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Will Muschamp Weekly News Conference Video/Quotes + Player Availability
Oct. 31, 2017


Head coach Will Muschamp met with the media at his weekly news conference Tuesday afternoon. Players Jake Bentley, T.J. Brunson, Chris Lammons, A.J. Turner and D.J. Wonnum spoke as well.

Opening Statement
“We’ve got Georgia in Athens on Saturday. They’ve got an explosive football team. They’ve been very dominant this year. I think you start, obviously, offensively with the running back position and Nick Chubb. Sony Michael and D’Andre Swift. They’ve got a stable of backs that are all explosive guys and have run the ball extremely well this year. You look at their offensive football team, where they’ve improved from year one to year two is in their offensive line. They’re blocking extremely well up front and getting a hat on a hat. They don’t give up any negative plays or sacks. It’s a football team that’s been very efficient offensively.

“Jake Fromm has done an outstanding job at the quarterback position, taking care of the football and managing their offensive. He shows arm talent. He’s been accurate with the football when they’ve asked him to throw the football. You look at the Missouri game, and I think there were four or five explosive plays on 3rd down where he’s creating explosives down the field against tight coverage.

“(They have) really good playmakers on the perimeter: Terry Godwin, (Riley) Ridley, and Javon Wims, a guy we recruited here obviously. Mecole Hardman has done a really nice job in their return game; they’re getting the ball in his hands and have a really good stable of tight ends with (Isaac) Nauta, (Charlie) Wormer, (Jeb) Blazevich and those guys.

“Defensively, again (they’re) a veteran group – juniors and seniors across the board on their two-deep, guys we’ve been watching for a long time. Dominick Sanders is a guy that’s probably going to break their interceptions record, from Tucker High School there in Atlanta. (He’s) a really good football player. Aaron Davis plays everything for them. J.R. Reed has been a good addition for them this year and has done a nice job. Malkom Parrish has been a corner that’s started for them for a long time. Tyrique McGee is a guy that’s come along and played well. Roquan Smith probably leads their defense, a guy that plays really fast and physical. I think there will be two really good linebacking corps on display Saturday, two outstanding corps – our guys and theirs. (They are) guys who play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter up front; Trenton Thompson and John Atkins are the guys inside. Those guys have all played a bunch of football and are guys we’ve got a lot of respect for. They’ve got really good team speed. Obviously their kicking game is really good and Mecole has done a nice job returning kicks for them.

On Carolina’s injury situation…
“Injury-wise, for us, the offensive linemen are fine. Malik (Young) is the one I’d say is the furthest away from being totally healthy. Chad Terrell ran today and looked good. We’ll evaluate him again tomorrow. Other than that, we should be good to go.”

On the differences between Georgia quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm and how their progress compares to Jake Bentley's…
“I think as much as anything I would look at Jake Bentley from year one to year two. How I would compare that is that everyone else around Jake Fromm has been in the offense for two years. So, he’s not directing traffic and telling the running back where to go, telling the offensive line where to go, telling the tight end where to go. He’s not telling the wide receiver to get on the other side. If you remember watching Jake Bentley last year, there was a lot of that happening. It was during the first year of their scheme and system. In all fairness to Jacob Eason, he was managing that last year along with being a freshman quarterback in our league, which is extremely difficult to do. Jake (Fromm has) walked into a situation, and he's done a fantastic job, but he’s not telling a running back where to line up. He’s not having to do a lot of those things that people don’t really see happening as the play is evolving there. To me, that’s the biggest difference. (Jake Fromm) hasn't had a lot of that on his plate that (Jacob Eason) had to deal with last year.”

On defending Georgia’s run game…
“As much as anything, you see a lot of the bounce-out runs; they get the ball on the perimeter extremely well. They all have top-end speed and can finish on the runs. You’ve got to limit the explosive runs. Right now, they’re over 80 with 10-yard plus runs I believe. It might be more than that now. They've been tracking that through the year. They’ve been a team that’s been very explosive in the running game, and you’ve got to limit the explosive runs.”

On preparing to face the No. 2 team in the polls…
“Each week for us is all the same. Every week is a season as far as how we approach things. Certainly, we have respect for all of our opponents. We have respect for Georgia. At the end of the day, it comes back to our preparation and how we prepare. We had a very good start today. I’m really pleased with the attitude, effort and enthusiasm we had on the field today. I know our guys will go compete, and we plan on showing up.”

On the importance of Sherrod Greene's contributions to the defense…
“It’s really important to have a hard edge set. I talked about it earlier, some of their explosive runs and bounce out runs, (are because of) not holding gaps on the outside and keeping the ball hemmed up inside. Certainly, having a bigger body on the edge to help set the edge of the defense is important.”

On the team's goals for explosive plays…
“We’d love to have eight explosives, whether it’s in the run or passing game. If you’re able to build on top of that it certainly changes the momentum of the game, which is extremely important. That’s how you change field position and momentum – the explosive plays you’re able to create.”

On the importance of executing well against Georgia…
“They’re difficult to front and block. They do a good job of getting off blocks and swarming the football. So, there’s going to be some tough sledding in the run game at times, but we’ve got to stay with the run game, and we’ve got to stay balanced. And the end of the day, we can’t get in a one-dimensional game against these guys. We’ve got to stay balanced in the run game and have the ability to be effective running the football.”

On his experience playing with Georgia coach Kirby Smart during their collegiate careers…
“He was an outstanding player, very active. I think he was one of the interception leaders in Georgia’s history. He could return kicks for them and run extremely well and was an outstanding player.”

