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 COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF "2019" GAMECOCK FOOTBALL

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Found 19 results

  1. What Muschamp expects from early enrollees before spring, and what a few have shown February 12, 2019 THE STATE South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp will have nine new faces when his team opens spring practice near the end of February. That group of early enrollees is already on campus and in the middle of offseason drills. Muschamp doesn’t put too much on them at this point in terms of expectations, instead focusing on something smaller. “Been very pleased with their work ethic, very pleased with their eagerness to learn and to work,” Muschamp said. “That’s really right now my expectation. Bring your best version of you every single day. And if you do that, that will be fine.” He and his staff haven’t had much time to work with the players or even oversee some of what they’re doing. They’ve been on the road recruiting, shoring up the final four spots in the 2019 class and getting groundwork laid for the next class coming in. Instead, it’s been the strength staff, led by Jeff Dillman, working hands-on with them. “Jeff Dillman’s been very pleased with the entire group,” Muschamp said. “We had them lift as one group, as far as that’s concerned, so we were able to pay a lot closer attention to them and the proper techniques and things in the weight room to go through.” That’s not an unusual approach, as it allows the new players to get trained in exactly how the staff wants to do things while not slowing down the veterans. Between Dillman’s assessments and his limited time on campus, Muschamp did have a few impressions of some of his new players. On running back Kevin Harris: “A guy that’s an explosive back. Watching him move around confirmed our thoughts coming out of camp and watching him on tape.” On defensive end Zacch Pickens: “To see him in person on our campus, working out, we started the offseason program with the coaches on Wednesday, and to see him moving around is really exciting.” On quarterback Ryan Hilinski: “Very pleased with his work ethic and seeing some of the things he’s done in our offseason program.”
  2. There's a major hurdle for Will Muschamp to overcome in 2019 February 09, 2019 SDS I’m not a hot seat guy. I’m not about to sit here and pretend that I know that ins and outs of every single coach’s job security. There are relationships with athletic directors, both public and private, that have way more of a bearing on a coach’s job than the general public realizes. For that reason, I try to refrain from assuming a coach is on the proverbial hot seat, unless we hear or see a comment from an athletic director that sheds some light on that. I am, however, a perception guy. That is, I have interest in whether a fan base believes in a coach as the long-term fit. Everything I’m about to discuss as it relates to Will Muschamp is based on perception. Right now, there seems to be a fair perception of Muschamp. He deserves a ton of credit for cleaning up the mess that Steve Spurrier left in 2015, yet it’s fair to wonder if Muschamp’s teams can ever get to the level that Spurrier’s did in Columbia. We’re entering Year 4 of the Muschamp era, and there’s a major hurdle for him to overcome. The perception is going to be that South Carolina has a difficult 2019 schedule. Why? It’s basically as brutal as an SEC East schedule can get. The Gamecocks have crossover draws against preseason Top 10 teams Alabama and Texas A&M. They’ll also travel to Georgia and host a Clemson team coming off one of the most dominant seasons we’ve seen in the 21st century. But wait, there’s more! There’s also the matchup with preseason Top 10 Florida — that’s 5 games vs. preseason Top 10 teams if you’re keeping track — as well as an early-season trip to preseason Top 25 Mizzou. There’s also a date with the Kentucky team that Muschamp is 0-3 against, and South Carolina opens with North Carolina. Even though the Gamecocks will be favored to beat UNC and spoil Mack Brown’s return to Chapel Hill, that means South Carolina is one of the few SEC teams with 10 games against Power 5 teams in 2019. Starting to get the picture? South Carolina’s schedule is daunting. Like, get up to the podium at SEC Media Days and declare it the toughest in the nation daunting. Muschamp’s history against quality opponents suggests 2019 will be more of a mountain than a hurdle to clear. His numbers against quality foes are, um, not good: Lost 10 consecutive vs. ranked opponents 1-11 vs. ranked opponents at South Carolina (only win was vs. 2016 Tennessee) 5-13 vs. ranked opponents at Florida 6-24 overall vs. ranked opponents And actually, Muschamp went 4-2 vs. ranked opponents during his second year in Gainesville. So in the 6 years excluding that 2012 season, he