Team Capsule: South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina has seen its light fading in the final years of a legendary head coach, as Steve Spurrier limped toward retirement. It has seen its cross-state rival, Clemson, become a heavily armed program that won the national title. It has now placed its hopes in Will Muschamp, in his second year as head coach after a dud four years at Florida. The Gamecocks were 13th in the SEC in offense a year ago and gave up 102 points in their last two games (including a 56-7 humbling at Clemson). We’ll know quickly about USC’s SEC hopes; it has three league games in September. There are 10 returning offensive starters, including quarterback Jake Bentley, the coach’s kid (dad Bobby coaches the USC running backs). Bentley was a true freshman and warming the bench when Muschamp reached for him out of desperation at midseason and he played capably. He spent much of the summer refining his game at the Manning Passing Academy.

Head Coach: Will Muschamp (second year at South Carolina, 6-7)

Coordinators: Travaris Robinson (defense), Bryan McClendon and Kurt Roper (co-offensive coordinators)

Social Media: http://www.gamecocksonline.com, @GamecockFB, @CoachWMuschamp

2016 Record: 6-7 overall, 4-4 in the SEC, lost to South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl

2017 Schedule:

  • Sept. 2 vs. North Carolina State (in Charlotte)
  • Sept. 9 at Missouri
  • Sept. 16 Kentucky
  • Sept. 23 Louisiana Tech
  • Sept. 30 at Texas A&M
  • Oct. 7 Arkansas
  • Oct. 14 at Tennessee
  • Oct. 21 Off
  • Oct. 28 Vanderbilt
  • Nov. 4 at Georgia
  • Nov. 11 Florida
  • Nov. 18 Wofford
  • Nov. 25 Clemson

Circle The Date: Gamecock fans await the season finale to see if a three-game losing streak to Clemson can end, but the Sept. 16 game with Kentucky will be interesting

Top Returnees: QB Jake Bentley, TE Hayden Hurst, WR Deebo Samuel, LB Skai Moore, S D.J. Smith

Will Win SEC East If…: Gamecocks overachieve with an experienced offense and enough other wacky stuff happens that the title game comes down to Florida’s visit to Columbia in November.

What They Said: “(The players) have bought into the type culture we want to have within our organization. And we have not had much resistance from that. Now, we’ve had some attrition, but the guys understood maybe this isn’t for me, I want to go somewhere else, which is fine, but I want guys that want to be at the University of South Carolina. I believe we’re on the verge of some really good things.” – Will Muschamp

What We Say: Fifth in SEC East, Belk Bowl