USC Gamecocks Football

Weather will likely be wet for South Carolina-Marshall football. How USC is prepping

How USC is preparing for tropical weather, possible rainy game

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp speaks about the Marshall game and the threat of rain and tropical weather.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp speaks about the Marshall game and the threat of rain and tropical weather.

For the most part, Will Muschamp doesn’t seem all that worried that Hurricane Florence might cancel or delay South Carolina’s game against Marshall this Saturday.

But the Gamecocks coach is making preparations for his team on the field — he said Tuesday that USC will spend time Wednesday and Thursday practicing with wet footballs to simulate what will likely be rainy, slippery conditions.

Dipping footballs in water and practicing with them in anticipation of nasty forecasts is nothing new — teams in both the NFL and college have done so as recently as this week.

That practice could be especially important given the snapping issues USC had in Week 1 against Coastal Carolina; center Donell Stanley attributed his low and slow-paced snaps to quarterback Jake Bentley to moisture and sweat.

Stanley said he and the equipment staff had fixed the issue for the Georgia game without him needing to wear a glove, and the snaps in that contest did seem mostly better, but should the ball become soaked against Marshall, they will be under scrutiny again.

However, Muschamp indicated Tuesday that the team will not be using a wet ball for entire practices, as the unpredictable nature of hurricanes could result in Saturday’s game being fairly dry.

“These things, I’ve been through living in Gainesville, living in Baton Rouge, living in Austin, Texas ... you can’t ever predict, tell what kind of rain you’re gonna get, so we’ll have some periods with wet ball,” Muschamp said.

But the Gamecocks won’t have any edge over Marshall in that department — Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday said his team always takes one practice a week to work with wet footballs.

“Every Wednesday we have wet ball drills, regardless. We did that last Wednesday. We had somewhat wet balls Saturday night (against Eastern Kentucky), so that might help a little bit,” Holliday said. “But we’ll do that again on Wednesday, as we always do.”

The State’s Andrew Ramspacher contributed to this report.

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