is 2-22 against ranked teams. South Carolina, as you recall, has an SEC-most (tied with Auburn) 6 games against teams that are ranked in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25. You can argue that those aren’t necessarily perfect indicators of actual strength of schedule, but for the next 7 months, it’s going to look like the Gamecocks have a gauntlet. I mean, 5 preseason Top 10 opponents are on the schedule, including the top 3 in ESPN’s early rankings. Yowza. When the 2019 season kicks off, it’ll have been nearly 3 years since Muschamp’s last win against a ranked opponent. You won’t see that in any “here’s why you should believe in Muschamp” argument. What you will see is that he’s coming off 3 consecutive bowl berths. You’ll see something about how Muschamp’s teams in 3 years have a .500 record in SEC play, which isn’t bad considering the Gamecocks were 4-12 in SEC play in the 2 seasons before he arrived. You might also see is some sort of comparison graphic like this: div class="sds-table three-cols" style="margin: 20px auto 40px; width: 633px; font-family: "Open Sans", sans-serif; font-size: 14px; max-width: 650px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"> SEASON SPURRIER (SEC PLAY) MUSCHAMP Year 1 7-5 (5-3) 6-7 (3-5) Year 2 8-5 (3-5) 9-4 (5-3) Year 3 6-6 (3-5) 7-6 (4-4) 3-Year Totals 21-16 (11-13) 22-17 (12-12) If Muschamp gets off to another mediocre start and there are some talks about his long-term future, the supporters will point to Spurrier not getting to the 9-win mark until Year 6. Muschamp, as you recall, already did that (it still counts even if he didn’t beat a ranked opponent to get there). The difference between the two coaches, obviously, is what they did at Florida. Spurrier’s track record in Gainesville was what allowed him to get patience. And well, let’s be honest. South Carolina, the program that had just 5 Top 25 finishes before Spurrier arrived, wasn’t firing the HBC. That’s not to say Muschamp needs to get to Spurrier’s level or the Gamecocks should move on. If Muschamp’s bar to meet is 3 consecutive Top 10 finishes, well then that’s just not realistic, especially considering what he inherited. Obviously he would want to get to the point where the Gamecocks look like yearly SEC contenders, but getting past both Florida and Georgia on a yearly basis looks more challenging than it was at any time in the last decade. It’s because of that reality that unlike in 2018, nobody outside of Columbia is going to pick South Carolina as a sleeper to win the division in 2019. There’s the flip side of that. Perhaps that can work in Muschamp’s favor. The 2018 season was deemed a disappointment because South Carolina’s schedule looked favorable and with Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel back, there was hope that a 9-win team could take that next step. Eight wins with this tough of a schedule would be taking that step for Muschamp. A couple wins against teams like Texas A&M or even Florida would be a sign that while South Carolina isn’t poised to be a juggernaut, it can sneak up on teams and play with just about anyone on any given day. That’s the perception Muschamp wants by season’s end. He’ll earn a tip of the cap if he can get it.
  3. Who’s is South Carolina’s No. 2 quarterback? Here’s what Will Muschamp says February 07, 2019 THE STATE When South Carolina’s 2018 football season ended, Jake Bentley was the starting quarterback, Michael Scarnecchia was the backup, Dakereon Joyner was third on the depth chart and Jay Urich was in the fourth spot. When the Gamecocks begin spring practice on Feb. 27, Scarnecchia will be gone to graduation, and the old depth chart won’t mean anything, head coach Will Muschamp said. “It will be an open competition,” Muschamp said. Clearly, Bentley, a senior who has started 31 of the last 32 games for South Carolina, is the presumptive starter. The intrigue starts after that. Along with Joyner, last year’s four-star signee, and Urich, the Gamecocks now have Ryan Hilinski, an early enrollee freshman who was considered the second-best pro-style high school quarterback in the country a year ago. “Obviously, Jay and Dakeron have been here and Ryan will have an opportunity to compete there,” Muschamp said. “All positions are open in the spring. You have to create the competition on your football team. You recruit good players to give them the opportunity to play at all positions.” The jockeying for the No. 2 quarterback spot coming out spring practice will be one of the most intriguing parts of South Carolina’s upcoming spring. Joyner was South Carolina’s Mr. Football two years ago. He had more than 3,400 yards of total offense and accounted for 52 touchdowns as a senior and joined the Gamecocks last year with the same type of hype Hilinski has this year. Hilinski threw for 8,077 yards as a three-year starter at Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif.
