USC Gamecocks Football

How South Carolina had already started planning for Alabama

What Coach Muschamp said about Hilinski, 72-10 win over Charleston Southern

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp speaks Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, after the Gamecocks' win over Charleston Southern.
Up Next
South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp speaks Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, after the Gamecocks' win over Charleston Southern.

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp is adamant each game that he doesn’t want his team looking ahead to the week after. That’s even if his team is facing an FCS team it could overwhelm — like, say, Charleston Southern — and if it has a national title contender — like, say, Alabama the week after.

But even if the players are told not to think about that, Muschamp’s staff already has.

“We game-plan our first four every summer,” Muschamp said. “Obviously there will be some changes. Sure they’ve got a new offensive coordinator. They’ll do what they do. But there’ll be some new wrinkles and additions that we’ll prepare for.”

After a 72-10 demolition of the Buccaneers, the Gamecocks get a Crimson Tide squad led by a Heisman finalist and an offense that averaged 45.6 points per game last season. The defense is perpetually loaded with NFL guys, and Nick Saban has never lost to one of his proteges, a tribe Muschamp is a part of.

The Tide, which has 10 losses in the past five years, did turn over a few spots, with Steve Sarkisian returning from the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and replacing Mike Locksley at the helm of the offense. Co-OC Josh Gattis also left for Michigan.

“We watched a lot of Falcons film from that,” Muschamp said. “So we always take a hard look at our first four in the summer and the spring, the summer going into fall camp to give you ideas of different things you want to work on and look at.”

The Gamecocks project to be underdogs by at least 20 points, maybe into the high 20s or low 30s.

Despite the plan the coaches put in place, the players didn’t hear of it.

Alabama recruited Gamecocks corner Jaycee Horn heavily, but he said he felt more comfortable in Columbia. He said the subject of the Tide, a game circled by fans for the whole offseason, wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

“We haven’t really talked about ‘Bama,” Horn said.

And they get a little more time before they do, but not much.

“It’s the 24-hour rule,” quarterback Dakereon Joyner said. “Enjoy this tonight, a little bit tomorrow and get to work.”

NEXT

Who: Alabama at South Carolina

When: 3:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 14

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia

TV: CBS

  Comments