice Tuesday, Muschamp said. Malik Young, a 6-foot-3 senior who replaced Daley during the Tennessee game, worked with the first team during Tuesday morning’s practice and said he expects to start against the Rebels. South Carolina (4-3 overall, 3-3 SEC) takes on Ole Miss (5-3, 1-3) at noon in Oxford, Miss. “With the way everything is going at the moment, unless Dennis comes back,” Young said when asked if he thought he would start. “It’s just back to work really. Have to get mentally prepared to have a real good game.” Young has started 13 games in his career but none this season. Daley, a 6-foot-6 senior from Columbia, has started all seven games this year and 18 games during his 19-game career since transferring from Georgia Military College. Wide receivers Randrecous Davis and Chad Terrell (knee) are questionable, and safeties J.T. Ibe (knee) and Nick Harvey (concussion) are out.
  17. Ole Miss coordinators impressed by B-Mac’s offensive schemes, USC’s defensive swarms THE STATE October 29, 2018 By the time Ole Miss defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff met with Oxford-area reporters Monday, he had done his homework on the Rebels’ next opponent. “We’ve been looking at them very carefully for two weeks now,” McGriff said. “Them” is the South Carolina offense, a Jake Bentley-led unit scheduled to take on Ole Miss at noon, Saturday, inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels (5-3, 1-3 SEC) fell to Auburn on Oct. 20 and have been off since. An open date on the schedule allowed McGriff to take a deeper dive into a foe Ole Miss hasn’t faced in nine years. He learned a lot about USC offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon while taking in the Gamecocks’ 27-24 win over Tennessee last Saturday. “Bryan McClendon does a good job of mixing up the personnel,” McGriff said. “In one game, you’ll see a handful of 11 personnel. He’ll come back another game and he’ll give you a dose of 12 personnel. And then he’s going to have a core run of the day – it make be a gap scheme, it may be a zone scheme. “But what’s real impressive is the variety, the multiple looks, the shifts and the formations they’re going to give you. They came off a bye week and, against Tennessee, you saw a lot more shifts, a lot more motions. And it started again with 12 personnel.” The term “12 personnel” is given to an offense set that includes one running back and two tight ends. With the TEs on the line of scrimmage, the offensive line has blocking help. The Gamecocks averaged 5.6 yards per carry against the Volunteers. Rico Dowdle rushed for a season-high 140 yards and a touchdown. “I’ve been impressed with the way they run the ball on offense,” said Ole Miss coach Matt Luke. The Rebels enter Saturday last in the SEC in rush defense and next-to-last in pass defense. Bentley is coming off a Tennessee performance in which he recorded a QB rating of 156.7, his best since hitting 193.8 against Coastal Carolina in the season opener. “The quarterback is the one that makes them go,” McGriff said. “You watch Bentley, he’s very competitive, really smart. You can tell he does a tremendous job of looking at coverages. ... And the kid plays with a lot of energy. His presence on the field sparks the other guys around him. “ “He does a good job of throwing the vertical ball, to give his guys a chance at the top of the route to come down with a 50-50 ball. So we’ll have our hands full. We got to do a good job of having good eye-disciple, good job of being at home and we got to do a good job of keeping the top on the coverage.” The Rebels are also the most penalized team in the SEC. “I think what’s really going to be important is we minimize, if not eliminate, the defensive pass interferences,” McGriff said, “because they’re going to throw the ball down the field.” South Carolina, through eight games with McClendon, is averaging more points (28.6) and yards (400) than the previous two seasons under Kurt Roper.
