What’s different for Bryan McClendon and USC’s offense?
Bryan McClendon doesn’t have a set number of plays he wants to run each game just “as many as possible.”
South Carolina’s new offensive coordinator enters his first spring practice in charge of the offense, and his most important marching order from head coach Will Muschamp is to increase the Gamecocks points and pace.
“It’s really simple, the more plays you run the more opportunities you get for yards and points,” McClendon said Wednesday after South Carolina completed its first practice of the spring. “You just get more at-bats, that’s the biggest thing.”
While South Carolina will try to mix up its tempo, the default setting will be fast, McClendon said.
“We’re going to try to keep snapping the ball and keep getting points, that’s the plan,” he said. “We want to be balanced and stay aggressive and be in attack mode as much as possible.”
McClendon called plays for the first time in his career in South Carolina’s 26-19 Outback Bowl win over Michigan on Jan. 1. The Gamecocks gained 300 total yards and scored 23 second-half points in that game.
“The kids have to have belief if what they’re doing and it starts with that person,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “He does a great job with our players, hitting the right buttons and pushing them when you need to push them and backing off when you need to back off. There’s a mutual respect between the players and him, and I’m excited about our future.”
South Carolina was 12th in the SEC in scoring (24.2 points per game) and total yards (337.1 per game) last year and fired former offensive coordinator Kurt Roper after the regular season.
“The one thing you don’t want to do is go in and scrap everything because I do feel like there were some things that we did really well,” McClendon said. “I haven’t seen many Day 1 systems that come in the next year rolling at a high level. I want to do enough where there was a lot of familiarity as far as verbiage and everything else and kind of put a different twist on it.”
Those twists will involve formations and different responsibilities for certain players, among other things, McClendon said.
“That’s the biggest thing is just fitting all the pieces in the right place,” he said.
South Carolina returns the players responsible for 100 percent of its passing yards, 98 percent of its rushing yards and 80 percent of its passing yards from a year ago. That familiarity will help ease McClendon’s transition, he said.
“Just knowing all the pieces has been the biggest thing. You know what the guys know so that at least gives you a starting point,” he said. “The one thing I did find out (about being an offensive coordinator) is there’s good advice but there’s not much that can be said or much that can be done until you get put into that position to have to live through it. Just going out there and having to do it is the best teacher I have had for sure in all the situations I’ve been put into.”