South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is happy his team is opening up the season against a team like N.C. State, and he talked like the Gamecocks roster is mostly set with 10 days left before that game against the Wolfpack.
“Regardless of who you open up with it’s a long season,” Muschamp said Wednesday night on the first “Carolina Calls” radio program of the season on the school’s flagship radio station. “You don’t ever judge your season by one game. I think it’s always good to open against a league team or a team like N.C State because it brings your players a little more motivation. It’s extremely important for us to play at a high level.”
N.C. State is a six-point favorite in a game that will be played Sept. 2 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
“We have to do a great job in the state of North Carolina recruiting,” Muschamp said. “Going to Bank of America Stadium and playing in the Panthers home stadium is huge for us.”
South Carolina doesn’t have many starting spots left up for grabs heading into the game based on Muschamp’s comments. One that is is place-kicker, where freshmen Alex Woznick and Parker White still are battling to replace Elliott Fry.
“It’s not a situation of a lack of production from either guy,” Muschamp said. “They have put us in a great situation as coaches in choosing between two very talented young men who have both had good camps.”
In other news:
-- Muschamp said junior Michael Scarnecchia has earned the No. 2 quarterback spot. “Michael Scarnecchia is a guy I have been overly impressed with,” Muschamp said. “I told him I’ve got a lot faith in him. If he’s in the situation where he has to play, he will step in and play at a high level.”
-- Senior defensive back Chris Lammons seems like he has won the starting punt return job. “Chris Lammons has done very well for us there,” Muschamp said. “Rashad Fenton and Jam Williams figure in there, too, and Shi Smith has been repping in there some. We feel much better at that position than we did last year going into the season.”
-- Muschamp was pleased that four Gamecocks were selected to the coaches’ preseason All-SEC team, but thought junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel deserved more than a third-team selection. “He should be on the first team,” Muschamp said. “He’s an outstanding player. He’s got a lot of talent but he works hard too. He goes after it every single day, and that’s why he’s who he is.” Tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore were named to the first-team, while right tackle Zack Bailey joined Samuel on the third team.
-- The Gamecocks will begin installing their game plan for N.C. State the next time they return to the practice field, which will be Friday. South Carolina has practiced five times this preseason starting at 3 p.m., the same time as the N.C. State game will begin. “We are not going to wilt it at 3 p.m. in Charlotte,” Muschamp said.
-- Safety Steven Montac (foot) and wide receiver Randrecous Davis (groin) are questionable for the N.C. State game. Cornerback Tayvn Jackson (hamstring) is out.