South Carolina’s third and final scrimmage brought about mixed feelings for head coach Will Muschamp. Overall he said he felt there was improvement in all three phases, but there were still some issues he wasn’t pleased to see this close to the season opener.
Here are some highlights from scrimmage three:
The Gamecocks saw a total of 140 scrimmage snaps divvied up between the phases.
As far as the quarterback battle, no official decision has been made yet.
“Both quarterbacks played extremely well with Ryan and Collin. We have not made any decision on that as far as the quarterback is concerned,” he said. “We're going to continue to work through that tonight into tomorrow and then maybe look at Tuesday's practice. We don't officially start on Tennessee till Thursday. That will be our first practice for Tennessee, but both guys did a really nice job. Both guys command the offense. Our first six possessions offensively, we had five touchdowns. So it says a lot there.”
Muschamp said they simulated gameday from the pregame meal up to the crowd noise and he said his team responded well.
“Offensively though we communicated better, I thought we were very much improved in our assignments,” he said. “I thought we executed better. We used crowd noise like it'll be in the stadiums in the Southeastern Conference this this year. I don't know if we had a procedure issue, I think we had one receiver moving at one time during the third down period.
The defense left some things to be desired according to Muschamp.
“There's some critical mistakes on defense. A critical pass interference on 3rd down which never should have happened if you're in the right leverage and you stay in the right leverage,” he said. “Now we're getting off the field. We had two busts from the from the safety position on touchdowns, so again some things that are certainly correctable but disappointing in your third scrimmage to be going through that.”
He attributed It to the intensity with which the unit played with.
“I thought offensively guys came out with energy and juice. I think our team learned a little bit of a lesson,” he said. “Defensively didn't come out with a lot of energy and a lot of juice and it showed. So we're not gonna play in front of 80,000 people this year so you can't rely on anything externally to get you excited. It’s gotta come from within.”
The Gamecocks have dedicated a significant portion of each scrimmage to working on special teams and have Muschamp feels they have a handle on what’s expected in that area.
“We had 20 special teams snaps incorporated within the scrimmage when punts came up,” he said. “We had seven live punts which we had to cover and hold up or come after the punter. We had 12 field goal PAT situations, which we were much better in protection than we were in the previous scrimmage and we started the scrimmage with a live kickoff vs. kickoff return.”
Muschamp added that they will continue to work on those live situations on Tuesday.