KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Will Muschamp is 4-0 against Tennessee as a head coach, his wins coming while with Florida from 2011-2014.
No one can blame Muschamp for reminding his South Carolina players this week how close they have been to beating the Vols without him these past four years.
“I looked it up and saw that (the margin is) 11 points in four years,” Muschamp said at his news conference in Columbia, site of Saturday’s 7:15 p.m. game (TV: ESPN2).
“What’s going to make a difference from our last three games is our preparation, and that’s the motivation for our guys today,” he said. “Your mental and physical preparation for the game make a difference. Those 11 points are going a different way for us.
“That’s really why I brought it up as much as anything, to say, ‘Hey, a play or two here or there and that’s a different ball game and we feel a little different about the situation.’ ”
Muschamp went ahead and played “Rocky Top” at South Carolina practice, even though the game is in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“Sometimes you get tired of listening to it, and you don’t want to listen to it on game day,” Muschamp said. “So I told our guys, ‘Play good and you won’t have to listen to it.’ “
Muschamp said he also has made sure his offense has a plan to account for Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett.
“They have a dominating player in my opinion in Barnett,” Muschamp said. “I think he’s the guy that can change games, and we need to account for him.”