Will Muschamp explains how South Carolina has the best 3rd down defense in the SEC
South Carolina’s defense has only allowed six conversions on 31 attempts by opponents on third down. That stat leads the SEC.
Coach Will Muschamp shared Wednesday on the SEC coaches media teleconference how the Gamecocks got to that level.
“We’ve executed extremely well,” Muschamp said. “I think we’ve handled the calls that we’ve prepared for each game that we’ve gone in. We’ve been able to effectively rush four guys, which I think is always critical, you know, and when we have pressured we’ve we’ve been able to affect the quarterback and get him off the spot for the most part, so I think that it starts with execution our guys and our players have done a fantastic job of executing the plan based on third down in the distance involved and, you know, I think it starts with that and then from there, you know that I would say the ability to win before guys rush and affect the quarterback and and we have pressured we’ve done a nice job of attacking the protection.”
That defense this week will be tested by Auburn QB Bo Nix.
“Bo is a great competitor, he can hurt you,” Muschamp said. “A guy that done a really nice job leading that offense is very difficult to play as a true freshman in this league any position, much less the quarterback position and I thought he did a fantastic job last year, leading this team to victory and the Iron Bowl. He’s played on some of the biggest stages in college football his first year in in you know he’s done a nice job this year as well.”
To slow down that offense, Muschamp said the Gamecocks need to get a handle on the up-tempo speed on the unit that is a hybrid between Chad Morris and Gus Malzahn.
“I think there’s a lot of similarities in the run game and there’s a couple different things in the run game it’s a different route concepts,” Muschamp said. “I think they have a lot of the same, you know, quick huddle sets that they like to run. So there’s there’s there’s obvious carryover. And then each play call is going to be different, and it’s obviously Chad’s calling the plays and, and he’s gonna be a little different from Gus. Not much different than (Gus) so there’s there’s a lot of more similarities than there are differences in my opinion. But, you know, you look at the things that jump out at you as (Anthony) Schwartz and (Seth) Williams. They’re good players in there, guys that can change the game, and they’ve done a really good job of targeting those guys in the passing game and obviously Tank (Bigsby) in the last couple weeks has really played well.”