Will Muschamp will be the third South Carolina football coach Doc Holliday has faced in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Marshall’s veteran leader has been in this business since he was a graduate assistant at West Virginia in 1979. He was in charge of the Mountaineer receivers in 1990 when the Sparky Woods-led Gamecocks beat WVU, 29-10, in Columbia. Twenty-five years later, Holliday was on Florida’s staff when the Steve Spurrier-led Gamecocks beat the Gators, 30-22, at WBS. The same venue hosted the same coaches in 2007 when Tim Tebow and Florida topped Carolina, 51-31.
In other words, Holliday has a good feel for what the Thundering Herd is getting into Saturday.
“I remember they weren’t winning that many games down there for a period of time and they still sold out every game,” Holliday recalled Tuesday during a news conference in Huntington, West Virginia. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in there – I was there once with Florida and a couple times prior to that – it didn’t matter if they were 0-8 or 9-5, they showed up.
“And it’s a loud venue, it’s a fun venue.”
The Herd (2-0) and Gamecocks (1-1) are scheduled for a 7:30 kickoff Saturday evening. The visit is MU’s first to an SEC stadium under Holliday.
Marshall trips to Power 5 venues over Holliday’s nine years include Ohio State (2010), West Virginia (2011-12), Louisville (2011), Purdue (2012), Virginia Tech (2013), Pittsburgh (2016) and N.C. State (2017). The Herd went 1-7 in those games, with the lone victory coming over the Teddy Bridgewater-led Cardinals.
“Our kids enjoy those venues,” Holliday said. “And you should. I tell them from the time they’re just little kids, they dream about playing in venues like that on a national state, on national TV or whatever. That’s just an opportunity that they’re going to have and they’re excited about that.”
MU’s been on the road once in 2018, coming away with a 35-28 win before 15,827 spectators at Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 1. It hosts N.C. State next week.
Here are some more notable quotes from Marshall’s coach ahead of Saturday’s clash:
“(Jake) Bentley, their quarterback, is a three-year starter. He’s tremendous. (Deebo) Samuel, some people think he’s one of the top receivers in the league. They got a good player at about every position.” – Holliday on USC’s roster
“You watch that Georgia team, nobody runs the ball against Georgia. South Carolina was a little different in that game. They threw it 40-some times. They had almost 40-plus plays in the first half against Georgia, which is a little unusual. And they tried with some empty stuff, came out and did some things a little bit different. They threw it around a little bit.” – Holliday on USC’s offensive performance, which included just 54 rushing yards, in the 41-17 loss to Georgia
“If you’re in the SEC and you’re playing the Alabamas, the Auburns and all those people in that league, you better have a good player in every position or you’ll get exposed. And they do. … Will’s done a great job there. He’s probably ahead of schedule of where he thought he would be at this point, winning nine games a year ago. He’s done a great job there. He’s got good players and they’re well-coached.”– Holliday on USC’s progress under Muschamp