COLUMBIA, S.C. — Fall camp and fall scrimmages are things of the past for South Carolina and soon fall practices will join that list.
The Gamecocks practiced Monday morning and have one last fall practice scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. before they leave those days behind and move on to prep for their Sept. 1 season opener against Vanderbilt.
The timing of that shift is player-focused, coach Will Muschamp said in a Sunday afternoon teleconference.
“The reason for that is some people go into camp and they go to camp for a week and a half then they start working on the first game and kids get tired of working on an opponent,” Muschamp said. “The same thing happens to you in bowl practice. Guys get tired of seeing the same stuff over and over then you lose the mental focus you need to have in a practice.”
The Gamecocks, entering their third week of prepping for the 2016 season, have 10 days left before they kick off for the first time under Muschamp. In those 10 days, they will have six practices and a walkthrough to prepare for the Commodores.
But the preparation off the field began a long time ago for South Carolina.
“As a staff, we have already game planned them,” Muschamp said. “We’ve game planned our first four opponents this summer and spring.”
On Thursday, coaches will begin transferring their advance work over to the players. Some of it already has been done, Muschamp said, just without being outlined as such.
“Now, we have hit on some things that may be a little different from what we do schematically on offense, defense and special teams for our players without really discussing it,” he said. “Just kinda putting some things in that we know we are going to carry through the first ballgame.”
But now the focus for the Gamecocks moves from install and working on themselves to game planning and scheming to move to 1-0.
“We will have six good practices and a walkthrough and that’s generally what we’ve done,” Muschamp said. “Most of the times, we’ve done five and we will have an extra day here. That’s something that we did when I was with Nick Saban (at LSU) and I thought it worked extremely well.”
Mike Wilson covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on the Gamecocks.