Josh Kendall

Mostly good news but one ‘huge concern’ after scrimmage, Muschamp says

Muschamp recaps final scrimmage ahead of 2018 season

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp recaps how the Gamecocks fared in their Aug. 18 scrimmage.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp recaps how the Gamecocks fared in their Aug. 18 scrimmage.

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp was pleased with all but one thing after Saturday’s fall scrimmage.

“I was extremely pleased today from the standpoint of effort and urgency and focus,” Muschamp said. “I thought we moved the ball well, especially in our first group. I think we’re improving.”

The first-team offense scored on a touchdown on a 15-play drive to open the scrimmage, but Muschamp declined to detail any player specifics from the scrimmage. The Gamecocks had 170 snaps in the scrimmage, he said.

Sophomore place-kicker Parker White is leading Alexander Woznick and transfer Shane Hynes in the battle to be the starting place-kicker.

“We’ve got two weeks until game day, and that certainly could change,” Muschamp said.

Junior wide receiver Bryan Edwards is the favorite to win the punt return job, Muschamp said.

“Bryan Edwards is going to be a really good punt returner for us,” Muschamp said. “He’s got really good ball judgment. He really did a nice job this summer working at it. We’ve got some guys we’ve got confidence in, more than we have ever had, but Bryan has distanced himself. He’s a big, strong guy who is hard to tackle in the open field.”

Michael Scarnecchia has locked up the backup quarterback spot and took some snaps with the starters during Saturday’s scrimmage.

“He responded extremely well,” Muschamp said. “There’s no question we can win with him. I am very pleased with (freshman quarterbacks Dakereon Joyner and Jay Urich). Both of those guys showed some things athletically today. They have to continue to advance in the throwing game.”

There was one big problem, though. The heat, or lack thereof.

Saturday’s temperature topped out in the high 80s, and Muschamp is worried his team won’t be properly acclimated to the heat when the season begins. The Gamecocks open the season with a noon game against Coastal Carolina and a 3:30 p.m. game against Georgia in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Most practices are in the mornings, and South Carolina has started both of its preseason scrimmages at noon to simulate the start time of the season-opener.

“We didn’t get the heat we need, I can assure you of that,” Muschamp said. “That’s a huge concern of mine.”

South Carolina will practice in the afternoon on Monday and Tuesday.

“Hopefully, we will get some heat,” Muschamp said.

The Tuesday practice will mark the end of training camp. South Carolina’s players will have Wednesday off and then start on the game plan for the Sept. 1 opener against Coastal Carolina on Thursday.

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains why Bryan Edwards has taken the lead at the punt return spot for the Gamecocks.

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