  18. Carolina-Florida Held for Six-Day Selection Kickoff time, TV information to be determined following games on Nov. 3 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 29, 2018) -- South Carolina's football game against Florida, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 in Gainesville, Fla., has been held for a six-day selection, the Southeastern Conference office announced Monday. A kickoff time and television designation will be determined following the completion of games on Nov. 3. The South Carolina vs. Florida matchup is one of five games whose kickoff time and TV network will be determined after the Nov. 3 games. Available time slots include 12 p.m. ET on both CBS and ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network. Florida holds a 26-9-3 lead in the all-time series between the schools, though the Gamecocks have won five of the last eight meetings. Carolina won last season's matchup, 28-20 and last won in Gainesville in 2014, a 23-20 overtime victory. Prior to facing the Gators, South Carolina (4-3, 3-3 SEC) takes the field this Saturday, Nov. 3 to face Ole Miss. Kickoff in Oxford, Miss., is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on SEC Network. Football TV Selections for Saturday, Nov. 10 Vanderbilt at Missouri – 12 p.m. ET – SEC Network Mississippi State at Alabama – 3:30 p.m. ET – CBS South Carolina at Florida – TBA Auburn at Georgia – TBA LSU at Arkansas – TBA Kentucky at Tennessee – TBA Ole Miss at Texas A&M - TBA
  19. Gamecocks have been outscored by HOW MUCH in the first half? October 25, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina has trailed at halftime in four of its five SEC games, including the last three straight, and the Gamecocks spent part of their off week trying to figure out why. “It’s there. We’ve talked about it,” quarterback Jake Bentley said. “It’s just a matter of being ready to go from the first whistle to the last, having the same mindset.” Against Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M, South Carolina was outscored 60-17. It dropped the games against the Wildcats and Aggies but rallied to beat the Tigers in the second half. “We talk about things as far as getting out of the gate quick in a game if we can,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said. “I think on sides of the ball we’ve played well in starts, but not overall. That’s something we need to continue to talk about in the organization and what we need to do to get out of the gates quicker.” South Carolina’s opponent this week, Tennessee, also has been troubled by slow starts. The Volunteers have been outscored 69-16 in first quarters this year, giving the Gamecocks a chance to strike early this week. “It’s important to get out to a fast start, especially when you’re 3-3,” Muschamp said. Score by quarters in 2018 1st quarter USC: 41 Opponent: 37 2nd quarter USC: 34 Opponent: 60 3rd quarter USC: 64 Opponent: 27 4th quarter USC: 34 Opponent: 31
  20. Gamecocks making plans to play 12th football game Dec. 1. Here’s who they might face October 23, 2018 South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is “very confident” the Gamecocks will be playing a football game on Dec. 1 and have told their players to expect that. “I’m very confident we will be playing Dec. 1. I don’t know against who,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “That’s (athletic director Ray) Tanner, and I’ll let him handle that.” The Gamecocks scheduled Sept. 15 game against Marshall was canceled due to the potential impact of Hurricane Florence. South Carolina will have a schedule availability on Dec. 1 unless it qualifies for the SEC Championship Game, which is a long-shot considering the Gamecocks are 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC heading into Saturday’s game against Tennessee. “Oh yeah, we’re playing on December 1st,” senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said. “We don’t know who we’re playing, but coach Muschamp has made it clear that we’re probably going to play on December 1st.” The Thundering Herd would be available to play if they don’t qualify for the Conference USA Championship game, but they are in second place in their division at the moment and South Carolina officials may not feel like they can wait to see if Marshall is available before locking up a 12th opponent for Dec. 1. If the Gamecocks move on from Marshall or Marshall is not available, Southern Miss seems to make the most sense. The Eagles (3-3 overall, 2-1 Conference USA) had their Sept. 15 game against Appalachian State canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Appalachian State also needs a 12th game, but the Mountaineers are ranked No. 25 in the country and need to replace a home game. App State is already on USC’s schedule for 2019. South Carolina almost certainly will play its 12th game in Williams-Brice Stadium, which makes available teams UCF, Virginia Tech and West Virginia much more complicated as potential opponents. The Gamecocks may need a 12th game to earn a sixth win and gain bowl eligibility, but Muschamp said that has not affected his desire to add a 12th game back to the schedule. “We want to play 12 games,” he said.
