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Muschamp talks Kevin Harris, the offense’s identity, and more

A short press conference this week dove a little more into the offensive side of the ball ahead of Auburn.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Coach Will Muschamp met with the media to review the Gamecocks’ victory against Vanderbilt ahead of their matchup against No. 15 Auburn. The highlights:

On potentially capping the workload for running back Kevin Harris

“No, Kevin gets better as the game goes. I think some guys who are smaller backs that I’ve been around before, you gotta be careful with some of the hits they’re gonna be taking and the amount of touches that they have, but Kevin’s not one of those guys — and I don’t think any of our backs are that kind of guy.”

On the offense’s identity under new coordinator Mike Bobo

“I think we’re multiple in what we do. I think he presents issues — in my opinion, just in three games — formations, shifts, motions, out-leveraging you with those. He creates different tempos at the line of scrimmage and I think is very different, I would maybe say creative, in the running game each week in what you’ve gotta be able to defend as far as how he’s going to attack you. I think in the passing game, he presents some issues. Obviously, Shi’s been a very explosive player for us, Xavier’s had some moments and done some nice things, Nick Muse has been a guy that’s a threat in the middle of the field, especially last week, but he’s done it before in some other ball games. I think we gotta continue to bring some guys along in the pass lane and be a little more firm in our protections at times, so continue to progress. But I’ve seen improvement from Game 1 to Game 3. ... I think each week, Mike does a really good job creating issues for the defense.”

On the improvement of defensive back Cam Smith

“I think other than the quarterback position, in our defense, the corner position is probably the hardest position to play because you’re going to be caught in a lot of one-on-one situations and you either make the play or you don’t make the play, and there might be some hand contact down the field and a flag may get thrown. ... It’s also a position you need to learn from your mistakes, and I think Cam has. Continue to work at your craft, continue to come out to practice with the right mentality to improve and get better, and that’s what Cam’s done. He’s worked extremely hard — we normally practice our younger guys that maybe didn’t play as many snaps on Sundays, but Cam’s gone out and done one-on-one every night on Sundays against Jalen Brooks, against really good players, because he wants to get more turns and more reps, and you gotta compliment a guy on that.”

NOTES: No concern or worry on the Gamecocks side of things after Vanderbilt’s positive COVID tests forced the Commodores to postpone their game this week. ... Keir Thomas, Jaylin Dickerson, and Israel Mukuamu should be available for Auburn. ... The starter at right tackle is still undecided. ... Still no update on Jalen Brooks’ appeal process. ... The three players who opted out this season are still in school, and we’ll know if they intend to rejoin the team in January.