Josh Kendall

Can South Carolina pass the test that counts Saturday?

Will Muschamp has liked everything he’s seen from his 2017 South Carolina Gamecocks.

In practice.

“You have to do it on game day,” Muschamp said.

That comes Saturday against N.C. State, which is a four-point favorite in a game that will be played at 3 p.m. in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

“That’s when you’re measured,” Muschamp said. “It’s no different from practicing for an exam. You have to do well on the exam regardless of how well you did on the practice tests. We’ve had a bunch of practice tests so far. We have to do well on the exam.”

Muschamp thinks his second South Carolina team is a tight-knit group. He believes they’ve had a good camp. He likes being around them because of their work ethic. And he knows none of that will matter to Gamecocks fans on Saturday night if he’s headed home 0-1.

Muschamp learned that lesson the hard way at Florida, where he turned around the locker room but was fired after compiling a 28-21 record in four seasons. The reality of rebuilding a college football program, especially in the SEC, is that culture only counts if you’re winning.