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  1. Evaluating Muschamp tenure at the helm so far. I wanted to do this earlier. If you do it right after a lose or a big win you just get a reaction which at the time will not reflect your true view point. As a manger I view it as If we have to evaluate a employee or employees under us. We give money to our school so in a way but a very very small he works for us. 4 keys to use, like a pay hike or just to go over what you would like them to do better or pat on the back or just let them go. The later can be dangers now a days. So lets break it down. Pay hike? Keep the same? What he needs to do to get a hike in pay? Do you release him? Why you say so any of the above.
  2. How Will Muschamp’s buyout structure fits with the rest of the SEC Nov. 11, 2019 After each South Carolina loss this season, some segment of the Gamecocks fan base asks about moving on from the coach. USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner explained several times that Muschamp’s buyout is “comparable” to the rest of the SEC. And the contracts in the sport’s wealthiest league tell the tale. His buyout is 75 percent of whatever is remaining on his deal. The extension at the start of 2018 gave him a six-year deal, and after last season, he was given another year. That length of contract is often justified as providing stability to reassure recruits. Tanner said the buyout is mitigated, meaning whatever his next job pays him will come off the money South Carolina owes that year. Between base salary, television, radio and apparel income, Muschamp’s salary for 2019 was $4.4 million and would be $4.6 million next year.(VIEW ARTICLE) THE STATE
  3. Last ditch effort Nov. 11, 2019 If the South Carolina Gamecocks are able to salvage a largely forgettable 2019 season, it will have to start next Saturday night with a win over a program they’ve never beaten. Since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2014, the Aggies have beaten the Gamecocks in all five annual meetings. The first one signaled the beginning of the end of the Steve Spurrier era, a 52-28 thrashing that, so far, has been the most one-sided matchup between the East-West crossover opponents. Under Will Muschamp, South Carolina’s played Texas A&M relatively competitively. The Gamecocks lost by 11 in 2016, a touchdown a year later and a field goal last season. (VIEW ARTICLE) FREE 247SPORTS GOOD READ BY HALE MCGRANAHAN
  4. What went right what went wrong Saturday night vs. App State Nov. 10, 2019, | A look at what went right and wrong for the Gamecocks in the 20-15 loss to Appalachian State on Saturday night. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  5. Questions I would like to see answered Saturday against Appalachian State Nov. 08, 2019, GCF Staff Report The Gamecocks faces a tough non-conference opponent in Appalachian State at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday night, before they head out on the road to face Texas A&M and then back home to finish out the season against Clemson. The Gamecocks will have an added boost with Senior Night festivities set to take place for 25 players, including 5 who have eligibility remaining. The Gamecocks stand at 4-5 for the season needing two wins to become bowl eligible. With only three games remaining on the schedule this Saturday is a classic take-care-of-business game as a loss would virtually wreck the season, and make it very difficult to bounce back on the road in College Station next week and against a Clemson team that is seemingly motivated by the disrespect card. The Mountaineers have been ranked this year, but were upset last week against rival Georgia Southern. They have an experienced team, and are known for their high-powered offense. Here are 5 things I want to see Saturday: How will the running back rotation play out? This is a position that seems to have a new rotation every week as last week we saw Kevin Harris and Deshaun Fenwick make a huge splash. Now with Tavien Feaster is out Saturday due to a groin injury, but good news to hear, Rico Dowdle is expected back from a knee injury that has kept him out since the Florida game. The interesting thing is it doesn’t seem to matter who carries the rock, All have the capability of rushing for 100 yards. Fenwick last week became the 5th Gamecock to rush for 100 yards in a game this season, joining Dowdle, Feaster, Mon Denson and Harris. Bye week opponents Last time the Mountaineers played was Thursday Oct. 31, two days before the Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina game; they will have extra time, which is a trend to close the season. Each of the Gamecocks final 4 opponents have extra time to prepare for the Gamecocks. Vanderbilt came off a bye week before last week’s game. App State has 9 days to prepare for South Carolina. Texas A&M and Clemson, also have a bye week before meeting the Gamecocks, giving them 2 weeks to prepare. So after all that the Gamecocks will have there turn with a off week before facing Clemson in Columbia. You may ask! Will this make a difference? After all, the Gamecocks’ biggest win this season came after their first bye week ahead of the Georgia game. How the defensive line plays out here While there have been flashes of great games during the season, the Gamecocks haven’t had a superstar performance from one player on the defensive line. However, the Gamecocks is the only SEC team with 3 players who have at least 4.5 sacks each. Muschamp said they haven’t minded double teams to free up a teammate. “I think that this has been a very unselfish group as far as those things are concerned ’cause sometimes in order to eat the double team which Javon’s Kinlaw had to do and never complained and created 1-on-1 for somebody else and he understands that and anybody that knows ball watching the film understands that,” Muschamp said. To see contribution from Keir Thomas This is understandably a long shot, but Thomas, a defensive lineman, is expected to get 10-18 snaps in this game, his first action after an ankle infection kept him out for some 2 months. The defensive line has been a bright spot for the team this year, and his contributions should not be vital, but and add in a big bonus. While he’s battled this injury, he’s still a veteran. He was expected to be a starter in the preseason and in his career has appeared in 38 games over the past three seasons, making 25 starts. He has 106 career tackles with 12.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Good news here is that Keir could play the remainder of season and still count this year as a redshirt season, double bonus here. Will there be another freshman to emerge this week? The Gamecocks started true freshmen wide receiver Xavier Legette and right tackle Jakai Moore for the first time against Vanderbilt. And Legette made a big contribution with an early touchdown. Legette and Moore joined Ryan Hilinski, Jaylen Nichols, Jammie Robinson and John Dixon as true freshmen who have cracked the starting lineup this season. This is an area that Muschamp has boasted that the Gamecocks have led the country in recent years.