  21. What’s going on with South Carolina’s Jamyest Williams? October 20, 2018 THE STATE In terms of playing a role, Jamyest Williams has given South Carolina football a good number of snaps in his first season and a half on campus. The 5-foot-9 defensive back was the team’s starting nickel most of the 2017 season. This fall, the Grayson High School product has been at safety, helping hold up a struggling position and occasionally dropping down to nickel when things get shuffled. He came in as a four-star prospect, and his career has been fraught with highs and lows through 17 games. USC coach Will Muschamp was asked recently on his weekly call-in show if Williams could ever find himself playing a pure cornerback role. “We really like Jam as far as a slot cover guy to match upon some of the slot receivers,” Muschamp said. “Which aren’t some of the bigger receivers in those situations as far as matchups are concerned. You look at last week, when we played Texas A&M, they had a longer tight end. He had one snap in the entire game where he was matched up on (Jace) Sternberger.” The former Kansas player and junior college product gave South Carolina fits, posting 145 yards on seven catches. Much of that came in complementing the run game and being able to outmuscle South Carolina’s smaller safeties. Williams has shown the ability to stick with smaller receivers, cover ground quickly to close down plays and occasionally do some ball hawking. For the season, he’s got 21 tackles, one for loss, one interception and one pass break-up. His season as a new position featured some ups and downs.Will Muschamp said Williams was upset when he wasn’t getting much work, as J.T. Ibe and Steven Montac were the top unit. But he’s seen more work since Ibe hurt his knee (he’s expected to miss at least the Tennessee game), and has usually been competent. But another move to the outside for the No. 76 player in the 2016 recruiting class, that’s not likely. “Those are some matchup issues you deal with, as far as when you get on the outside, you’re playing against bigger receivers, which are harder to matchup on,” Muschamp said. “And I thought for the most part in our last ballgame, our guys did a nice job of finding the right matchups and things we kind of planned for going into the game.” South Carolina will have a rebuild in its secondary next season, as four opening-day starters and five contributors will graduate. That will leave Williams, star freshman Jaycee Horn, freshmen Israel Mukuamu and R.J. Roderick, both on the edge of the rotation, and transfer Jamel Cook as options going forward. Muschamp contrasted the more narrow role Williams has had in Columbia with the more expansive one he had in high school. Coming out, there were some rumblings he could help on special teams or offense, and his high school coach Jeff Herron has said he imagines Williams could contribute with the ball in his hands. “Jam was a guy that was actually a two-way player at Grayson High School,” Muschamp said. “A really good ball-carrier as far as a running back is concerned. Played corner, punt returner, did a lot of really good things for that football team, and they won a state championship his senior year.”
  22. Report: South Carolina DB Korey Banks transferring from program Oct. 20, 2018 South Carolina suffered a loss during its bye week. Redshirt sophomore defensive back Korey Banks is no longer with the team and is seeking a transfer, according to a report from The State. Banks spent time as both a receiver and defensive back during his stay with the Gamecocks, though he did not play much this season and recorded just one tackle. The 5-foot-11, 191-pound Banks was a 3-star prospect who attended Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Georgia. Projected as a receiver out of high school, Banks caught just one pass as a freshman before switching to the secondary as a sophomore and ultimately taking a redshirt. Following this week’s open date, South Carolina (3-3, 2-3 SEC) hosts Tennessee (3-3, 1-2) at 7:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 27.
