South Carolina interim coach Shawn Elliott doesn’t know who will start at quarterback when the Gamecocks face Texas A&M on Saturday.
Then again, he isn’t sure it matters all that much.
Whether it’s Kyle Allen, Jake Hubenak or Kyler Murray — or a combination of the three — Elliott believes the pressure is on the South Carolina defense to stick to the game plan and execute.
“Certainly, you’ve got to start looking at the characteristics of all the quarterbacks they have that potentially might play, but at the end of the day it comes down to blocking and tackling,” Elliott said Wednesday on the SEC coaches teleconference.
“Defensively, playing assignment-oriented football puts us in a position to tackle [no matter] what quarterback takes the field. We need to shore up some things to put us in position to make some plays and not give up easy throws or runs. We’ll be OK [with] whoever they trot out their first.”
Defense has been a season-long issue for the Gamecocks, largely as the unit struggles to play well on a consistent basis.
Mixed in between some poor quarters and halves of football, there have been bright spots, Elliott said, and it remains a matter of putting together four consistent quarters in order to win a game.
“It’s been an up-and-down process,” Elliott admitted as he prepares to coach his second game for South Carolina.
“We’ve got to look at a couple halves where we’ve put together some great efforts and a couple where we didn’t play so well. We’re looking for consistency, putting together four quarters of football and making sure the mental and physical mistakes aren’t going to beat us time in and time out. For the most part, we’ve been OK. Certainly, anything you do in today’s game can improve. We’ve got to make improvements tackling and with assignments and physical football.”