In a press conference held Sunday night, South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp said out of the three games played so far this season, Saturday's matchup was the "cleanest" he had seen by the team.
Defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores, 41-7, Muschamp said much of the team’s success is due to the offense and how well they played throughout the game.
“I thought we had really good execution, offensively,” Muschamp said.
Muschamp said he was impressed by the offense’s ability to adjust the running game, as the team had trouble running early, but switched things up to improve play. Muschamp highlighted sophomore running back Kevin Harris and what he brought to the table in Saturday’s matchup. This included four explosive plays, along with two touchdowns, Muschamp said. For one touchdown, he ran for 88 yards and at a speed of almost 22 mph, according to Muschamp.
“[Harris'] been really playing good football; he was the player of day for us, offensively,” Muschamp said.
In addition to Harris’ plays, Muschamp said numerous other players were also accountable for similar plays. Graduate student quarterback Collin Hill totaled five explosive plays in the day, with senior tight end Nick Muse and senior wide receiver Shi Smith each being on the other end of two, according to Muschamp.
On the defensive side of the ball, Muschamp said the team was very successful in the redzone, especially on third downs.
“I think our guys had some good awareness in those situations,” Muschamp said.
However, Muschamp said the team cannot give up as many yards against the opponent’s run game.
“I thought we played high and soft up front [defensively],” Muschamp said.
Before next Saturday’s matchup against Auburn, Muschamp said they must make some corrections, and the defense must play the better pad level and improve on disengaging and getting off blocks.
Pertaining to special teams, Muschamp said he thought the team did a good job and created opportunities that were unable to be made in the past two games. Muschamp said even though the team had to play in less than ideal weather conditions, kicking and returning was successful.
One major component of Saturday’s matchup was the unsportsmanlike penalties called against the Gamecocks. Muschamp said he will not "tolerate" such calls.
“We’re not going to put up with it when it hurts our team,” Muschamp said.
Saturday’s matchup against Auburn will hit home for Muschamp, as he is a former Tigers defensive coordinator.
“They’ve got a talented team,” Muschamp said.
The Gamecocks will host the Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 17, at noon.