  6. Which Gamecocks have locked in redshirts, who is getting closer this week Nov. 06, 2019 This does not include a bowl game if eligible. The math on Carolina's redshirt situation is built on the large question of the postseason. The Gamecocks have a lot of work to do to make a bowl, needing to take two of three from Appalachian State, Texas A&M and Clemson to get it done. In either case, some Carolina players have already secured redshirt seasons for 2019, while others are right on the edge. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  7. The numbers Game, Gamecocks lost to injury this year? Nov. 06, 2019, GCF Staff Report Carolina will head into the Appalachian State game this weekend with question marks around top rusher Tavien Feaster and his injured groin. But the good news here is that the Gamecocks are getting six players back after they missed the Vanderbilt game or more For the second consecutive season, it has been that kind of year on the injury front. Nine games into the season Carolina has lost multiple starters on offense for longer stretches, and several notable defensive players. Based on rough calculations, cross checking injury lists and participation charts, the Gamecocks’ total games missed has piled up in a big way. Add the numbers up together and this is what you get around 71 games. That only counts players who either are proven rotation players or likely would be because of need. That doesn’t even count the group of: ▪ Defensive lineman Devontae Davis, whose role in the rotation was unclear and was lost for all nine games thus far. ▪ Offensive lineman Hank Manos, who lost a starting spot and has been sidelined by an ankle for the past seven games. The team is set to add 12 more missed games with Jake Bentley, Jaylin Dickerson done for the year, Nick Muse’s torn ACL against Vanderbilt and Josh Vann’s broken hand against Vanderbilt. The spree of injuries has claimed a starting quarterback for eight games, a starting running back for two. It has forced the team to play a third string right tackle or go into games with only five defensive backs it trusts. And that’s in a year when new quarterback Ryan Hilinski dealt with knee and elbow issues for much of his starting time. A season ago, USC lost at least 116 games to injuries, not counting players who might not have made the rotation such as Tyreek Johnson or Chad Terrell. That’s about 8.9 per game as compared to 7.8 per game this season. Below is a mostly full listing of Gamecocks, how many games they have missed and various injuries: ▪ Safety Jaylin Dickerson 9 games (hip) ▪ Keir Thomas 9 (ankle) ▪ Randrecous Davis 9 (ankle) ▪ Jake Bentley 8 (foot) ▪ Brad Johnson 7 (groin) ▪ Kevin Harris 5 (ligament surgery) ▪ Dylan Wonnum 5 (ankle) ▪ Dakereon Joyner 3 (hamstring) spent four weeks as emergency QB, being forced to play one game ▪ Damani Staley 3 (toe) ▪ AJ Turner 3 (hamstring, shoulder) ▪ Rico Dowdle 2 (knee) ▪ Shi Smith 1 (hamstring) ▪ Fenwick 1 (shoulder) as an edge of the rotation player, only counting the game Will Muschamp said he missed ▪ OrTre Smith 1 (knee) ▪ J.T. Ibe 1 (pec strain) ▪ Jahmar Brown 1 (shoulder) ▪ Jaylen Nichols 1 (ankle) ▪ Eric Douglas 1 (leg) ▪ Chavis Dawkins 1 (hamstring)
  8. Gamecocks in hopes to redshirt both off these freshmen Nov. 07, 2019 Coach Will Muschamp has what he hopes for with true freshmen Traevon Kenion and KeShawn Toney. Each tight end is in his first year on campus. Both have played sparingly across the first nine games of the 2019 season. The discussions of the week centered on how much they might play, or not play, the rest of the season. Muschamp said. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  9. Gamecocks in hopes to redshirt both off these freshmen Nov. 07, 2019, | GCF Staff Report Coach Will Muschamp has what he hopes for with true freshmen Traevon Kenion and KeShawn Toney. Each tight end is in his first year on campus. Both have played sparingly across the first nine games of the 2019 season. The discussions of the week centered on how much they might play, or not play, the rest of the season. Muschamp said. “I’d like to keep both redshirts on the guys if we could. But at the end of the day, both guys want to do what’s best for the team.” But there could be a monkey wrench thrown into the picture here. The Gamecocks are now very, very thin at tight end. It all started with the loss of Kiel Pollard and Evan Hinson in the preseason. Kyle Markway and Chandler Farell both played in the opener. But there still were concerns; they were answered when William & Mary transfer Nick Muse was made eligible by the NCAA. Again came in to play the injury bug. With a torn ACL ended his season, which leaves the Gamecocks with only Markway, Farrell (who is also working some on the line), Will