COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina football team is just a little over three weeks away from reporting to Tampa, Fla., for the Outback Bowl against Michigan.
As of Sunday night, Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp hadn’t yet pieced together a bowl practice schedule. More pressing needs are up first.
SEC Country looks at a handful of items that might be addressed over the next few weeks.
- Finish strong: Monday, Dec. 4 marks the start of the final week of classes for the fall semester. Exams start seven days later and run through Monday, Dec. 18. With so much left on the academic side of things, it was too early for Muschamp to say if any players would be ineligible to play against Michigan.
- Back on track: In three of the final four games of the season, sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley threw 7 interceptions: 2 to Georgia, 3 to Florida and 2 to Clemson. The next few weeks will provide Bentley some time to find himself and start 2018 on the right foot.
- Let’s get physical: Jim Harbaugh’s return to Michigan has brought about a renewed sense of physicality, on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Wolverines front is among the best in college football, led by Maurice Hurst and Rashan Gary. Offensively, Karan Higdon and Chris Evans have combined to rush for nearly 1,600 yards with 17 touchdowns. It’s probably safe to assume Muschamp mixes in a physical practice or two this month.
- Opportunity for seasoning: If Muschamp has said it once, he’s said it a 1,000 times: Football is a developmental game. More practice reps lead to more development. More development, potentially, means more wins for the South Carolina football programs. The Gamecocks will treat the next few weeks as another spring practice session.