After watching tape from the Florida game, Muschamp defended the Gamecocks fourth quarter play-calling. South Carolina had 363 yards and 31 points in the first half but gained only 23 yards and scored no points in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Jake Bentley attempted only three passes in the fourth quarter and did not complete any of them, however that was a function of the Gamecocks’ RPO (run-pass option) system and not offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon’s play-calling. On two of South Carolina’s final three possessions of the game, five of the seven running plays were RPOs on which Bentley chose the running play because of the number of players the Gators had devoted to stop the passing game.
“There have been some questions about the play-calling offensively there late. There was never any conversation about changing what we had been doing. The only conversation was to keep doing what we had been doing,” Muschamp said. “There’s nothing we did different in the second half. It’s all based on results. We didn’t get the results we wanted.”
The RPOs worked well in the first half, including on two third downs in which the Gamecocks converted with running plays.
“I was pleased with the decisions Jake made based on the run box,” said Muschamp, who also praised the work of McClendon.
The Gamecocks are sixth in the SEC in yards after Saturday’s game, averaging 410.7 points per game. They are tied for fifth in the conference in scoring with 31 points per game.
“Offensively, I thought we played well,” Muschamp said. “We were very successful in our RPO game. Our quick game was very good.”