Register, Kenion and Toney. Toney played in his second game of the season last weekend, taking the field for the first time in seven weeks. That means he can only play in two more contests to keep his redshirt. Muschamp had this to say about the situration. “We had discussions yesterday and Monday about where we are. Trae Kenion has played in one. So he still has three more to still keep his redshirt. So those are, those are some things we’re continuing to work through.” The question is simpler for Kenion than Toney, but it gets much murkier when it comes to the possibility of a bowl. The possibility to redshirt for both is all in how it all could play out. If the Gamecocks lose to Clemson or Texas A&M, they’ve only have three games left. That means Kenion can play them all and Toney would have to miss one. But based on how they’ve been played, it seems Toney is probably a little more advanced. Kenion was the higher-rated recruit and came to Columbia off being the top receiver on an undefeated squad in North Carolina. He put up 43 receptions for 834 yards and 15 touchdowns, accounting for more than half his team’s production in each category. The 6-foot-3, 235 pounder was set to enroll early but ended up joining the team halfway through spring ball. He had to work his way into shape and then missed much of August camp with an injury, further delaying his development. Toney was an in-state product and put up 51 catches, 750 yards and nine TDs as a senior, despite missing some time with injury. He got a full spring practice in and impressed teammates with his work ethic. A season ago, the Gamecocks burned the redshirt of linebacker Ernest Jones so he could play in the Belk Bowl. The team was badly hit by injuries, and he played seven snaps. Now with Muse out, and only Markway, Farell and Register available, the question becomes who else chips in, and can the Gamecocks balance getting that extra year and chasing wins late in a season? Muschamp closing it out said. “We’ve got two left with KeShawn, three with Trae to figure out how we want to make this thing work.
  10. Gamecocks defensive line unselfish play leads with positive results on the field Nov. 06, 2019, | GCF Staff Report Among these three Aaron Sterling, Javon Kinlaw or D.J. Wonnum, there are no numbers on the board to keep account of for sack totals for individuals. Why? They prefer not to make their season production into some kind of position competition. Sterling said. “We’re really just out there playing. We’re doing what we can to make sure we’re helping our team win. I most we probably say is ... we congratulate each other.” Appalachian State coach Eliah Drinkwitz on Monday didn’t hide the biggest challenge facing his Mountaineers 7-1 when they come to Williams Brice Stadium to take on Carolina now 4-5 on Saturday night. Drinkwitz said. “We definitely have our hands full and have got to do a great job of handling the defensive line and controlling the line of scrimmage. In a season of ups and downs, the Gamecocks defensive front has remained consistent. Scan the SEC sack leaders and you’ll find proof. Sterling is tied for first with six, Kinlaw is tied for fifth with five, Wonnum is tied for eighth with 4.5. No other SEC team boasts as many players with at least four sacks. Kinlaw added. “That’s a big accomplishment for us. I’m really proud of how everybody’s been working together. We’ve been working together and working for each other, so it’s all paid off.” Will Muschamp Talks Kinlaw a 6-foot-6, 310-pound enforcer in the middle, has seen his stock rise to the point where he seems like a lock to be taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. But that joy he shows for his linemates is part of why that unit’s been so successful this season. The Gamecock coach said Tuesday. “’ “Being really unselfish and understand that, based on how we want to call a game, understand that you may not be a feature part of the game. But do your job and be willing to eat two blocks and you may end up being the free guy at the end of the day. And I think it’s been a very unselfish group as far as those things are concerned. “Javon’s had to beat double teams and he’s never complained. It creates a 1 on 1 for somebody else. He understands that. Anybody that knows ball watching film understands that. “I’ve really been pleased with how unselfish the group has been to understand those things.” The Gamecocks have three players with at least 4.5 sacks for the first time since the Jadeveon Clowney-led unit in 2012. At least three games are left for the group Kinlaw calls the best d-line he’s played on. In closing Kinlaw said. “We’re just so locked in, so focused. There are so many chances and opportunities to make so many plays out there. We got some pass rushers.”
