COLUMBIA, S.C. – In the happiness of a home victory Saturday, Will Muschamp was wondering how his team would approach Sunday.
“They came in there with a pep in their step,” Muschamp said in his Sunday teleconference.
The South Carolina coach voiced his desire to see his team’s day-to-day approach following its 20-15 win against East Carolina. He was pleased Sunday and he recognized players that responded to a challenge to bring intangibles to the rest of the team.
“It doesn’t take any talent to play hard, to play with some passion, to play with some energy,” he said. “It’s all it takes. Just go out there and do it. Really proud of the guys the way they did that. I think they see it a little bit.”
The Gamecocks (2-1) came back to practice Tuesday morning with their attention turned to a trip to Kentucky (1-2) on Saturday (7:30 ET, SEC Network).
Running back David Williams said the mood was “loose and relaxed” on Sunday, while Tuesday morning saw an energized South Carolina team take to the practice field. Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson only bolstered that when he blasted music in the meeting room at 7 a.m.
“Normally, coach T-Rob kicks (graduate assistant Kyle) Hoke off the computer and plays his little music – what he used to listen to back in college. That gets the team hype,” Williams said. “You have to get in the mood. If you’re sleepy, you’re going to get in the mood when you hear the music. I think we came out at practice and worked hard.”
Safety D.J. Smith said felt the energy from his teammates coming back Sunday. He noted it was a stark difference from a mad feeling a week earlier after losing to Mississippi State.
“We won, so we were happy we won the game,” Smith said. “I think we had good energy. We practiced well on Sunday. We practiced good today. We had a day off Monday. But I feel like everybody is locked in and having a good time. Practice went by fast today because everyone is so locked in and flying around.”
Carrying it forward consistently is the next step. Smith said it will come down to preparation and the whole team being ready to play and ready to win come game day.
Muschamp saw that Tuesday, as he said the Gamecocks had a good day.
“The guys really responded and understand that you can’t flip the switch,” Muschamp said. “You don’t do that. You don’t do that on game day. You prepare the right way. I don’t believe in ‘gamers.’ You prepare the right way, you practice the right way and, on game day, your preparation helps the game slow down and you play well.
“I think our guys are continuing to buy into that. It’s been good.”