South Carolina’s mounting injuries on defense are making Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp angry.
He’s angry about the cut blocks that he said Saturday night have caused long-term injuries to defensive linemen Bryson Allen-Williams and Aaron Sterling and defensive end Daniel Fennell.
“We’ve had three illegal cut blocks,” Muschamp said. “At the end of the day, we talk about player safety. Why don’t we eliminate that?”
Muschamp has spoken to college football administrators about the issue, he said.
“They don’t listen to me,” he said.
Defensive end D.J. Wonnum and Sterling were surprise scratches from South Carolina’s lineup before Saturday night’s 56-35 loss to No. 2 Clemson. Wonnum had surgery to repair an ankle injury he suffered in the first game of the season and will miss next week’s game against Akron and possibly the bowl game as well. Sterling and Allen-Williams also have had ankle surgery that will keep them out at least until the bowl game.
Defensive back Jaycee Horn also missed the Clemson game due to an ankle injury. Horn dressed out and warmed up with the Gamecocks prior to the game but came out immediately before kickoff without his pads and wearing a walking boot.
Fennell suffered what Muschamp believes in an ACL tear on what Muschamp said was a cut block by the Tigers. Defensive lineman Keir Thomas was also unable to finish the game due to injury.
Defensive backs J.T. Ibe, Nick Harvey, Jamyest Williams, Javon Charleston, Jaylin Dickerson already had been lost to long-term injuries.
Asked about how much the injuries affected his team’s game plan, Muschamp snapped, “What do you think? That’s a dumb question” before quickly apologizing for losing his temper.
Clemson gained 744 yards Saturday night, the most ever against South Carolina.
The injuries are “huge for us,” middle linebacker T.J. Brunson said. “We always say next man up. We expect you to come in and make plays and do the right things, and we didn’t do it enough. You guys saw it. (The injured players) are definitely big parts of the program.”
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I am surrounded by guys who love to fight, who embrace the challenge.
Career night. Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel had a career-high 210 receiving yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Another career night. Freshman defensive lineman Rick Sandidge had a career-high seven tackles.