  4. Which uniform combination is Will Muschamp’s favorite? He likes an old-school look January 31, 2019 THE STATE South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp doesnt pick the uniform combinations. But he does have a favorite. He revealed in a video with broadcaster Todd Ellis his favorite look is the garnet helmet, black jersey and white pants, a bit of a throwback to the Joe Morrison era. USC didn’t wear that combination this season. Muschamp also said if he wasn’t coaching, he thinks he’d be a teacher. His father was a history teacher and school principal. In three seasons, Muschamp has gone 22–17, including a nine-win season in 2017. He’s led South Carolina to three consecutive bowl games after the team missed on to close the Steve Spurrier era. He’s the fastest coach to 22 wins in school history. The Gamecocks were 7-6 in 2018, coming in with high expectations and struggling with a tough schedule. It doesn’t get much easier next season with both national championship game participants, Clemson and Alabama, on the schedule, plus a trip to Georgia.
  5. Projects coming up for William Brice Stadium Supposed to happen after 2019 season -95000 sq ft fan amenity space -Crews building renovations -Work underneath south stands -New loge seating area in southwest corner -West 100 level renovations -Renovations and structural expansion of the east club 400 level
  6. Muschamp and TRob could they make some adjustments on defense from the "buck" as a big part of the pass-rush to a more 4-3 base because of the DL personnel available. Looking at the proven and emerging guys at DL, I wonder if the "best players on the field" philosophy might help us shore up our weaknesses at linebacker. Here's my thinking: At DT, the Gamecocks can have a very talented 2 deep with bodies to spare. Kinlaw, Belk, Sandidge, and Kier Thomas provide a solid 2 deep with some rest when needed. The coaches are pleased with Inagbare as a swing player and think highly of Tyreek Johnson when healthy. Also have four more experienced scholarship tackles who might step-up during the off-season. At DE, I think the Gamecocks could see Thomas and Inagbare against teams that run on them, and Sterling and Fennell or B Johnson used against passing threats. That would allow DJ Wonnum to play LB on the strong side (he can tackle and cover tight ends) if the Gamecocks are getting gashed, and Buck when they can use extra pass rush. That puts Brunson at MLB with some needed relief from R Louis. The weak side can be manned by Greene (if he steps it up), Jones, and Staley. Backup at strong side LB could have B Johnson, Greene, and maybe Fennell. Coming in, Gamecocks will have Pickens, Anderson, and Fitten (more buck/olb sized), all good-looking DE prospects. Add Devante Davis, a big DE, Boykins (a solid OLB), and Brown (likely needing to thicken). The Gamecocks already play some 4-3, but couldn't stop the run this year. Much of it was caused by weak second-level play. A lot of poor tackling in space coupled with missed assignments and getting blocked too easily which put Gamecocks in bad shape on second and third down. Gamecock safeties got banged-up making tackles they shouldn't have had to make. It seems a shame to have better players watching while the 2nd and third level are both outplayed and worn down. If they use 2 of this year's bucks to push and relieve on the second level next year, Gamecocks should find the whole group improved. I think they could try DJ and B Johnson or Fennell back there and still have a formidable 4 up front. Wonnum, Johnson, and TJ Brunson can all blitz if appropriate and needed. With the quick passing and mobile quarterbacks we face, Ganecocks have to boost there second level a bunch or keep bleeding away games.