  23. Taking a look at the rest of South Carolina’s schedule The Gamecocks are off this week, so let’s see what’s in store for the rest of the season. With the bye week upon us, the South Carolina Gamecocks are sitting with a 3-3 (2-3 SEC) record, and are alone in fourth place in the Eastern Division standings. While this isn’t a particularly inspiring record, it’s also not as heinous as the fan base’s current mood would have you believe — especially since two of the losses were ones most folks had chalked up in the preseason (Georgia and Texas A&M). Of course, falling for the fifth straight year in a row to the Aggies and also Kentucky was hard to watch, and the Gamecocks were denied a chance at a feel-good rebound after Georgia when their date with Marshall was canceled because of Hurricane Florence. Ultimately, despite having played six games, this South Carolina team still feels like an enigma. With roughly half a season of football left, let’s take a look at the remaining schedule. vs. Tennessee Well, uh, this game suddenly looks a lot more tricky than it did a couple weeks ago. The Volunteers got off to a rough start this season, continuing their woeful play from 2017, and had many thinking they were cruising for another 0-8 mark in the SEC. Suddenly, the Vols came up with a shocking upset of Auburn, topping the Tigers in Jordan-Hare Stadium as the college football world looked on with no small amount of astonishment. New coach Jeremy Pruitt now already has a signature win, and UT has a bit of its swagger back as a result. This still feels like a game South Carolina “should” win, but these Halloween matchups with Tennessee tend to get a little spooky. at Ole Miss This could be a wild one. The Rebels, who opened the season with a batshit entertaining win over Texas Tech, are true to their usual brand and sporting a fancy offense with absolutely no semblance of a defense. Although Ole Miss is fourth in the West, it’s got a solid 5-2 record, with its only defeats coming to division heavyweights Alabama and LSU. Given that this one is on the road, I’d have to lean toward the Rebels here, but South Carolina shouldn’t be counted completely out. In terms of how the game itself unfolds, it kind of feels like there are two options: It’ll either be a crazy shootout, or the final score is something like 16-9. Really, it’s going to be kind of bizarre all on its own just to watch the Gamecocks against this team, considering it’s been almost a decade. at Florida I can’t make heads or tails out of this Florida team, and I’m not really sure anyone else can either. The Gators have enjoyed quite a bit of hype since Dan Mullen returned to lead the program, and UF has been yo-yoing up and down the Top 25 rankings based on its somewhat erratic performance. The Gators committed the sin of finally losing to Kentucky and breaking a 31-year winning streak over the Wildcats, but then shocked a top-5 LSU squad on the road — and then proceeded to struggle mightily with Vanderbilt, although they eventually put the Commodores away. Regardless, the Gators are currently tied with Georgia for first in the East with a 4-1 record, and it’s all just kind of annoying. South Carolina has a chance in this one, but it’ll be tough at the Swamp, and it depends at least partially on which Florida team shows up. Will it be the Gators that gutted out a massive win against LSU, or the ones that flailed their way to a 13-6 victory against a decent Mississippi State? vs. Chattanooga This is the closest thing to a sure win the Gamecocks have left on the schedule, which yeah, is a scary thing to think about for too long. The 5-2 Mocs have been having a solid year, currently sitting at 3-2 in the Southern Conference, but they’re an FCS squad and should not challenge South Carolina. (Emphasis on “should.” [I’m joking. Mostly.]) at Clemson Our friends in the Upstate have been having kind of an interesting season. The Tigers are undefeated, but not quite running roughshod through their schedule — both Texas A&M and Syracuse put a serious scare into them, and they actually caught some negative PR for once with their quarterback drama. But Trevor Lawrence seems to be settling in just fine as the starter, and realistically speaking, there isn’t anyone else who can challenge them in their division or the ACC. The Tigers might end up in another close game or two, but they’ve got some serious mojo on their side (yet another thing they stole from Auburn?). A College Football Playoff berth feels all but imminent, even though this isn’t Clemson’s strongest team of late. Anyway, all that to say: Better luck next year. Hopefully. vs. ??? I’m just gonna be real here: It’s a little ridiculous that South Carolina still has yet to schedule a makeup game for the Marshall cancellation, and hasn’t even given an update about plans to do so. The Gamecocks have no chance at playing in Atlanta on Dec. 1, and unfortunately, they might need this “extra” game to become bowl eligible. I suppose the administration could be waiting to see if Marshall will also be free that day, since the Herd is more involved in their conference title hunt — and there aren’t many other teams that will be available. Let’s hope that’s what it is, and not that the athletic department is taking a nap. SBNATION
