USC Gamecocks Football

What Muschamp, coaches gain the most when the Gamecocks scrimmage

How scrimmages benefit Gamecocks as they prepare for season

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains the benefits of scrimmages for the Gamecocks.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains the benefits of scrimmages for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina’s football team gets a double dose of scrimmage this weekend.

The plan was for the team to do a full scrimmage on Monday. But coach Will Muschamp said the team got in about 100 scrimmage snaps Saturday in a hybrid practice.

Some of his observations:

The coach said he was pleased with the No. 1 offense and defense, plus some core special-teamers, but needed more consistency beyond those groups.

No procedure issues.

Defensive back Keisean Nixon had a targeting penalty.

There was an SEC crew on hand Saturday. Other penalties were a hands to the face by a defensive lineman and one hold.

The offense scored on four consecutive possessions of red zone work.

Third downs were a point of emphasis as USC struggled there on both sides of the ball.

Muschamp said scrimmages are where a staff makes most of its evaluations and determine where players stand.

There’s a good reason for that last part.

“That’s the closest thing you can simulate to game day,” Muschamp said. “Coaches are off the field, the players are making decisions. They’re making decisions and choices every play, whether it’s key diagnosing or an offensive side or defensive side or special teams and the decisions they make on the field or the effort they play with, all the intangible qualities we talk about. Effort, toughness, discipline, team-first mentality and competing and earning every snap, none of those things take ability. You find out a lot about guys when you get off the field and they’ve got to play on their own.

“It’s the closest thing we can get to game day without 80,000 people being here.”

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp with an update on how the defensive backs are progressing ahead of the 2018 season.