The theme of the day at Williams-Brice Stadium on Tuesday was that South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp doesn’t want loss No. 2 to beat the Gamecocks again.
Considering where they are right now, at 3-2 with an injury list that seems to grows each week, it may not be such a bad idea, even if it conflicts with a few of his personal beliefs.
“There’s no re-dos in life,” Muschamp said. “It’s part of the issues in society, everyone thinks you can hit a reset button and it’s OK, and that’s not the case. There are no woulda, coulda, shouldas.
“Learn from your mistakes and move forward.”
There certainly were plenty of those late in College Station, Texas as South Carolina blew a 10-point lead to Texas A&M.
“We had opportunities to finish [the Aggies] in the fourth quarter and we didn’t get it done,” Muschamp said, “But you can’t let one loss become another one, and you can’t harp on what happened the other night.
“That was a very disappointing loss. We had a hurt locker room and that was strictly my point with the team [Monday] and [Tuesday]. Hey, we’ll restart. Be positive, learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
Fortunately for Muschamp, a lot of the guys on his 2017 team were around in 2016 when South Carolina opened the season with a 2-4 record, but rallied late in the season to become bowl eligible.
“I have a lot of confidence in this football team,” Muschamp said. “We’ve had our share of adversity and things out of our control, but I think our guys have responded extremely well and I’ve had all the confidence in the world as far as how we will respond Saturday, there is no question.
“We had a good day [Tuesday]. I expect us to have a good day [Wednesday]. I like the leadership on this football team, I enjoy being around this football team. They work extremely hard and they’re a good bunch to be around, so I’ve got all the confidence in the world how we’ll respond.”
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Time will tell how well it works this time around. Last year’s reset conveniently came at the halfway point, during the Gamecocks had a bye week, which also allowed for a major change at the most important position in football.
With no offense intended to Perry Orth and Brandon McIlwain, this year’s quarterback situation is much more stable with Jake Bentley, who’s second among SEC passers in yards (1,257) and third in touchdowns (9).
While things are headed in the right direction at quarterback, that’s hardly the case with the Gamecocks’ current kickers.
Alex Woznick and Parker White have combined to go 3-for-10 on field goals in 2017. Former kicker Elliott Fry, South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer, never missed more than 8 field goals in a single season.
On Tuesday, Muschamp endeared himself to the only type of people who tend to care about this sort of stuff.
In this space a couple of weeks ago, it seemed reasonable to think that trotting out a freshman walk-on for a 50-plus-yard field goal wasn’t necessarily the best option.
“I probably should go back and look at it, having him attempt two 50-yarders and three 46-plus yarders and rethink that a little bit. … And putting him out there in that situation for the first time probably wasn’t very smart on my part,” Muschamp said. “Those are things that you kind of rethink.”
Maybe the players aren’t the only ones who needed a reset after five games.
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