  11. Gamecocks youth movement brought on by injuries Nov. 07, 2019 When Jakai Moore entered the starting lineup on Saturday night for Carolina it was one thing. The fact redshirt freshman Deshaun Fenwick got 18 carries while true freshman Kevin Harris got 10 was another. The Gamecocks have stumbled lately either by injury, necessity and whatever else into a youth movement. After Saturday’s win against Vanderbilt, the kids are looking all right. All told, the Gamecocks started only four freshmen, three true. They played at least 9 more, including three in the defensive backfield, four in the offensive backfield, plus a few more. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  12. Gamecocks youth movement brought on by injuries Nov. 07, 2019, | GCF Staff Report When Jakai Moore entered the starting lineup on Saturday night for Carolina it was one thing. The fact redshirt freshman Deshaun Fenwick got 18 carries while true freshman Kevin Harris got 10 was another. The Gamecocks have stumbled lately either by injury, necessity and whatever else into a youth movement. After Saturday’s win against Vanderbilt, the kids are looking all right. All told, the Gamecocks started only four freshmen, three true. They played at least 9 more, including three in the defensive backfield, four in the offensive backfield, plus a few more. Carolina's No. 2 receiver on the night was true freshman Xavier Legette. The top rusher Fenwick a redshirt freshman, and No. 3 rusher Harris another true freshman. Also two freshmen started up front on offense. True freshman Ryan Hilinski has been carrying the load at quarterback all season despite a barrage of hits (redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner helped on that front Saturday), while classmate Jammie Robinson has played as the team’s top nickel all season. The staff has needed all of them to step in at some point or another this season. “With the at-bats, you continue to improve,” Will Muschamp said, referencing Hilinski. “Jakai Moore and Jalyen (Nichols) both have started at tackle for us. Xavier Legette was a key contributor for us at the receiver position. Jammie Robinson’s been a very dependable guy for us. Zacch Pickens has played well for us up front. “We really like the guys we recruited, and we play more freshman than anybody the country, I think, in four years, and started more than anybody in four years. So we’re willing to play guys that are good enough to play. Get on the field and you can produce for us, you play.” Moore and Legette were the the latest freshmen asked to do more. Moore is a former three-star recruit was ranked just outside of the top 500 players in his class. He had to replace Nichols, another true freshman who was called upon to play for starter Dylan Wonnum at right tackle. Legette has been in the rotation but had to play more with Shi Smith sidelined by a hamstring issue. Robinson was one of the few players who was called upon for a big role early. He was slotted in as a top-6 defensive back and through some attrition has maintained that. He posted five tackles Saturday. Muschamp said. “We ask a lot of our nickel. The guy is playing good football for us this year, and continues to improve week-in, week-out and it’s very difficult.” The Gamecocks have a group of 21 seniors. A total of 13 have contributed on offense or defense when healthy, with six more at least chipping in something on special teams. That’s a good bit to replace, but with injuries and other factors, those young players are starting to step up, en masse. Muschamp said Sunday night tight ends KeShawn Toney and Traevon Kenion might have to step up with Nick Muse sidelined. Several of the veteran linebackers including Ernest Jones, who almost redshirted before playing in the bowl last year — enjoyed seeing some of those younger guys coming on. Jones said. “That’s always nice to see when those guys that you go against every day and you give them the best look that they can get, and you hit him as hard as they can and you continue to get them better each and every day to see them go out there and do what they did. It was good to watch. It was phenomenal to see.” What all the freshmen did against Vanderbilt: ▪ QB Ryan Hilinski — 24-31 passing for 235 yards, two touchdowns ▪ QB Dakereon Joyner — 9 rushing yards, gave a change-of-pace look for the USC offense ▪ RB Deshaun Fenwick — Ran for 102 yards on 18 carries ▪ RB Kevin Harris — 20 yards on 10 carries, one touchdown ▪ WR Xavier Legette — Caught three passes for 34 yards, including his first career score. Returned one kick for 25 yards. ▪ TE KeShawn Toney — Played offense and special teams ▪ OL Jovaughn Gwyn — Started his eighth consecutive game ▪ OL Jakai Moore — Started his first game, stepping in for true freshman Jaylen Nichols, who suffered an ankle injury last week ▪ DT Zacch Pickens — One tackle ▪ DB Jammie Robinson — Second on the team with six tackles ▪ DB Darius Rush — The former wide receiver had one tackle and played special teams ▪ DB Cam Smith — Played, no stats registered ▪ DB John Dixon — Played, no stats registered
  13. Muschamp praising the Gamecock faithful Nov. 05, 2019, | GCF Staff Report Each week after a Gamecock win or a lose coach Will Muschamp throws praise the way of Gamecock fans. This weekend was a little different though. Truth be told Vanderbilt is hardly an inspiring opponent, and the team is coming off a disheartening upset loss against Tennessee to reduce bowl hopes to just a glimmer. Muschamp saw something else no other has. Muschamp had this to say. “It was an unbelievable crowd. It started out in the Gamecock Walk, unbelievable crowd, six, eight people deep. We’ve had a season that hasn’t gone exactly the way we wanted it to and I can’t thank our fans enough. Unbelievable, our players appreciate it I appreciate it. The best I’ve ever been, anywhere I’ve ever been, as far as the support and the passion they have for us and support for us and making a difference on game day and just absolutely amazing.” The Gamecock Walk was dense with humanity, with a perhaps surprising number of fans lining up early coming off a bad loss. The announced attendance of 71,945 wasn’t too high, and one could see the empty spots on west and south sides of Williams-Brice Stadium. But there was noise and buzz for most of the game. There were also boos on a third and 1 jet sweep as well as a third and 22 draw in Vanderbilt territory. That alone stands in stark contrast to what was happening on the Plains in Auburn. In the midst of an uninspiring slugfest between the Tigers and Ole Miss, fans started emptying out as the temperature started dropping. It was noticeable enough a cadre of Auburn players took to social media to voice their displeasure. On the other hand the Gamecocks against Vanderbilt won’t win any beauty contests, but folks still got loud, even in the waning moments. As usual, Muschamp’s praise of the fans ended with a request. Next week is another night game and promises to be cold. It will present an unusual sort of senior night, one two weeks earlier than usual, replacing the traditional pre-Clemson FCS game. Now the Gamecocks get an Appalachian State team coming off its first loss and will try to move within one game of bowl eligibility. Muschamp wrap it up by saying. “We need it again next week. It’s senior night. We’ve got a bunch of guys that mean an awful lot to this program and personally to me. We need to support them and send them out the right way and I know that our crowd will be there to support us.”
