To some, Deebo Samuel’s absence from South Carolina’s third game of the season against East Carolina came as a surprise when they saw him in shorts on the Gamecocks’ sideline. The cause those didn’t. The same hamstring injury that kept Samuel out for most of 2015 seems to be lingering around again in 2016, but as for now it looks like it’ll only keep him out of one game.
Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp told reporters Tuesday afternoon Samuel’s strength has improved since last week, and as of now expects the much-needed playmaker out there against the Wildcats in Lexington Saturday night.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for linebacker Larenz Bryant, but there is movement in the right direction in getting him back on the field.
“Right now, because of our depth, we’re working to get him back. He is running, and he has look actually decent in practice this morning. He didn’t practice; he was with our injured group, but he’s a guy that we’re hoping to get back in the next couple weeks.”
As for some of the other Gamecocks playmakers on offense who carried the way in Samuel’s absence, Muschamp had all positives for guys like newly anointed starting quarterback Brandon McIlwain and junior ball carrier David Williams.
“I’ve seen the same guy (McIlwain) since he’s been on campus. He continues to improve every day and attacks the day the way you want as a quarterback at South Carolina.”
Reports broke this week that Williams initiated a face-to-face with Muschamp prior to the ECU game after not seeing a snap of action against Mississippi St., and it’s paying off for now.
“I think he ran as hard as he’s run since we’ve been here. But it’s about consistency in your performance. We don’t need to be one-hit wonders around here. We need to do it consistently well all the time.”
We’ve seen the flashes from Williams in his three years, but like Muschamp and the offensive staff, haven’t found the consistency. Hopefully the third-year back can build off of last Saturday and spark a similar performance against the cats.
Other notes from Muschamp’s presser included:
- His current and lasting friendship with Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops and OC Eddie Gran
- His team’s preparations for a two QB look in Drew Barker and Stephon Johnson
- The improved offensive line play out of his unit against the Pirates
The entire 30 minute session can be viewed below.