“Y’all think it is Monday, but it is really Thursday,” stated Coach Muschamp during his 1 O’clock press conference this afternoon...And he is right! The Gamecocks are only 3 days away from the first kickoff of the 2016 football season. Here are some takeaways from this afternoon:
Muschamp is very knowledgeable of the team we will be facing in Nashville:
“...Zach Cunningham is a guy that jumps out at you when you watch the tape. When you watch them play, they’re fundamentally sound. They’re in the right spots. They’ve got good run box numbers. Coach Derek Mason just does a good job fundamentally with their guys.”
“They’ve got ten starters back, so, they are obviously pretty seasoned in what they are trying to do schematically.”
“Andy Ludwig is their offensive coordinator. Interesting background: he was more of a spread guy at Oregon and Utah, and was more ground and pound at Wisconsin. Now he is sort of a combination of the two at Vanderbilt. Looking at them and what they do schematically.
On Special Teams:
“There is a new coordinator on special teams, so we are a little uncertain about what exactly they’ll be there. As with all first ballgames, we will go in expecting anything and making sure your players are able to adjust.”
We still don’t know who will be Muschamp’s “go-to” QB, but we do know that he is comfortable with both:
Muschamp says the QBs will be able to go under center at times, i.e. short yardage. Said all QBs are comfortable in shotgun and under center— Kevin McCrarey (@KMacMustDie) August 29, 2016
And what about our running back situation?
- Larenz Bryant (LB) will still be out with hamstring injury
- Mon Denson (RB) will be out with knee injury
- Rico Dowdle (RB) out with a groin injury
- Kyle Markway (TE) is still recovering from his foot surgery
Other roster changes:
Christian Owens has decided to transfer, per Will Muschamp.— Kevin McCrarey (@KMacMustDie) August 29, 2016
Rico McWilliams has decided to give up football, per Will Muschamp.— Kevin McCrarey (@KMacMustDie) August 29, 2016
Muschamp is very pleased with our offensive line:
Knott will start at guard and could transition back to center, but Helms will start at center. Good to have multiple guys that can snap.— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) August 29, 2016
Tight ends are the most stable spot on offense. Four guys who all can play and produce. "They're really good for us." Muschamp says.— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) August 29, 2016
Muschamp also stated that having several seasoned players on the offensive line is a calming factor for the offense.
Coach was even asked for his opinion of the Kaepernick situation:
Muschamp said he would respect his player's rights, but as an American citizen he would be disappointed if they didn't stand during anthem.— Kevin McCrarey (@KMacMustDie) August 29, 2016
But here is the most important quote from the press conference:
Muschamp: I love game day.— Kevin McCrarey (@KMacMustDie) August 29, 2016
Also, Elliott Fry will continue to handle the kickoffs.
Here are some final thoughts from yours truly: It is impossible to listen to any interaction that Muschamp has with the media and not get a sense of how well he truly understands the game of football. When he talks about his game plan, he doesn’t just give a one or two word answer, he describes the type of research he has been doing to prepare our players. There are certainly a lot of unanswered questions regarding our roster and the upcoming season, but I can confidently say Muschamp will be the type of coach that can make the proper adjustments throughout the course of the season. Enjoy these few, precious days of hope we have right before the very first kickoff. At this moment, we have the same chances as any other team to make it to the playoffs. Although those chances may change after kickoff, I am excited to see how Muschamp and the Gamecocks will respond. THREE MORE DAYS PEOPLE!