After South Carolina's second scrimmage, head coach Will Muschamp said there are some protection issues that he was looking to clean up during the Gamecock’s final scrimmage. During his Sunday press conference he said he saw improvement, but there is still work to be done with that unit.
“We still need to find another tackle,” he said. “I still feel really good with Dylan Wonnum at left tackle or at right tackle, he can play both…I feel very good about our inside players, [Sadarius Hutcherson] at left guard, Eric Douglas at center, and Javoughn Gwyn at right guard. I think all three of those guys have had good camps.”
With the return of Jordan Rhodes, Muschamp said they’ll be able to look at him at right tackle as they work to get him back in game shape.
Offensive line coach Eric Wolford said he has been stressing the importance of leading the offense to that unit as they look to carry out offensive coordinator Mike Bobo's plan of becoming a physical offense.
“Our expectation is we have to control the line of scrimmage at the end of the day,” he said. “And you look back over the course of last year, you look at some of the games we won we were able to control the last scrimmage; and we want some games against some pretty good teams. And then in other games when we aren't able to control the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis, then we don’t fare as well.”
He said that Bobo’s system puts them in a position to carry out their duties with ease.
“He has a very offensive line-friendly playbook,” Wolford said. “That’s a good thing. He understands how important it is to protect the quarterback. He understands how it is to have good plays called that aren’t tackles for a loss. And as long as we don’t have missed assignments up front, we shouldn’t have tackles for a loss.”
He cited playing from behind on early downs is something he wants to eliminate this year.
“We want to stay away from playing behind the chains,” he said. “We can’t be 1 and 15 because of a false start, or it can’t 2 and 15 because of a tackle for a loss because of a missed assignment. But [Bobo’s] got a very offensive line-friendly system, I’d say.”
As the Gamecock coaching staff set their sights on Tennessee and getting the finalized depth chart, Wolford said consistency is the primary focus in the final evaluations.
“So consistent, just like I talked about from the very beginning, we're trying to find guys that want to become consistent with a consistent group that can play well on game day and no matter who the five are, they’re in the game,” he said.
Muschamp spoke earlier this summer on the potential of the offensive line. His interview starts at the 32:00 mark.