COLUMBIA, S.C. — A wise man once said to “harness in the good energy, block out the bad.”
During their bye week, South Carolina’s players — 2-4 record and all — are planning to take heed of Gary Potter’s advice to Happy Gilmore.
Defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth was among the Gamecocks championing that mindset earlier this week.
“We’ve just got to tune the negativity out and look at the positive about things,” he said.
To make that happen, quarterback Perry Orth is separating football from the rest of his life. Then again, he tries to do that every week, not just during the bye.
“I think I do and our team does a good job — we leave football at football. We study our game plan and stuff when we’re at home and have some free time,” he said. “I think we have a good balance between being college students, being kids and being football players, so I think we do a good job of balancing it out.
“But when we come here, we’re still working hard, it’s not like that (since) we’ve been losing that we’re not working hard anymore. We’re not quitting on ourselves and our coaches. That’s not it at all.”
Three straight SEC losses won’t do it, not to a team that’s already been down the path of a 2-4 start, South Carolina’s record when Steve Spurrier quit a year ago.
“We’re hitting another rough spot, just like we did last year and now we’ve got to find a way to bounce back from it,” Orth said. “We can either throw in the towel or strap it up and get ready to roll.”
Instead of worrying about the long-term future of their program, South Carolina’s players hit this season’s midway point more focused on the short-term.
Some folks might say the bye couldn’t have come at a better time for this team.
“For me, it’s just (nice) to get away for a couple of days,” safety Chris Moody said. “It’s been a rough … six games to start off the season. It’s a quick break, then get right after football.”
After hitting the reset button, South Carolina returns to Williams-Brice Stadium to play 1-5 UMass.
“It’s like a new start to the season when you get back,” Moody said. “Get away for a couple of days and come right back.”
While he’s on a quick break from the grind of life in the SEC, left tackle Mason Zandi won’t have to worry about the noise that accompanies a 2-4 record. With only six or seven games left in his career at South Carolina, he’s not going to let the negative cloud his final memories as a Gamecock.
“If you allow things like that to get into your head,” he said. “Things of that nature — I, personally, have shut down my social medias.
“I’m locked in on football.”