On the role coaches play in preparing players for a big game…
“I think as much as anything, it’s just kind the approach of our program every day and treating every game the same, as far as how we approach it. There is no bigger game than any other one. Our guys understand that this is a big game. I don’t need to tell them. They get that part of it. So, I just the methodical approach of how we go about it – we don’t treat anything differently. Our meetings aren’t any longer. There’s no more emphasis on what we’re trying to do. Obviously, we respect our opponent and we show them the tendencies of our opponent, the things we feel like we need to do to win the game, and that’s how we approach it. And, certainly, I think that’s where you rely a little bit more on your older players to steer the young guys in the right direction as far as their focus is concerned. Certainly, we’ve got a veteran staff that understand when their focus isn’t there and certainly we try and get that back in line.”

On Jim McElwain’s departure from Florida…
“I don’t really want to comment on something that I don’t know a lot about. So, I will refrain from anything that I think, because it doesn’t matter. But, I don’t have any advice for Jim. He doesn’t need any advice. It’s a tough situation. The sun’s going to come up, and you’ve got to press forward in your career and figure out what you want to do. And, I’m sure that’s what he’ll do. Jim’s a good man, number one, and he’s a good football coach and he’s going to be fine. You don’t just hurt for Jim; you hurt for that staff. You hurt for that support staff. A bunch of those folks will be out of a job and out of work here. So, that’s a tough part of our profession, but it’s the reality of our profession as well.”

On playing against his alma mater and when the sentimentality of that scenario fades away as a coach…
“It happens pretty quick. I was at G.A. at Auburn in 1995 when we went and played Georgia. So, it happens quickly. At the end of the day, you’re loyal to the people writing your check, and obviously, I had a wonderful experience at Georgia. And, it’s interesting in the recruiting process; I’ve heard recruits and parents say ‘you’re so positive about the other schools.’ And I am, because I had a great experience at LSU. I had a great experience at Auburn. I had a great experience at Florida, and it’s all about, your individual choice and what you think fits you best. At the end of the day, I think we’ve got a great fit for all recruits, here, at the University of South Carolina. But, like I said Sunday night, right now, Dominick Sanders is a lot better than Will Muschamp. He’s better than Kirby Smart, too. (Georgia) is playing with better players than me and Kirby right now. And we give them credit.”

On Georgia's offensive formations…
“I think they adjust week-to-week, and obviously they have some staples within their systems in what they do. Their 'eleven' personnel; that’s one of their staple formations, or personnel groupings I should say, and they still have the base runs off of that they carry week-to-week. At the end of the day, you may give a different window dressing to it, but your run game is going to remain the same because that’s what you get used to doing. Your backs used to seeing it and get used to hitting the hole whether it's three-down or four-down (linemen). Each week, I think (offensive coordinator) Jim (Chaney) does a really nice job of creating another personnel grouping or another formation or set that you’ve got to be able to adjust to in the game, and that’s going to be critical for us defensively."

On the success in the run game last week against Vanderbilt and what can be carried over to this week…
“Whatever that worked well, they worked on all week, so I don’t know if it’s going to work well. We’ve got to find some things that we feel like, going into the game, we feel like we can get a good start in the run game. In the last three ballgames, we’ve done a really good job offensively of adjusting throughout the game and running the ball extremely well in the second half. Although I felt like in the Vanderbilt game, I thought we did a pretty good job the entire game. We did a nice job getting the ball on the perimeter as much as anything and they were doing a lot of games inside to change up some things in the inside zone, but we got the ball on the perimeter. Those are some things that worked for us last week, but again, people have your film and see what you’re doing and what you have success with, and they are going to structure themselves to make sure you don’t have success doing those things.”

On Javon Kinlaw's tweet, which said 'brush your teeth physical this week'…
“You’ve got to have a physical mindset in this ballgame. You’ve got to understand that part of it, and everything you do, you be physical so I appreciate him listening well.”

On measuring the physicality of practice for the week…
“As much as anything, it is understanding the mentality of understanding the edge you've got to have going into a game like this. We practice physically every Tuesday and Wednesday. We try to get after it and have our run periods and the things that we do that we feel like are going to give us an edge on game day. When you get to this point in the season, you’ve also got to be smart about fresh, fast and physical on game day. We felt like we had a good physical practice today, and I think we will have good fresh legs on Saturday."

On the exposure that comes with playing a nationally-televised game on CBS…
"Any exposure is going to be positive. It's the right kind of exposure you want. I think from a recruiting standpoint, the number one thing is in year two is that people see progress from where we were three years ago. They need to be able to see the positive progress in our program. They see the operations facility; they see the support; they see the game day atmosphere; they see Columbia; they see all of the positive things that are happening so the arrow is certainly pointing up right now. We've got to build on that momentum."

On the defensive matchup against Georgia…
"Well there is no question this is going to be our toughest task as far as the type of offense we're facing; the physicality that Georgia plays with, the elite backs that they have on the perimeter (and the) skill kids that they have. There is no doubt this will be our toughest test of the year. I know our guys prepared well today, and we need to continue to prepare well through the week, and play well on Saturday. You've got to have good preparation and it's got to carry over to game day."

On the College Football Playoff and if Georgia deserves to be ranked in the top-4 on Tuesday night…
"I haven't spent any time thinking about the playoff system. I am worried about Georgia and South Carolina right now, and I haven't spent any time worrying about any of that."


 

 

 

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