  24. When Will Muschamp explained QB plan this week, he wanted Scarnecchia to leave mad plus updated Gamecock injury report October 11, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told his quarterbacks early in the week how things would be Saturday against Texas A&M. Jake Bentley was likely going to be healthy, and thus would step back into the lineup, even after Michael Scarnecchia had a strong first start against Missouri. Then Muschamp told Scarnecchia something he wanted to see. “I told him when I met with he and Jake in my office, ‘I want you to leave pissed off. I want you to be upset,’ ” Muschamp said on his weekly call-in show. “Mike’s not that type of young man. He looked at me and said, ‘I want to do what’s best for the team and I want to win.’ ” The coach reiterated that Bentley’s experience was a key factor in his decision, specifically that he has played a lot of good football for USC. Scarnecchia had a strong outing Saturday, completing 20 of 35 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns. He led USC on a game-winning drive, hitting a pair of big passes in the closing seconds to set up a late field goal. For the season, Bentley has 928 yards and seven touchdowns, completing 63.6 percent of his passes. He’s also thrown six interceptions, two against Georgia and three against Kentucky. Scarnecchia had been established as the No. 2 for the past two seasons, a player who the staff felt is could rely on (though he had never threatened Bentley for the top spot). Coming out of being sent back to the backup role, Scarnecchia could have been sore. But Muschamp said that wouldn’t be like him, despite the call to be a little mad. “That’s the kind of young man he is,” Muschamp said. “That’s what makes him who he is.” Gamecocks will be without valuable running back, special teamer against Texas A&M October 11, 2018 South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp addressed his team’s injuries ahead of Saturday’s home game against Texas A&M. Players he mentioned included: ▪ A.J. Turner won’t play because of a concussion ▪ Wide receiver Bryan Edwards practiced all week on a sprained ankle ▪ He said Jake Bentley was healthy and good to start. The expectation was starting assuming he was healthy. Muschamp said the hope is for linebacker Eldridge Thompson to get another year after a shoulder ended his season. Turner has 131 yards on 21 carries this season. He had four carries against Missouri. He’s one of the team’s best coverage guys on several special teams units and has worked some as kick returner.
  25. Numbers can lie: Why USC isn’t putting too much stock in Texas A&M’s 2018 stats Oct. 10, 2018 THE STATE On offense, Texas A&M has one of the best backs in the SEC in Trayveon Williams, a hard-running junior who compares to another top tailback South Carolina has seen this year — Kentucky’s Benny Snell. But the Aggies rank sixth in the SEC in scoring offense, at 33.3 points per game, and fifth in rushing yards per game, at 220.8 On defense, A&M has a number of talented, solid players including NFL prospects in defensive linemen Kingsley Keke and Landis Durham and defensive back Donovan Wilson. But the Aggies rank eighth in the conference in scoring defense, at 20.2, and 11th in passing yards per game, at 244.8. Statistics and rankings, however, don’t tell the whole story about A&M’s identity. Out of Jimbo Fisher’s first six games, two have come against College Football Playoff contenders — Clemson and Alabama. When a third of a team’s schedule is against squads with a plethora of future NFL talent, it can skew the numbers, and South Carolina’s players stressed that they expect another difficult matchup against a top-25 opponent like the Aggies. “They use their tight end, they like to back block, they like to have zone cuts. So we have to address that,” redshirt junior linebacker Daniel Fennell said. “We know (Williams is) a good back so we know we have to bring our best.” In the four games not against Clemson or Alabama this year, Williams is averaging 164.5 yards per game, a number that would rank second in the country. As a team, A&M’s rushing yards per game average shoots up roughly 60 yards, from 220.8 to 281. “(Williams is) a solid back. He’s one of those guys that can take the ball anywhere. ... I’m sure he’ll be even better this year,” junior linebacker T.J. Brunson said. On the other side of the ball, Texas A&M’s passing numbers look much stronger with Alabama and Clemson removed, dropping from 244.8 to 189 yards per game. In their three games against FBS teams not ranked in the top four nationally, the Aggies defense have given up just four touchdowns, including only one rushing. That trend can’t continue Saturday, the Gamecocks said. “They have some good guys up front, they have a good line, some good linebackers,” redshirt junior running back Ty’Son Williams said. “But we’ll handle those guys, and once you get to the secondary, that’s on us.” “They definitely got a good front. ... We definitely gotta be more efficient in the run game against A&M,” senior offensive lineman Dennis Daley said.

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