Game on. That’s what South Carolina coach Will Muschamp texted his players shortly after Clemson won this year’s college football national title, according to a report from the Post & Courier’s David Caraviello.
Summerville High football coach Joe Call shared the wording of the text, which he heard from his two former players at South Carolina: Offensive linemen Zack Bailey and Chandler Farrell.
Clemson, South Carolina’s in-state rival, claimed the 2016 national title with a 35-31 win against Alabama last Monday in Tampa in a rematch of the 2015 national title game.
Muschamp, who just completed his first season at South Carolina, has made it well known that his emphasis to his players is on winning the state and the SEC East Division with the mantra, “Win the state, beat the East.” The Gamecocks didn’t do that this season, falling 56-7 to Clemson in the second-worst loss in the rivalry’s history. It was a harsh reminder of the work that remains for the Gamecocks, with Muschamp saying afterward that it is about recruiting to improve the roster.
South Carolina went 6-6 in Muschamp’s debut season in Columbia, reaching a bowl game thanks to a 4-2 finish to the second half of the season. It saw plenty of promise with young offensive players, led by quarterback Jake Bentley and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and all but one offensive starter will be back in the 2017 season.