One of Will Muschamp’s favorite things to tell his defensive players is, “Do your job.”
It’s a mantra you might have heard Muschamp tell his Texas team while punching a whiteboard during halftime instruction a few years back. So, it’s kind of a big thing with him.
Thursday is a “Do Your Job” game. Vanderbilt scored 15.2 points per game and averaged 4.5 yards per play last year. The Commodores cannot drive the ball methodically down the field against South Carolina (or against anybody, really). However, Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb is good enough to put up a few quick-strike scores if the Gamecocks are out of position.
“He’s a bounce runner, his outside stretch play, I think, is his best run,” Muschamp said of Webb. “He’s got really good vision to cut the ball back. But he sticks his foot in the ground, he gets the ball north-south.”
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South Carolina’s defenders need to be in the right positions when Webb does that. There will be a lot of Gamecocks on the field trying to prove that last year’s defensive disaster was a fluke, but they can’t let that make them be overly aggressive.
“I think it’s all about fundamental defensive football about keeping your head in your gap, doing your job, don’t do anything outside of what you need to do and just doing your job,” Muschamp said. “We’re going to need to tackle well, and when we did have live tackling in camp, I thought we tackled extremely well. He runs through contact extremely well, I think he’s got really good vision and to get the ball to him on the outside stretch play, to me, has been his best run I’ve seen over the last couple of years.”