  7. Blast from the past: Sparky Woods is back (on USC’s schedule) January 10, 2019 THE STATE Veteran South Carolina fans might recognize one of North Carolina’s coaches when the Gamecocks and Tar Heels meet on Aug. 31 in the 2019 season opener. Sparky Woods, South Carolina’s head coach from 1989 to 1993, has joined UNC head coach Mack Brown’s staff, according to FootballScoop.com. The website did not say what position Woods will fill. The Tar Heels have announced eight of Brown’s 10 assistant coach hires but not Woods’ hiring. Woods, a 40-year coaching veteran, has been the head coach at South Carolina, Appalachian State and VMI. The 65-year-old also has served as an assistant coach at Virginia, Mississippi State, Alabama, Memphis and Richmond, where he served last year as running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator. The Gamecocks were 24-28-3 during Woods’ tenure, which included the school joining the SEC in 1992. Woods was replaced by Brad Scott. Name Yrs. W-L-T 1. W. A. Whaley 1896 1-3-0 2. W.P. Murphy 1897 0-3-0 3. W. Wertenbaker 1898 1-2-0 4. I. O. Hunt 1899-1900 6-6-0 5. B. W. Dickson 1901 3-4-0 6. C. R. Williams 1902-03 14-3-0 7. Christie Benet 1904-05, 08-09 13-16-3 8. Douglas McKay 1907 3-0-0 9. John H. Neff 1910-11 5-8-2 10. N. B. Edgerton 1912-15 19-13-3 11. Rice Warren 1916 2-7-0 12. Dixon Foster 1917, 1919 4-12-1 13. Frank Dobson 1918 2-1-1 14. Sol Metzger 1920-24 26-18-2 15. Branch Bocock 1925-26 13-7-0 16. Harry Lightsey 1927 4-5-0 17. Billy Laval 1928-34 39-26-6 18. Don McCallister 1935-37 13-20-1 19. Rex Enright 1938-42, 46-55 64-69-7 20. J. P. Moran 1943 5-2-0 21. William Newton 1944 3-4-2 22. Johnnie McMillan 1945 2-4-3 23. Warren Giese 1956-60 28-21-1 24. Marvin Bass 1961-65 17-29-4 25. Paul Dietzel 1966-74 42-53-1 26. Jim Carlen 1975-81 45-36-1 27. Richard Bell 1982 4-7-0 28. Joe Morrison 1983-88 39-28-2 29. Sparky Woods 1989-93 24-28-3 30. Brad Scott 1994-98 23-32-1 31. Lou Holtz 1999-2004 33-37-0 32. Steve Spurrier 2005-15 86-49-0 33. Shawn Elliott 2015 1-5 34. Will Muschamp 2106-present 22-17
  8. Can Jake Bentley hold off Ryan Hilinski, break records in 2019? December 23, 2018 THE STATE The most talked-about quarterback on South Carolina’s football team of the past week is not the one who will start the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29. Not the one who is second in school history in single-season touchdown passes this year with 27. Not the one who is 47 yards away from throwing for 3,000 this year and the fourth person in school history to surpass 7,000 career yards. That person is junior Jake Bentley. The quarterback everyone wants to talk about is four-star Ryan Hilinski, who signed with the Gamecocks on Wednesday and will be Bentley’s teammate next season as long as Bentley chooses to return for his senior season. “All the hype leaves once you get here. He understands that,” Bentley said of Hilinski. “I’m not trying to throw any shade on anyone, but that’s the way it is. When you get here you have to work, and he understands that. That’s just the type of kid he is. I am excited to get him here and teach him all I can about ball.” Bentley has learned quite a bit about the subject this year, he said. In the first four games of the year, he averaged 232 yards per game with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. After missing the Missouri game due to a knee injury, he returned to average 289 yards per game with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in the final seven regular season games. He will lead the Gamecocks (7-5) against Virginia (7-5) in the Belk Bowl in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. “I think I’m more knowledgeable in the game,” Bentley said. “I think this year I learned a lot about leadership and the mindset that it takes to win games and not getting too high or too low and just staying even keeled and respond to situations the same way each and every time. I think that’s the biggest difference in me, to be able to respond the right way in any situation.” Bentley has indicated he plans to return for his senior season rather than jumping to the NFL. If he returns, he’ll be within reach of the team’s two biggest career passing marks – yards (Todd Ellis is No. 1 at 9,953; Bentley has 7,167) and touchdowns (Steve Taneyhill is No. 1 with 62; Bentley has 54). “I feel like the game is slowing down for him,” junior wide receiver Bryan Edwards said. “Toward the end of the year he really started getting in the groove. You could tell he was sharp. He was making great decisions.” He is 19-12 as South Carolina’s starter and needs nine more wins to pass Connor Shaw (27 wins) as the all-time winningest quarterback in school history. The personal achievements are “cool and all, and I think I will probably appreciate it more down the road,” Bentley said. “But our team goals we have not accomplished and that’s what’s most important. That’s kind of what eats at me. I have to do whatever it takes to try to accomplish those. Personal goals will come if you match them up with the team goals. That’s just the mindset that everyone has.”