  14. Muschamp praising the Gamecock faithful Nov. 05, 2019 Each week after a Gamecock win or a lose coach Will Muschamp throws praise the way of Gamecock fans. This weekend was a little different though. Truth be told Vanderbilt is hardly an inspiring opponent, and the team is coming off a disheartening upset loss against Tennessee to reduce bowl hopes to just a glimmer. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  15. White Named to Burlsworth Trophy Watch List 11/5/2019 | Football | GCF Staff Report University of South Carolina placekicker Parker White is one of 83 players nominated from Division I (FBS) schools across the country for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  16. White Named to Burlsworth Trophy Watch List 11/5/2019 | Football | GCF Staff Report University of South Carolina placekicker Parker White is one of 83 players nominated from Division I (FBS) schools across the country for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award's tenth year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas Walk-On and All-American offensive lineman. Burlsworth's life is also the subject of a major motion picture, "GREATER", which was released in 2016. The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in American who began his career as a Walk-On and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university's athletic department. White, a 6-5, 200-pound junior from Mount Pleasant, S.C., is 12-for-16 in field goals this season (75.0 pct.) with three of his four misses coming from 50 yards or beyond. He hit a then career-long 48-yarder vs. Alabama and topped that with a 49-yarder at Georgia and had another 49-yarder vs. Florida. A three-year starter, he is 39-of-57 (68.4 percent) in career field goal attempts, including 28-of-31 (90.3 percent) from inside 40 yards. He is 96-for-97 on extra points, including 25-for-25 this season. He had no scholarship offers coming out of Wando High School and did not participate in football during his freshman season at South Carolina in 2016. He was placed on scholarship at halftime of the 2019 Garnet & Black Spring Game. "This award is about the journey, the incredibly challenging journey that all of these nominees have taken," said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. "When you begin your college career as a Walk-On there are plenty of skeptics, those that think you can't do it. This group of Burlsworth Trophy nominees have proven all the skeptics wrong. They have put in an immense about of work and overcame numerous obstacles to make their dreams come true." Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities. The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on December 9, 2019 in Springdale, Ark. to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2019 winner.
  17. Gamecocks did beat Vanderbilt, but did it lack feeling moving forward? Nov. 05, 2019 Yes we all know that good teams win and great teams cover right? This Gamecocks team isn’t great, thought it did manage to cover the point spread against Vanderbilt Saturday night. But, it managed that cover in a manner far from pretty, scoring the touchdown to get over the 15-point final line with 6:39 on the clock and later missing a chance to pile on. It seemed to represent a game fraught with contradictions. Things never seemed so easy for Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks; despite it feeling as if they held the largest seven-point lead imaginable most of the game. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  18. Dakereon Joyner ‘excited to be back on the field’ Nov. 04, 2019 QB Dakereon Joyner zeroed in on exactly what the game plan was for him going into Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Joyner said “Definitely get me the ball, Joyner said after the 24-7 win. And that turn was a bit or relief after going through, give or take, five weeks of uncertainty surrounding him. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  19. Gamecocks did beat Vanderbilt, but did it lack feeling moving forward? Nov. 05, 2019, | GCF Staff Report Yes we all know that good teams win and great teams cover right? This Gamecocks team isn’t great, thought it did manage to cover the point spread against Vanderbilt Saturday night. But, it managed that cover in a manner far from pretty, scoring the touchdown to get over the 15-point final line with 6:39 on the clock and later missing a chance to pile on. It seemed to represent a game fraught with contradictions. Things never seemed so easy for Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks; despite it feeling as if they held the largest seven-point lead imaginable most of the game. The start was say the least ugly on both sides, and by the end though things did looks so incredibly one-sided, it leaves one unsure what exactly to take from it. Maybe Muschamp said it best here. “I thought it was very workman-like. Offensively, very balanced. Obviously ran the ball well. We threw the ball well at times. “Really proud of our guys, you know an SEC win at home, and get ready for next week.” At game’s end, the Gamecocks had a yardage edge of 440 to 189. One has to march all the way back to 2012 to find a game where the Gamecock opponent has gained so few yards, strangely a 44-11 Gamecocks loss to a Muschamp-led Florida squad. On a per-play basis, things were a little better for Vandy, though a 3.8 yard average is pretty bad. Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt team had 125 yards on their first four drives, giving the sense of a dogfight, and then an average of 7.1 yards a drive the rest of the way. Mason said it best. “Lost to a tough team in the Gamecocks. I thought this defense played hard. I thought they played hard all night. “This group never felt like they were out of the fight.” The Gamecocks offense contributed greatly to what amounted to a sense of unease through much of the first half. Gamecocks did lose a fumble on Vanderbilt’s 10-yard line early on. Even after striking for a pair of touchdowns later in the half, it missed a chance on fourth-and-1 to make it a two-score game and only got three points from two drives that started inside the Vanderbilt 35. Even a late stuff on the Commodore goal line prevented a touchdown that would’ve provided icing on the final score. Yet the overall numbers were decent, and they came without a few notable offensive players (a starting running back, receiver, a first- and second-string lineman). A bouquet of fresh faces got some work and had their moments. That’s to say nothing of senior Bryan Edwards setting the school record for catches. So the ringing question now. How does this carry forward exactly? Vanderbilt is bad, no doubt. But Tennessee was bad, and that didn’t turn out well for The Gamecocks. And the game sat in this uncanny valley of dominant in some senses often the senses that best determine future games but not so dominant as to provide a sense of calm for a fan base feeling somewhat frazzled from the past eight weeks. Next week brings Appalachian State, a one-loss squad fresh off being tripped up by a rival. Winning there would mean climbing to 5-5 before back-to-back games as an underdog against Texas A&M and Clemson. Perhaps a dominant win would’ve given the feel of a bounceback. Or perhaps Saturday was a dominant win in the end, but dressed as an uncomfortable slog. But it leaves the vague sense of uncertainty, a win to be sure, but neither hanging on nor running away in a year where things rarely seem to fit cleanly or follow in an orderly manner.
  20. Gamecocks not done yet still in reach to be bowl eligible Nov. 04, 2019, | GCF Staff Report On Vanderbilt’s first drive of the night in Williams-Brice Stadium, it did for the briefest of moments like the Gamecocks worst fears might be coming true. After the Gamecocks coming off a deflating loss to Tennessee on the road, facing a Vanderbilt team they had beaten 10 times in a row, the Gamecocks looked sloppy, sluggish and out of sorts in the early going, while the Commodores seized an early lead. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  21. Gamecocks not done yet still in reach to be bowl eligible Nov. 04, 2019, | GCF Staff Report On Vanderbilt’s first drive of the night in Williams-Brice Stadium, it did for the briefest of moments like the Gamecocks worst fears might be coming true. After the Gamecocks coming off a deflating loss to Tennessee on the road, facing a Vanderbilt team they had beaten 10 times in a row, the Gamecocks looked sloppy, sluggish and out of sorts in the early going, while the Commodores seized an early lead. Then reality set in the reality being that the Gamecocks features superior talent and was the sizable favorite and the Gamecocks responded by put together a 24-7 win to take care of business and keep its slim bowl hopes alive for now. Things could hardly have gotten off to a worse start for the Gamecocks (4-5, 3-4 SEC) — sophomore cornerback Israel Mukuamu was flagged twice on third downs to help extend Vanderbilt’s first drive, senior defensive end Aaron Sterling was caught offside’s as well, and sophomore corner Jaycee Horn seemed to blow a coverage to allow an easy 26-yard touchdown catch. Horn had this to say Saturday night. “They just had good play calls dialed up. I made a mistake on the back end; he hit me with the double move. I’ve seen that route probably 30 times on film. It was third and short, so just playing the sticks, and that was the first time they ran the double move, so it was a good route. We just settled in and played our ball for the rest of the game.” Over the final three quarters, Vanderbilt managed just 94 yards of offense and four first downs against the Gamecocks. Starting quarterback Riley Neal, playing in place of Mo Hasan (concussion protocol), left with an injury, and his replacement, third-stringer Deuce Wallace, was 8-of-17 passing for just 30 yards and two interceptions. On the other side of the ball, junior tight end Nick Muse left the game early with a season ending knee injury, taking away one of freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski’s main targets. And just before the end of the first quarter, senior running back Mon Denson fumbled at the Vanderbilt 9-yard line. But with redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner providing the occasional change of pace under center in place of Hilinski, the offense took advantage of favorable field position to set up a 20-yard touchdown strike from Hilinski to freshman Xavier Legette, tying things up midway through the second quarter. Senior receiver Bryan Edwards said of Legette, and smiling. “Little bro. I love that dude. He just brings so much enthusiasm and energy to the receiver room, and I’m just happy for him that he got his first touchdown today. It’s gonna be big things coming in his future.” Edwards had a big game of his own too. He tied the school record with 14 catches and went for 139 yards and a touchdown late in the fourth quarter that put the game on ice. Hilinski targeted Edwards 16 times, more than every other player combined, including twice deep in Vanderbilt territory just before halftime to set up a one-yard touchdown run by freshman Kevin Harris to put USC up 14-7. After the halftime break, the Gamecocks struggled to finish drives on short fields, leading to coach Will Muschamp calling their short-yardage performance “abysmal,” but