For anyone calling out South Carolina for its disappointing campaign last season, Will Muschamp is right there with you.
On paper, the Gamecocks appeared to have one of the better rosters in the SEC East at this time last year and with Florida and Tennessee both under first-year head coaches, the path looked promising for South Carolina to contend for a trip to Atlanta. While many believed getting Georgia at home early in the season would prove to be an advantage for South Carolina, it turned out to be disastrous for Muschamp’s crew when the Bulldogs erupted for a 41-17 victory in Columbia.
The final exclamation point on the season came in the Belk Bowl as the Gamecocks were shutout 28-0 against an average Virginia team. That result dropped South Carolina to 7-6 on the season.
While many South Carolina fans are heated by those results, Muschamp offered up the same opinion during the most recent stop on the Spurs Up Tour from Rock Hill. The Gamecock coach says he not only appreciates the passion of his program’s fans but he embraces the high expectations that come with playing in the SEC.
“I want people to be pissed off at 7-6. I’m pissed. I think it’s awesome, that’s the type of fan base we have,” Muschamp said in a YouTube video posted by GamecockCentral.com. “We need to continue that mindset moving forward.”
Muschamp followed up that thought by admitting he was “disgusted” by the outcome of the Belk Bowl.
While the South Carolina coach can handle criticism and expectations, he did wish to point out he doesn’t appreciate the narrative that his team didn’t play hard in the Belk Bowl.
“The frustration I get is our players tried, we didn’t play very well,” he continued. “And there is a difference between not playing well and not playing hard and I’ve been coaching for over 20 years and our guys gave effort, we didn’t play well. That’s my responsibility but to sit there and put a blanket statement that our guys didn’t care and didn’t play hard is not true.”
Finally, Muschamp revealed that Eldridge Thompson has been granted a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA, which was something the team was unsure of until recently.