Some South Carolina fans haven’t been shy about voicing their displeasure with senior cornerback Jamarcus King after the Gamecocks first game of the season, but USC head coach Will Muschamp said Thursday he was mostly pleased with King’s play in the first game of the season.
“He’s a guy that has played the deep ball extremely well throughout camp and made a lot of nice plays for us (against N.C. State) and should play better Saturday,” Muschamp said on his weekly “Carolina Calls” radio show.
Muschamp explained that he asks his defensive backs to be within arm’s length – or “in phase” in the coaching staff’s lingo. That’s on most throws, but it doesn’t work every time, he pointed out.
“What’s kind of hard is when people do throw back shoulder balls. You have to play through the receivers in those situations,” Muschamp said. “It’s something that is extremely easy to talk about. It’s something that’s extremely difficult to do. Jamarcus in my opinion could have played the ball two times better.”
Overall, Muschamp was very pleased with his team as it gets ready to face Missouri (1-0) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Columbia, Mo.
“We had a lot of things to address, but I told our team if you continue to play with the type of effort you are playing with and playing unselfish football, a lot of good things can happen for you,” Muschamp said.
Now it’s a matter of taking it on the road. The Gamecocks (1-0) were 1-4 in road games in Muschamp’s first season.
“We need to play better on the road than we have since I’ve been at South Carolina,” Muschamp said. “There are a lot of positives to gain from that game, No. 1 is confidence, for young players especially. It’s such a measuring stick when you play a really good team in the opener. You have to be ready Game 1.”
The injury news for the Gamecocks is mostly good. Freshman wide receiver Randrecous Davis (groin) will play for this first time this season after missing the first game due to injury.
“He can certainly contribute to our football team,” Muschamp said.
Freshman cornerback Tayvn Jackson (hamstring) won’t play.