Josh Kendall

Optimism abounds around Gamecocks after win over Vols

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp has been impressed for much of the season with his players’ ability to ignore all the skepticism about their program. Now, he’s going to see if they can handle all the optimism.

The Gamecocks have been the social media flavor of the week in college football since beating Tennessee 24-21 last week. ESPN host Kirk Herbstreit named South Carolina his top performing team of the week.

“South Carolina’s Jake Bentley at QB + RB Rico Dowdle + WR Bryan Edwards = one of nation’s best true freshman trios. Muschamp knows talent,” tweeted Barton Simmons, director of scouting for

SEC Network host Peter Burns tweeted more of the same: “What a performance by South Carolina & Jake Bentley. Made all the plays they needed to make. Nice win to build future of Muschamp’s program.”

So Saturday against Missouri the Gamecocks will learn if they can handle praise as well as poor-mouthing.

“I think as a team you got to form some consistency before you can talk about being a consistent football team. And that’s what I harp on all the time with our players is our consistency in performance,” Muschamp said. “And it starts with practice and how you prepare, it starts with the film work, all of the things that you put in off the field to be a successful football player, which helps us to be a successful football team. I just think, again, you can’t talk about consistency unless you’ve done it, and we certainly haven’t done it.”