  9. In maybe Gamecocks’ best defensive performance, USC freshman shows his potential December 05, 2018 THE STATE It is inarguable the Akron Zips are among the worst offensive teams in college football. It’s also factual the South Carolina Gamecocks held that team, one that ranked 126th in the country in yards per play, to its second-worst offensive day. This came despite the USC being devastated by injuries all across the defense. And it came in part because of true freshman Kingsley “J.J.” Enagbare playing an old and new position, The first-year defensive lineman delivered far and away his best performance of the year against the Zips. He had his first career sack only a few plays into the first Zips drive and closed with six tackles, twice as many as his previous career high. “JJ Played a fantastic game,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said. “Really got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. First third-down rush was outstanding.” Enagbare added another tackle for loss and a trio of quarterback hurries. It brought his season total to 17 tackles. And it came while playing slightly out of position. He came to South Carolina listed as a bigger defensive end, but quickly the Gamecocks coaches aimed to make him a tackle. He bulked up to 285 pounds, and opened the year as the No. 4 player in the interior rotation. For the season, there were ups and down, being throwing into the grinder of SEC line play. He and fellow freshman Rick Sandidge played a good amount, especially as attrition hammered the Gamecocks up front. By the time Saturday rolled around, he was chipping in at defensive end because of the number of bodies lost. In doing so, he impressed his coaches. “JJ is very active,” Muschamp said. “He’s really instinctive on blocks. “He creates some issues for you. He’s got good length and good athleticism and change of direction. He’s going to be a really good football player.” How he fits in the puzzle next season is going to be interesting, as USC will be flush with depth. Talented junior Javon Kinlaw announced he won’t go to the draft, and veterans Keir Thomas and Kobe Smith also have another season. Those three, Enagbare, Sandidge, former four-star and Clemson transfer Josh Belk, who played sparingly while getting his weight down give USC six options on the inside alone, and that’s before considering incoming five-star freshman Zacch Pickens, who likely ends up inside, and any other tackles that come in. But in a sense, that’s what the Gamecocks coaches want. They had to throw three freshmen into the fire, and might just see the payoff. “They’ve plays a lot of football for us,” Muschamp said. “There’ve been some growing pains, but we’ll benefit from it.”
  10. Defense is really bad due to being utterly decimated by injuries, but a lot of young kids are getting some great experience, and our offense is playing great against one of the best defenses in the country. The effort is there, and from a coaching perspective, it's starting to look more and more like Muschamp and co. knows how to compete against Clemson. I'm enjoying this one for the first time in a while. I'm excited to see a healthy defense next year which will have some depth due to the experience that the young players have gotten this year, and an offense that returns most of its players. Add in a solid recruiting class, the fact that Clemson loses their entire D-line starters, more good news Gamecocks have a bye week before Clemson to prepare next year, and it's at Williams-Brice, and I'm predicting a much more competitive game next year. It's been a disappointing year in terms of losing the big games, and the Gamecocks could've rocked the world-beating UF and Clemson if not for a massive slew of defensive injuries, but it's been a solid rebuilding year nevertheless. Next year may just be the year The Gamecocks beat them. Next year is a big opportunity for this program to take a major step forward, and I think they will finally have the depth and experience to do it.