an interception by sophomore R.J. Roderick set up a short field goal, and Hilinski’s 25-yard touchdown to Edwards sealed the deal. Senior linebacker T.J. Brunson added a late interception to completely snuff out any Vanderbilt offense. Brunson added. “This past week of practice, guys sat down and really started to understand our fits and the details of the job. I think the biggest thing that we focused on was just being consistent, coming back and winning every single down and coming back, and just playing hard for the whole game.” Even the Gamecock ground game got involved with redshirt freshman running back Deshaun Fenwick ran 18 times for 102 yards, nearly half of the Gamecocks 205-yard total on the night. Muschamp closed it out on offense. “I thought we had good balance, I thought we were outstanding on third down, 9 of 15 on third down, staying on the field right there. You’re able to run for over 200 and throw for over 200, you’re gonna be pleased with your outcome a lot.
  22. Dakereon Joyner ‘excited to be back on the field’ Nov. 04, 2019, | GCF Staff Report QB Dakereon Joyner zeroed in on exactly what the game plan was for him going into Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Joyner said “Definitely get me the ball, Joyner said after the 24-7 win. And that turn was a bit or relief after going through, give or take, five weeks of uncertainty surrounding him. With Joyner on the field Saturday evening was close to the one fans expected at season’s start. He was in early and often. He carried the ball nine times, and the staff built multiple misdirection looks off his presence in the lineup (he ran into loaded boxes at point and finished with only 9 yards). It’s a luxury that hasn’t been available to the Gamecocks lately in recent weeks. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said after the game. “The last two weeks, he hasn’t been healthy. It was totally an emergency situation. He was going to have to be a pocket passer and hand the ball off. The run was not going to be an option. He was healthy enough to be able to do those two things but not run the ball. And so we had that discussion going into the Florida game and the Tennessee game.” That’s not ideal for a player whose speed and mobility is probably his top attribute. He hurt his hamstring before the Kentucky game in late September. Since then, he missed two weeks of practice, came in against No. 3 Georgia and held the line enough for a win, then missed two more games. Last weekend, he was finally healthy, and the staff wasted little time in telling him he’d have a big role this week. Joyner said. “That was in the game plan since Sunday. First game back, feeling as healthy as I have been all year. Shout out to my training staff for getting me to where I’m at now. I’m forever grateful.” There’s a delicacy in splitting time behind center, and the Gamecocks seemed to navigate it well. While Joyner wasn’t in, starter Ryan Hilinski hit 77 percent of his passes for 235 yards. Joyner’s health meant the staff got to move former QB Jay Urich back to receiver, where he stated the season before a series of injuries hit the quarterback room. Joyner’s perseverance this season has been well documented. He lost the backup quarterback spot to Hilinski but didn’t flee to the transfer portal. He accepted playing some wide receiver, and when Jake Bentley was lost to injury, became a backup and multi-positional player. He’s played a big role in the season’s biggest win, got snaps in a few other games and saw a lot of work this week. His coach wants to see that last part grow even more. In closing Muschamp said. “You got to continue to expand Dakereon’s package if we’ve got situations where they’ll (Joyner and Hilinski) be on the field together. So we’ll continue to do that moving forward. Sometimes it’s hard when a young player misses a lot of practice time, it’s difficult.”
  23. Most of the injury news from Will Muschamp Sunday night was positive, but he had two pieces of bad news Tight end Nick Muse tore his Muschamp conference call audio included Nov. 04, 2019 ACL in Saturday night’s win over Vanderbilt and will be lost for the season, and receiver Josh Vann broke his hand and will require surgery. He’ll be out the rest of the regular season but could return for a bowl game if the Gamecocks make one. Muse had 16 catches for 143 yards, Vann 18 catches for 184 yards. Neither scored a touchdown. Offensive tackle Jaylen Nichols, who missed Saturday’s game, also will be out again this week. The rest of the injury news was encouraging with most of the walking wounded expected back for this week’s game against Appalachian State. Among those players are Dylan Wonnum, Rico Dowdle, Brad Johnson, and Damani Staley. And there’s also a chance Keir Thomas will be cleared to play this week. Muschamp also said Jahmar Brown (shoulder) Tavien Feaster (groin), Shi Smith and AJ Turner could all be available this week. Other notes from Muschamp Pleased with the offensive balance, really good on third down, blocked well in the run game. Lost someone on one in space with running backs they’ve got to win. I have to find some answers at the goal line. Thought they were solid on defense, effective on third down, played well upfront and controlled the line of scrimmage. Was pleased with the play of Moore who filled in at the right tackle for Nichols. Thought the switch up of McClendon to the booth and Werner to the field worked well. Communication went well, they were more productive. Appalachian State is an older team with 19 of 22 starters are seniors and juniors, the quarterback is very effective. Will Muschamp conference call Share this: Twitter Facebook Like this: Like Loading...
