The South Carolina Gamecocks are looking to put a tough road loss to Texas A&M behind them as they return to Columbia to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. The team had its traditional media availability on Tuesday morning, and here are the highlights.
Today's common word from players: reset. Jake Bentley says: 'Muschamp has expressed how important this game is.'— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) October 3, 2017
Arkansas is a team that has seen plenty of its own struggles, so this is a good opportunity for a bounce back performance. It’s also critically important to secure a win if South Carolina doesn’t want to be sitting at home during bowl season — but no pressure or anything.
The offense is fine. Really!
Jake Bentley says no plans for major change to offense/approach/plays: 'We have to execute the plays that we have.'— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) October 3, 2017
I suppose Bentley isn’t totally off the mark, because yes, execution is important. It’s also true that at this point in the season, what you’ve seen is probably what you’ll get from the Gamecocks. Nonetheless, it’s not exactly thrilling to hear that the staff doesn’t feel compelled to revisit their vision for the offense.
Muschamp: We have a very competent offensive staff and a very competent offensive coordinator. We need to be more productive.— David Cloninger (@DCPandC) October 3, 2017
“Very competent” is an interesting choice of compliment here, both because Kurt Roper’s efficacy has been cast in doubt of late and because it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Noting that South Carolina’s offense needs to be more productive might also be the understatement of the year.
Muschamp: Is it where we want to be? No. It's not productive enough. Got to find a balance within what USC does. Get the ball on the perimeter more.— David Cloninger (@DCPandC) October 3, 2017
This is a little more encouraging, though. The Gamecocks have a definite lack of balance right now with the absence of a running game. Working on the perimeter and the edges was an approach that really helped South Carolina last season, which is why it’s been odd that we haven’t seen it much in 2017.
Deebo is still out of the picture.
Muschamp on Deebo's possible return: "We are still weeks away from that. I just told those guys if he gets close, let me know."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) October 3, 2017
This should hardly come as a surprise, but South Carolina’s all-everything star remains on the shelf with his lower leg injury. Muschamp did add that Samuel is out of a cast and into a walking boot now, so that’s a plus.
But there’s some good injury news!
Will Muschamp considers Zack Bailey, Cory Helms, Malik Young and Terry Googer all day-to-day.— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) October 3, 2017
Getting even one of those three linemen back could make a big difference for the Gamecocks’ offense, especially if Bailey can go. It’s also a relief to hear Googer is doing well after his scary injury against Texas A&M.
And finally, nothing but nice things to say about a former Gamecock.
Will Muschamp says David Williams was 'a first class citizen on and off the field.'— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) October 3, 2017
The running back transferred to Arkansas in the offseason, where he’s enjoyed some modest success and more snaps than he likely would have seen at South Carolina. While the move seems to have worked out for everyone so far, Gamecock fans can only hope Williams doesn’t channel Kenny Irons on Saturday.