  11. ESPN analyst breaks out rant after caller questions Will Muschamp’s job security Sept. 11, 2018 When the rant begins with former Alabama QB and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy alluding to looking for a new job, it’s probably going to be good. And it all started with a caller questioning South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp. On an ESPNU radio show, McElroy was posed a question from a caller, the kind that’s not uncommon after a dispiriting loss like Saturday’s 41-17 defeat to No. 3 Georgia. “Is it time to start thinking about getting rid of Will Muschamp?” After declaring he might need to find a new line of work, McElroy just went after the question. “If you think that Will Muschamp should be released and relieved of his duties after what he’s done with an absolutely abysmal roster the last two years, it’s remarkable,” McElroy said. “Absolutely remarkable to me. Like, that is the most short-sighted thing I have ever heard on this program.” Muschamp’s Gamecocks have outperformed expectations in back-to-back seasons, winning six and then nine games. His team came into 2018 with a lot of hype and after rallying from a bad start agasint the Bulldogs, let UGA run away with things early in the third quarter. Georgia is coming off a 13-2 season in which it was one defensive stop from winning a national title. And McElroy’s tirade wasn’t over. “Will Muschamp has achieved more in two seasons than anyone could have ever projected, and that includes people associated with the South Carolina program,” McElroy said. “Like it is remarkable what they’ve been able to do in a short period of time. Are they contending for championships now? No. Are they likely to in the next couple of years? Probably not because Georgia just happens to be in their division. But my goodness. At what point do you recognize and appreciate where you are as compared to striving for more. I’m not saying you should give up all hope of trying to win a championship someday, heck no! But to get there in such a short period of time is not easy, and with the roster that he inherited, to be where they’re at is remarkable.”. THE STATE
  12. This analyst has a bold prediction for USC in 2018. Fans might love it or hate it July 16, 2018 ATLANTA - College football analyst Chuck Oliver doesn’t believe South Carolina can beat Georgia or Clemson this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s not high on the Gamecocks. “What do I expect of them after they lose Week 2 to Georgia?” Oliver asked Monday on the opening day of SEC Media Days. “I honestly expect they could win every other game except Clemson, and it would surprise me if they don’t win every other game other than Clemson.” Oliver, an Atlanta sports radio host and longtime college football analyst, thinks the Gamecocks could finish with as many as 11 wins in head coach Will Muschamp’s third season. “You tell a South Carolina fan they are going to finish with nine or 10 regular season wins and then you’re playing one of those really good bowl games, maybe you’re in Miami, maybe you’re in Atlanta, maybe you’re in one of those New Year’s Six bowls, folks that’s not nothing, especially for a head coach who recruits a state where there just aren’t players,” Oliver said. The difference in the Gamecocks and their SEC East rival Bulldogs at the moment is on the line of scrimmage, Oliver said. “It’s still about the big ’uns up front and even though you’ve got some grown men, some upperclassmen, (D.J.) Wonnum is a ball player, on the offense from center all the way out to left tackle, grown men, experienced, returning starters, they are not on the same level as Georgia yet,” he said. “And in a ferociously competitive conference like the SEC, it’s still about moving people around the field every Saturday. I don’t think they are deep enough or talented enough to beat Georgia even in Week 2 before depth really rears its ugly head, and they don’t play the same game Clemson does, but there truly isn’t anybody else on that schedule that I will say they will be overmatched. Danny Sheridan, an analyst and handicapper for USA Today, last week predicted USC would win eight games at most in the upcoming season, and likely only seven. Missouri has a better chance than USC to win the SEC in 2018, according to odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Oliver is more bullish on the Gamecocks’ chances this year. “The needle is pointing north and he’s getting the talent level improved all across that roster,” Oliver said.
  13. Connor Shaw: This year's Gamecocks will 'shock a lot of people' June 30, 2018 Coming off a bowl win and with several key players returning, South Carolina fans are expecting big things from this year’s team. You can add Connor Shaw to that group. The former Gamecock quarterback and current Furman assistant coach is hoping for a big season from his alma mater, which went 9-4 including a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl last year. “I think they will shock a lot of people,” Shaw said Saturday. “We had high expectations in the four years we were there and that is what is supposed to be. Hopefully, they will build on that. Coach Muschamp has done a great job of getting the right people in the building to do that.” Shaw was back at USC on Saturday as part of the All-Pro Dad event at the Jerri and Steve Spurrier practice facility. USC starting quarterback Jake Bentley was one of the volunteers at the event. Shaw reiterated his praise for Bentley, who he talked about last week on the Paul Finebaum Show. The winningest QB in USC history raved about Bentley’s maturity and leadership skills in his first two years as the team’s signal caller. Shaw also had high praise for the USC receiving group around Bentley, which includes a healthy Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards, Shi and OrTre Smith. He said the group is probably the Gamecocks’ best since when he played at the school with the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Bruce Ellington, Ace Sanders and Damiere Byrd. “There was a lot of guys around me that are all over the NFL field right now that made me look a lot better than I was,” Shaw said. “B-Mac (offensive coordinator) and coach Muschamp will do a great job of getting the ball in the right people’s hands and they will execute it well. “Coach Muschamp is a great person who values, people and relationships and obviously is a quality football coach. He has done a great job in the transition and building the culture of South Carolina football.”