  24. Gamecocks secondary thin and how it got there Nov. 02, 2019 Against Tennessee, the team played only five defensive backs. It was the same way against Florida. The same was true of the Georgia game ... and Kentucky. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  25. Gamecocks secondary thin and how it got there Nov. 02, 2019 Against Tennessee, the team played only five defensive backs. It was the same way against Florida. The same was true of the Georgia game ... and Kentucky. Just go back to the Missouri game, halfway through the games played thus far, to find the Gamecocks playing a sixth player in the defensive backfield. They played two that game, freshman John Dixon sparingly and Jamyest Williams, who departed as a transfer a few days later. Coach Will Muschamp’s specialty is the secondary, and the same can be said for his defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson. But at the moment, South Carolina is sitting at eight scholarship defensive backs who started their career on that side of the ball. Five are playing at a position where the team often plays five at a time. Jaycee Horn is a strong SEC corner in his second season. Israel Mukuamu is tall and talented, but has been up and down. Young players Jammie Robinson and R.J. Roderick have showed promise, while former graduate transfer J.T. Ibe is having his share of struggles this year. Freshmen in Dixon, Cam Smith and Shilo Sanders are on the roster and some are playing special teams. Muschamp said he doesn’t plan to shift around the personnel too much. Muschamp said. “There’s no question, schematically, you’ve got to go back and revisit some things. “But I think we’re playing our best players right now.” So now the question is how did this happen? A mix of attrition and recruiting misses. Let's check it out together and see. 2016 CLASS Jamarcus King: Started for most of two years. Had his share of issues, but also held down the spot consistently. Steven Montac: A late junior college add to the class. Started 20 of his 33 games across three seasons. Helped a thin group hold on in 2016, played a rotation role when healthy the next year and had his share of struggles as a senior. Chris Smith: A Spurrier commit who eventually left the team as a medical disqualification. (Wide receiver Korey Banks eventually converted to defensive back, playing in four games mostly as a special-teamer in 2018 before transferring.) 2017 CLASS Jamyest Williams: Started or played in the rotation when healthy across three seasons. Left as a transfer in the middle of this season. Keisean Nixon: Enrolled late and didn’t play his first season. Started his second and was a consistent presence with inconsistent play. Has played six games as an NFL rookie special-teamer. Kaleb Chalmers: A JUCO product who spent one year on campus, didn’t play and then transferred out. Jaylin Dickerson: Played in 10 games last season, mostly special teams with a little work at safety. Miss 2016, the final three games of 2017 and all of 2018 with injuries. Tavyn Jackson: Redshirted because of a hamstring issue as a freshman. Was later medically disqualified because of a sickle cell trait. Eventually left as a transfer to try to play again but does not appear to have done so. Zay Brown: Moved to linebacker and transferred to Chattanooga last offseason. 2018 CLASS Jaycee Horn: Starting and was a freshman All-American. Jonathan Gipson: Transferred away this offseason. Israel Mukuamu: Starting at corner. R.J. Roderick: Starting at safety. Grad transfer Nick Harvey: Played in four games in an injury-plagued season. Transferred to North Texas. Grad transfer J.T. Ibe: Starting currently. Transfer Jamel Cook: Sat out 2018. Playing in garbage time against an FCS opponent this year. Kicked off the team following a domestic violence arrest. (Wide receiver Darius Rush moved to corner in the offseason and is currently playing special teams.) 2019 CLASS Jammie Robinson: Starting as a true freshman. John Dixon: Started the season opener. Has not played a defensive snap the past four games. Shilo Sanders: Special-teamer who has played in four games. Cam Smith: Played in garbage time against Charleston Southern. HOW IT ALL ADDS UP So out of 20 defensive backs the Gamecocks have landed across four classes, 11 have played minimally (including this year’s three freshmen). Eight have either transferred or not finished their eligibility, though Chris Smith was a holdover from the previous regime. After his first season, the Gamecocks got a boost from 36 starts in the defensive backfield from Steve Spurrier holdovers such as Rashad Fenton, Chris Lammons and D.J. Smith.. That reality and attrition leave the Gamecocks short on bodies. The coaches like to say competition is their best friend, but after a rough outing such as Saturday’s against Tennessee (11.7 yards per pass attempt allowed), South Carolina doesn’t have much in the way of changes it can make.
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