WITH VIDEOS HC MUSCHAMP & PLAYERS: Will Muschamp Weekly News Conference Notes & Quotes
GCF Staff Report
Videos From USC Sports Information
September 04, 2018
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Will Muschamp Press Conference – 9/4/18 – Game #2 – Georgia
Opening Statement “We’ve got Georgia here at Williams-Brice on Saturday. It’s a 3:39 p.m. kick on CBS. We’re certainly looking forward to that. We’ve got great respect for Coach (Kirby) Smart and his staff. I know most of those guys. They do a fantastic job. They’ve got a really good football team with a bunch of good players, a bunch of guys that played for a national championship last year. That experience certainly is benefitting them moving forward. We’re looking forward to it.
“We had a great start today in practice. We need to finish the week and our preparation for a very good Georgia football team. I would go over their depth chart, but they didn’t send us one. I guess I can cover it if you guys ask me questions (laughs).
Injury report: K.C. Crosby is good to go. He practiced today. D.J. Wonnum did not practice today, but I expect him to practice tomorrow. Chavis Dawkins is probably questionable, but I’d say more doubtful. Mon Denson will play.”
On the difficulties defensive backs have covering Georgia’s quick passing scheme… “A lot of them are RPO’s. They do a really god job, and they were really effective in last year’s game with that. They’ve got some really good space players that we talk about: Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman, (Akhil) Crumpton. I mean, they’ve got some really, really fast guys. The one thing I would say of the many good things that jump out to me is their team speed overall, not just skill-wise offensively, but defensively, and it really shows up on special teams. Most of those are very accurate with the ball. I don’t know that Jake (Fromm) totally gets the credit that he deserves. I watched a guy in the College Football Playoff against Oklahoma make some big time throws in that game, some longer throws down the field… Against Alabama in the championship game, he put them in a position to win the game. He’s very accurate with the football, and it speaks for itself what he did as a true freshman.”
On the things he learned from watching film from Georgia’s victory over Austin Peay… “(They’ve got) different guys in different spots. I think we all know each other pretty well, from a coordinator standpoint and from a play-caller standpoint. They’ll be some new wrinkles and some different things they’ve worked on in the offseason. We’ll have (those) as well. Again, knowing our structure and their structure, and how we do things, this game has been gameplanned for this summer. We’re just kind of brushing up the game plan this week, and I’m sure they’re doing the same.”
On the benefits from playing against Coastal Carolina that can translate to the Georgia game… “For young players, begin able to have the opportunity to play in front of 80,000 people. That’s the first big-time exposure for a lot of those young men they’ll have. That’s exciting for them. Again, (we’re) just jelling together, (having) communication – those are the things I look for. We didn’t have a lot of issues, especially on the offensive side of the ball with communication. We
were very efficient. We were very effective in the things we do with a new coordinator, new play-caller, a lot of moving parts. I thought in all three phases we functioned pretty well.”
On committing to an up-tempo offense and if he made the decision to better run against elite defensive lines… “I would say it’s a huge part of that. When you watch teams that play with tempo and how effective they are running the football, a lot of it has nothing to do with getting a hat on a hat in the running game. A lot of it has to do with the displacement of the defensive player not getting aligned (and) not having his eyes in the right spots. I think it’s so hard offensively, right now, unless you are just elite from an ability standpoint to create explosive plays. In order to create some explosive plays in the passing game especially, you need to be able to run the ball and stay balanced to create one-on-ones down the field. There’s no question that was a big part of it.”
On the status of Javon Charleston… “Javon has been suspended from our team now for two-and-a-half months and obviously this past week as a consequence for his inappropriate actions in June. His case has been thoroughly investigated. During that time, Javon has been accepted into the pre-trial intervention program. I met with him on Sunday and discussed his situation with him at length. After those meetings, I decided to reinstate him to the team. As long as he enters the (pre-trial intervention program), handles his business and handles some things that I’m asking him to do as well, then we’ll decide on playing time as far as those things are concerned. We’ll decide that at the appropriate time. That’s not right now. Our players understand we’ve got a very high expectation for their behavior, representing the University of South Carolina. They need to handle themselves appropriately on and off the field. There are consequences for their actions. I really think my track record speaks for itself on discipline. I’m going to end it on that, and I won’t have any other comment.”
On Georgia’s defense and what makes it effective… “Well, they have good players. That’s the starting block. You look and guys (and say) ‘who are we going to have a hard time blocking? Who can we win against in coverage?’ Schematically, they do a really good job of taking away the things you probably do well. You’re going to have to play left-handed at times to be able to get some plays vertical. You’ve got to figure out how to create some explosive plays, challenge them vertically down the field. It all starts with players. They’ve got really good players. They’ve recruited extremely well, then it goes to the coaching, schematically, the development part of it, that they do a really good job of.”
On potential advantages that come from playing Georgia in the second game, when the Gamecocks are healthier than they were late last season… “Well, I’m sure they had guys banged up too (last season). At the end of the day, it is what it is. We’re playing them in week 2. We’re looking forward to it, and I’m sure they’re looking forward to it as well.”
On Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker… “I’m extremely impressed. The guy’s got really good ball skills down the field. He’s a very physical player as well. He’s willing tackler. He’s got really good length on the line of scrimmage. He can win on the line of scrimmage, then he wins a lot of 50/50 balls down the field. He’s got a really good knack for playing the football down the field. He’s got a lot of confidence, which as a corner in our league, in any league, you’ve got to have confidence. I knew him coming out of Northwestern High School, and I think he’s an outstanding player.”
