South Carolina is coming off a 3-9 season that included the departure of longtime coach Steve Spurrier in October. But new Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp believes a quick turnaround is possible in Columbia.
“We have good enough players to win the (SEC) East,” Muschamp told reporters at a Gamecock Club appearance Wednesday evening at Williams-Brice Stadium, according to Josh Kendall of The State.
While some might snicker at the coach’s assertion following a 1-7 performance in SEC play in 2015, Muschamp does have reason for optimism. The team’s final five losses post-Spurrier all came by fewer than a touchdown, and that included a 5-point loss to in-state rival Clemson, which reached the College Football Playoff championship game.
However, it also included a one-point loss to The Citadel, which still stings even though the Bulldogs did finish the season ranked 15th in FCS.
Muschamp also heaped praise on a couple of players during his appearance, including wide receiver Deebo Samuel and linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams.
Muschamp said that Samuel, who accounted for 64 total yards in the spring game and was the team’s offensive player of the spring, can be “an elite player in our league.” Samuel showcased some of that talent in last year’s Clemson game, catching five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Muschamp told reporters that Allen-Williams played the best of any Gamecocks player this spring. He was named South Carolina’s special teams player of the spring and figures to be in the starting lineup this season.