Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp wants to limit big plays and force more turnovers on defense.

South Carolina football: What the Gamecocks said during Week 1 of camp

Hale McGranahan

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina football coaches and players met with reporters three times during the first week of preseason camp.

The action began Sunday afternoon, when the Gamecocks hosted their annual media day event at Williams-Brice Stadium. Coaches and players were made available again Tuesday and Thursday.

Below are highlights you haven’t already read on SEC Country:

Coach Will Muschamp

“Team goals are taking care of the ball offensively, and getting the ball off people defensively. Get explosive plays offensively and take away the explosives on defensive. Those are the two most critical factors in winning and losing games. We were 4-0 last year when we hit that quotient of turnovers, takeaways and explosive plays. If we continue to do that, you’ll win some football games.”

South Carolina football
Travaris Robinson (middle) will probably have to count on Brad Johnson (19) and Javon Kinlaw (99) in 2017.

Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson

“Obviously, you can tell that team speed has improved. That’s something that Coach Muschamp has been talking about and emphasized throughout the offseason and our guys got faster. You can definitely see that.”

“I really think Bryson [Allen-Williams] will help us [pass rushing]. I think Taylor [Stallworth] will be great inside. I think Dante Sawyer, I think Dennis Wonnum is a guy that’s really, really impressed me the first three days, so we’ve just got to continue to find us some pass rushers. Maybe these young guys, as far as Aaron Sterling, maybe Brad Johnson — some guys that also can provide some immediate pass rush for us.”

Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper

“In any drop-back scheme, I would like to, if it’s a scheme that we would hang our hat on every week, I would like to have five different formations that we can run a concept from. Now, how many do we have of those? Probably eight that we can run five different ways. Then other things get game-planned or they get kind of hammered into one type of a look. That’s where the change comes. You just run the same plays with different looks and different personnel packages and you grow from there.”

South Carolina football-OrTre Smith-South Carolina football
OrTre Smith got an early taste of the SEC during spring practice. (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

QB Jake Bentley

“It makes us feel good that we’re getting the program back on the right track. We expect to be good, ourselves. Really, we don’t feel [any] pressure. We want to be good for ourselves.”

“OrTre [Smith] is one of the main guys – you see the confidence. He’s getting more confident, playing faster and he just looks so much better. Shi Smith and Chad Terrell are two guys that really impressed me, came in working hard, came in [and] really dove into the playbook, to learn their plays.”

Buck D.J. Wonnum

“I didn’t expect to play as much [last season], but I played a lot. Pretty much, I feel educated, learning more on what I can work on after my freshman year.

“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger since last year. I feel like that should carry over into the next one.”

LB T.J. Brunson

“You have to know what to do, playing for Coach Muschamp. You have to his trust and the coaching staff’s trust, to hit the field, so when you know what to do, you can play fast and make plays.”