  14. Jake Bentley talks facing UGA's Jake Fromm in Week 2 June 30, 2018 College quarterbacks are eager to help out at the Manning Passing Academy not only for the opportunity to learn from one of football’s most iconic families, the Mannings, but also to talk shop and bond with their peers, fellow college football signal-callers. South Carolina QB Jake Bentley considers two of his fellow SEC quarterbacks, Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, friends. He told Paul Finebaum that the three bonded at the Manning Passing Academy. “Me and Jarrett Stidham and Jake Fromm, we really hung out all four days we were down there,” Bentley said. “We’re all so close because you go through the same issues and same experiences throughout your college careers so there is a lot of stuff we can relate to.” Bentley recognizes that he and Fromm won’t be quite as friendly when Week 2 of the season rolls around with the Bulldogs coming to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks. “We kind of say what’s up to each other before the game and maybe speak to each other after the game, but really during the game (and week) there is not much talking,” Bentley said. “I’m sure he’s not rooting for me and I’m not trying to root for him. We want to go out there and win the game just like any other quarterback around the country wants to. There is a mutual respect for each other, but when it’s in between the lines all bets are off and it’s time to play ball.” Bentley and Fromm, along with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and others, are part of an increasing number of young quarterbacks able to step in and thrive as true freshmen. He told Finebaum that he credits high school coaches. “I think it’s a testament to high school coaches around the country,” he said. “I know my coach, Coach Blackmon at Opelika, was a great football coach that really taught me a lot and prepared me for college.” Interestingly enough, Blackmon is now on staff at Auburn. The full segment from “The Paul Finebaum Show” with Bentley can be seen here . SDS
  15. Pharoh Cooper, Melvin Ingram rave about job Will Muschamp is doing at South Carolina June 24, 2018 The South Carolina Gamecocks are a rising power in the SEC East, and while they still have to prove they can beat Georgia, coach Will Muschamp has them moving in the right direction. During a celebrity basketball game on Friday, a number of former Gamecock greats were back in town, and GamecockCentral.com asked them to weigh in on Muschamp’s first two years at the helm of the South Carolina program. Pharoh Cooper, a current Los Angeles Rams receiver and return man who made the Pro Bowl in 2017, said he likes the new attitude the Gamecocks have: Melvin Ingram, a Pro Bowl defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers, echoed Cooper’s praise, crediting Muschamp for doing a great job overall: Expectations will be high in Columbia this season, so the pressure will be on Muschamp to lead the Gamecocks to another great record. He has plenty of fans in the former of Gamecock legends, though. SDS
  16. High expectations for the Gamecocks? That's the way it should be, Connor Shaw says June 24, 2018 A nine-win season followed by a red-hot streak on the recruiting trail has ramped up the buzz surrounding South Carolina football. To Connor Shaw, these times are starting to be reminiscent of the not-so-distant past. The former Gamecocks quarterback appeared on the Paul Finebaum Show on Friday afternoon and was asked for his take on the state of the program he starred for from 2010-2013. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Will Muschamp," Shaw said. "He’s done a great job of getting a lot of kids in the building to fit their needs in the right system. He’s put together a great staff and good people. "I think he’s done a great job in the few years that he’s been there. I think they’ll continue to stack on that. " USC's 9-4 record in 2017 was its best since Shaw's 2,447 yards and 24 touchdowns helped the Gamecock go 11-2 in 2013. The then-senior finished his career by taking Outback Bowl MVP honors. That ended a four-year run under Steve Spurrier in which Carolina went 42-11. The 2018 Gamecocks return a number of notable players, including quarterback Jake Bentley and receiver Deebo Samuel. "If they can stay healthy next year, Jake’s got some weapons coming back like Deebo," Shaw said. “They’ve done a great job of recruiting. And (Muschamp's) got the locker room, honestly, pretty similar to the way we had when we had a great four-year run. “So there’s going to be a lot of high expectations coming out of Columbia, South Carolina. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” Bentley, a rising junior, has started 20 games in garnet and black, throwing for 3,975 yards and 25 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. Shaw entered his junior season with 1,671 career passing yards with 15 TDs to eight picks. “I think the most impressive thing about Jake is just his maturity level and his leadership skills at such a young age," Shaw said. "Gosh, you watch him play and you forget that he’s only played for two years in the SEC. THE STATE
