The grind of a football season faces forward almost entirely.
True a team such as South Carolina reviews film the day after a game, but it’s not as much about big-picture self-study as it is short-term review and improvement for the next week. By Tuesday afternoon, players are on to the next game, and coaches have long since turned their attention to that.
So when the regular season season ends, there’s a chance for a team to pause and review what is done and how it’s done.
“We'll have some time as a staff for quality control work,” Gamecock coach Will Muschamp said. “Study ourselves a little bit, some things that we know we need to improve on.”
Quality control isn’t exactly a precise term in football, but it’s ubiquitous from college to the pros. It’s about analysis and breakdown, taking a closer look to glean some extra level of understanding about an opponent or one’s own team.
Muschamp’s staff is getting some time because a dead period in recruiting started Monday and runs through Jan 11, and practice won’t resume until Thursday before the Birmingham Bowl. They’ll be able to sit, study and digest what they did across 12 games in the season and see what comes out of it.
The Gamecocks made strides in terms of Muschamp’s defensive vision, even as the coach admitted repeatedly the talent wasn’t there to allow much margin for error. The offense showed moments, but the first six games were mostly a slog, and two of the final three games went poorly on the road against high-talent defenses.
So with a break, USC’s coaches will be able to take a breath and assess how they’ve gone about things.
“We'll have probably 3-4 days as a staff, once we get off the road,” Muschamp said. “Go through some things that we need to do better in the run game and the throwing game, whatever it is. Obviously in all phases, we’ve got tremendous improvements to make.”