COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina returned to practice Monday after a nice weekend off thanks to a Thursday night game. They did so with a mark in the win column and coach Will Muschamp said that positive outcome is good for his young team during his Tuesday press conference.
“Anytime you have positive results, it makes it much easier to believe and have some belief in what you’re trying to do,” Muschamp said. “You’ve gotta have some positive feedback regardless of if it’s football or in the business world or whatever you’re doing, you’ve gotta have something positive for you. In our profession, the results of winning are what you look for and you’ve gotta be able to see the fruits of your labor.
“Mature guys understand it anyways. They see themselves getting stronger and they see themselves improving as a player. The young guys especially, they need that as much as anything.”
The Gamecocks (1-0) face Mississippi State (0-1) in Week 2 with the Bulldogs falling 21-20 to South Alabama in their opener. The Gamecocks again will play two quarterbacks with Perry Orth expected to get the start and freshman Brandon McIlwain to play behind him.
The quarterback rotation “possibly” could look similar to what was seen at Vanderbilt, Muschamp said. The Gamecocks started Orth and sought to get McIlwain in during the first quarter in that game. Muschamp said Orth deserves to start for the way he played against Vanderbilt, as he led two fourth-quarter scoring drives. He also pointed to USC’s offense moving the ball well with McIlwain, but ball security was an issue as the freshman fumbled on the Vanderbilt 12-yard line.
“Both of those guys will help us succeed,” Muschamp said.
The competition at punt return had been an open one between Samuel, Chris Lammons and Rashad Fenton, Muschamp said.
“All three we had confidence in; still got confidence in Deebo,” said Muschamp, who added that the ball security on special teams was strong throughout camp.
The Gamecocks worked on punt return Monday and Tuesday with plans to continue repping it and making a decision at the end of the week.
Muschamp also said the Gamecocks could get tight end Kyle Markway back for Saturday’s trip to Starkville. Markway was limited in in fall camp with an ankle injury.
“Hopefully, we will get him back for some snaps this week,” he said.
Players of the week
Muschamp opened his press conference by naming players of the week from the Gamecocks 13-10 win
- Offensive player of the game: Wide receiver Bryan Edwards
- Offensive lineman of the game: Offensive tackle Mason Zandi
- Defensive players of the game: Linebacker Jonathan Walton, defensive lineman Marquavius Lewis
- Ballhawk of the game: Lewis
- Special teams player of the game: Kicker Elliott Fry
Mike Wilson covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on the Gamecocks.