Did you know South Carolina and Texas A&M’s cross-division rivalry game has a trophy on the line every year?
Will Muschamp didn’t.
During his appearance on Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, the Gamecocks coach was asked if he knew a trophy was at stake when his team hosts the No. 22 Aggies this weekend. He said it was the first time he was made aware of the prize and was later informed that it’s called the Bonham Trophy, named for a South Carolina man who was present at the Battle of the Alamo.
“That’s a hell of a movie,” Muschamp said before adding, “Hell, we haven’t won that game, (so) it wouldn’t be here.”
Indeed, South Carolina has not won in the series since the teams began playing yearly in 2014, so Muschamp has a point. He can finally get his hands on the trophy when the Gamecocks (3-3, 2-2 SEC) host Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1) at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Muschamp previewed the matchup during his portion of the teleconference.
On Jake Bentley:
- He will have to wear the knee brace. I think he progressed. We will see how he looks moving forward. He and Mike (Scarnecchia) will both have to be ready to go.
On facing Nick Saban-coached team:
- Got a lot of respect for Coach. His team is disciplined. … It’s a team that you have to go beat them. They are not going to beat themselves and have turnovers. They just don’t do that very often.
Why is he so successful over his assistants?
- Most of the time, he has better players.
On the SEC nine-game schedule and the big games that come from it:
- Well, some of us have an in-state rival. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I would be fine if we did away with the permanent rivals, which some are against. … I’m a big proponent of the eight-game (SEC) schedule. … I think it’s working very well. From the end of the BCS era to now, our league is doing extremely well. Teams changing leagues has eliminated some rivalries. That’s not good for college football, but that’s where we are headed.
On Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond:
- I know Jimbo — he believes in a two-back run system — (and) Jim Turner the offensive line coach, so there’s some carry-over from the one-back system. Kellen does a good job of keeping them in the right looks. He played at a high level last year. … He’s completing over 60 percent of his passes, and I think he’s done a nice job.
On knowing Jimbo Fisher, does that help?
- No, you overthink it a lot. Jimbo knows me as well as I know him. … I think it can be overthought a bit. At the end of the day, it comes down to the players executing.
What’s the biggest challenge facing A&M?
Facing their defensive front. … The linebackers are tough. … the first thing is that front. (Running back) Trayveon Williams on the other side; (tight end Jace) Sternberger, too.