Josh Kendall

The Achilles’ heel of the South Carolina offense

Muschamp: McIlwain, running ability what USC's offense needs

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp explains why Brandon McIlwain is now the Gamecocks' starting quarterback.
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South Carolina coach Will Muschamp explains why Brandon McIlwain is now the Gamecocks' starting quarterback.

Is South Carolina too easy to defend? That seems to be what head coach Will Muschamp was hinting at this week when he talked about the Gamecocks snap count.

“We have to do a better job of timing some things up as far as changing our cadence a little bit,” Muschamp said. Defenses “are timing a lot of things. It creates some issues in the run game because of that but with a freshman quarterback we are trying to simplify some things as much as possible.”

South Carolina turned over its offense completely to freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain last week in a 20-15 win over East Carolina. One of the downsides of that is it’s necessary to simplify some things with a first-year player at quarterback.

“We are in the early stages right now, we’re going to work through these stages,” Muschamp said. “As we continue to grow and mature offensively, (varying cadence) is something we are going to be able to do to give the defense some issues. (Defenses) won’t be able to do those sorts of things.”

If the defenses that face South Carolina indeed are able to anticipate the snap count, that could explain some of the struggles by the Gamecocks’ offensive line. South Carolina has given up 20 tackles-for-loss this season, the ninth-highest total in the SEC. Georgia, another team starting a true freshman quarterback, also has surrendered 20.

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