On Deandre Baker and if Deebo Samuel is excited to play against elite cornerbacks… “Absolutely, and I’m sure (Deandre) wants to play him. I think that works both ways. The good players I’ve been around, it doesn’t matter who lined up across from them – let’s go play. They want to play against the best guys. I’m sure that’s being seen both ways.”
On the interior of Carolina’s offensive line and the athleticism at those positions… “I think, based on some gap schemes we have, based on the front and who’s pulling, I think all three guys (Zack Bailey, Donell Stanley and Sadarius Hutcherson) are effective guys when they’re pulling. All three guys did a fantastic job on Rico (Dowdle’s) touchdown before the half on the screen. Donell and Sadarius both made nice blocks down the field. All of those guys are athletic and have continued to improve in their time her at South Carolina.
On the carry distribution among Carolina’s running backs… “Again, there’s only one ball, and they all want to carry it, but I think it’s a very unselfish room. That’s the one thing I think, through competition, it can either pull you apart or pull you together. I think I’ve seen a group that’s galvanized itself and pulled itself together as far as their approach and wanting us to be successful. Regardless of who’s carrying the ball, let’s win games. That’s been fun to watch. I think Bobby (Bentley) has done a really good job of understanding those guys and understanding what we need to do to be successful.”
On D.J. Wonnum’s status and if he’s less optimistic that Wonnum will play Saturday… “No. Saturday, after the game, (athletic trainer) Clint Haggard and I talked. We were going to (put him in a boot) until Wednesday, and we’re going to practice him tomorrow.”
On coaching staffs holding back certain elements of their game plan against weaker opponents and if that’s actually a thing that happens… “I do think that happens (to a certain extent). I don’t think that’s something where you’re holding out an entire offense or defense and running something totally different. That’s not happening. At the end of the day, they know us pretty well, and we know them pretty well. There would be a couple of new wrinkles, whether it’s game two or game 10. There are going to be some new wrinkles you’re going to try and take advantage of based on the matchup, based on the situation. It’s no different than when you coach in the National Football League. When I was in the AFC East, we played Buffalo twice. We played New England twice. We played the Jets twice. There were going to be some new wrinkles each time you played one of those teams. They’d give you something a little different, but there are not going to be wholesale changes of an entire scheme offensively or defensively.”
USC is back in the national rankings. For the first time since 2014, the Gamecocks are ranked by the coaches and the AP at #24. They will put that ranking on the line this Saturday at home in their SEC opener against #3 Georgia. The Bulldogs have won three in a row in a series they lead 50-18-2.
At his weekly press conference Tuesday, USC coach Will Muschamp updated a couple of personnel issues. First, DE DJ Wonnum, who suffered a sprained ankle against Coastal Carolina, did not practice today but he fully expects him to play Saturday. Also, TE KC Crosby should be fine for the game as well.
Muschamp also announced he had reinstated safety Javon Charleston to the team after meeting with him Sunday. A starter coming out of spring, Charleston was arrested this summer on assault and burglary charges. Last week he was accepted into PTI, and Muschamp said as long as he adheres to that program and other directives he has given him, he will be considered for playing time.
On the scout team, Dakereon Joyner not limiting to just quarterback The question was really about Georgia’s running game.
South Carolina linebacker/defensive end Daniel Fennell was running down how the Gamecocks, nominally a spread attack, can simulate a Georgia squad that comes downhill with as much power as you’ll find. One of the early names he mentioned was a little out of place.
“Dakereon (Joyner)’s super fast,” Fennell said. “Super shifty.” Joyner is a mobile quarterback. Perhaps he could imitate five-star Georgia backup Justin Fields, but doesn’t exactly align with starter Jake Fromm, a pro-style passer in almost every sense. But he’s not only playing quarterbacks for the scout team.
“He does different things,” Fennell said. “Whatever they ask him to do, he’ll do. He’s real unselfish. He’ll split out, be a receiver. He’ll play quarterback, he’ll do running back. He’ll do whatever they want.” Joyner came to USC as a dual-threat option with a good deal of work to do on his passing. Will Muschamp has hit that point several times. One former coach who went to a practice said Joyner could be special at a different position, but USC’s staff has said it is keeping him at quarterback.
But not on the scout team, when a staff can move players all over. That ability has at least earned him the respect of his teammates. “I think it’s amazing,” Fennell said. “Credit to him. He’s a great athlete.”
South Carolina safety Javon Charleston has been reinstated to the team following suspension, head coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday.
“His case has been thoroughly investigated,” Muschamp said. “I met with him on Sunday and discussed his situation at length. As long as he enters his pre-trial intervention, handles his business and handles some business I have for him as well, then we will decide at that time about playing time.”
Muschamp would not say if Charleston would be available to play Saturday against No. 3 Georgia.
Will Muschamp Weekly News Conference — 9/4/18
Daniel Fennell Media Availability — 9/4/18
Randrecous Davis Media Availability — 9/4/18
Javon Kinlaw Media Availability — 9/4/18
Jacob August Media Availability — 9/4/18
Zack Bailey Media Availability — 9/4/18
Bryson Allen-Williams Media Availability — 9/4/18
Jake Bentley Weekly News Conference — 9/4/18
Deebo Samuel Media Availability — 9/4/18
Aaron Sterling Media Availability — 9/4/18
Keisean Nixon Media Availability — 9/4/18
Donell Stanley Media Availability — 9/4/18
Rashad Fenton Media Availability — 9/4/18
Steven Montac Media Availability — 9/4/18