  17. The top Year 3 questions for Will Muschamp, South Carolina January 03, 2018 Now comes the hard part for South Carolina’s Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks second-year coach has proven – at Florida and South Carolina – that he can quickly turn a struggling team into a winning one. He led the Gamecocks from three victories in 2015 to a 9-4 mark after their 26-19 comeback win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. The unknown is whether Muschamp can build off the good vibes and keep the Gamecocks rising in the Southeastern Conference. Two years after leading the Gators to an 11-win season and a Sugar Bowl berth, Muschamp after Florida went a combined 11-13 in 2013 and 2014. South Carolina went 5-3 in SEC play, also its best mark since Spurrier’s time when it was 6-2 in 2013. The Gamecocks return most key contributors from this year’s success, particularly quarterback Jake Bentley. Things to watch during the offseason at South Carolina: NEW OC One of Muschamp’s biggest tasks will be finding a new play caller to replace fired offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper. Roper was with Muschamp for his final season at Florida and both years at South Carolina, where the offense underachieved. The Gamecocks were 12th in SEC scoring, up from 13th in Muschamp’s first season. Wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon called plays in the Outback Bowl and is a candidate for the job. Muschamp, though, might want to look elsewhere for a coordinator who can jazz up an offense that scored just 24 points a game. NO MOORE The Gamecocks will need to find a replacement for one of the program’s all-time greats in linebacker Skai Moore . The senior returned from a neck injury to lead the team in tackles for a fourth season, something only 15 NCAA Division I players have done. Moore also tied the team’s career mark with 14 interceptions. T.J. Brunson should be the spotlight linebacker next season as a junior. HURST GONE Tight end Hayden Hurst, the 24-year-old who played pro baseball before joining South Carolina, is off to the NFL draft, meaning the Gamecocks will lose one of their most reliable pass catchers and best blocker at the position. Hurst was second on the Gamecocks with 44 catches this season. REINFORCEMENTS South Carolina will be bolstered by the return of a couple of injured players who seemed tagged for the NFL draft earlier this season. Receiver Deebo Samuel had six touchdowns, including two kickoff return scores, before fracturing a bone in his leg in a loss to Kentucky on Sept. 16. The junior said earlier this season he’d be back for his senior year. Starting linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams hurt his shoulder and week later and did not play again. Like Samuel, Allen-Williams said he’d come back in 2018.
  18. Jake Bentley excited to get started on goal of winning the SEC East September 07, 2017 The South Carolina Gamecocks picked up a huge win in Week 1, taking down the NC State Wolfpack 35-28 in Charlotte. However, that game didn’t count in the SEC East standings, so this weekend’s game at Mizzou is even more important. During an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” South Carolina QB Jake Bentley said the Gamecocks are excited for Saturday’s game because they can get started on trying to win the SEC East: “It’s a big game for us,” he said. “Our goal every year is to beat the East and win the state. This is the first step toward accomplishing winning the East. It’s a big game for us. We’re going to prepare the same way we did last week with the same mindset and the same focus.” The Gamecocks will face a Mizzou team that allowed nearly 500 yards of total offense to FCS opponent Missouri State last weekend, so Bentley and the South Carolina offense may have a field day. However, QB Drew Lock and the Tigers’ offense scored 72 points and had more than 800 yards of total offense of their own, so this weekend’s game could quickly turn into a shootout.
  19. Gary Danielson: South Carolina’s Jake Bentley is the best QB in the SEC Sept 07, 2017 CBS analyst Gary Danielson has seen a lot of football over years, so his opinion should should carry some weight — even his latest review of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley. “I rate Jake Bentley the No. 1 QB in the SEC,” Danielson said on the Paul Finebaum show. “Every time I watch him play I’m so impressed by his maturity.” As good as Bentley has been in college, he hasn’t shown up on many top quarterback lists so far. Last season, as a freshman, he played in seven games, completing 65.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,420 yards. He added nine touchdowns and four picks. In the season opener against North Carolina State, he was good but not great in the Gamecocks’ upset win, throwing for 215 yards, three scores and an interception while completing 17 of 29 passes (58 percent). With that said, the SEC’s stable of quarterbacks is largely unproven. Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, Florida’s Feleipe Franks and LSU’s Danny Etling all have major question marks, and the slew of other quarterbacks across the conference are no different. SECCOUNTRY

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