COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp fielded a few questions about Clemson during his teleconference on Sunday night.
Up first: Last year’s result and whether or not 56-7 will be used as a motivation over the next few days, leading up to the showdown Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“If you don’t get excited about playing your archrival, then something is wrong with you. That’s the way I look at it. Regardless of the score, whether it was last year, two years ago or three years ago, it doesn’t really matter. We’ve got a lot of new faces on our football team.
“Seventy percent of our roster is freshmen and sophomores. We know we need to prepare well, to play a very good football team in Clemson.”
Muschamp understands what the rivalry between the Gamecocks and Tigers means to folks in the state of South Carolina.
RELATED: What Muschamp said on Sunday night
“Being the head coach here, I [understand] the importance of that and what it is to this state and this school,” he said. “Certainly, we didn’t fair very well last year. You give them credit. We got out-coached and out-played.
“In every school that I’ve been at, there’s been that team and certainly, for us, that’s Clemson.”
The third was about last season’s touchdown by former Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, during which he carried South Carolina cornerback into the end zone on his back.
It certainly served as motivating force for King, who will be playing his last home game this coming Saturday.
“Obviously, Mike was a fantastic player. He’s a guy who was a very tough cover, because of his size and, obviously, his top-end speed and he’s got really good ball skills,” Muschamp said. “JaMarcus is a guy who really had never spent any time in the weight room, whether he was at Blount High School in Mobile [Alabama] or at Coffeyville [Community College].
“And that was something we really emphasized to him. No question, he’s gotten stronger on the line of scrimmage. He’s improved his strength. His top-end ability to finish, because of his strength and his confidence. When you’re a stronger player, you’re a more confident player. I don’t think there’s any question.
“Anytime, whether you have success or adversity, you can use it as a motivating factor and I certainly believe that was a situation where he certainly used that as a motivating factor for him.”