One of the main problems for South Carolina starts with its secondary. The Gamecocks talked a big game coming out of the preseason, but have struggled to back up that talk.

In a 47-23 loss to Alabama, the Gamecocks gave up 495 passing yards and five touchdowns. That dropped them to 13th in the SEC in passing defense, just ahead of Vanderbilt. It’s an issue coach Will Muschamp is well aware of three games into the season.

“I can deal with some of the mistakes a younger player makes, but we can’t have the mistakes we had from some others,” Muschamp said at his weekly press conference. “We had some issues with staring at the quarterback in man coverage, which you can’t do. You have to cover your man first, they’re not throwing it to you, they’re throwing it to him. And if you are in phase, and you do work yourself into phase, then play the ball. We want our guys to play the ball.”

Muschamp said the players are capable of playing better, and he expects they will.

One of those players he’s referring to could be Jamyest Williams, a veteran defensive back who has battled injuries in his career. Williams needs consistency and to eliminate mental mistakes, the coach said.

“It’s not just him,” Muschamp said. “You have to communicate in defensive backfield and there’s lots of guys that need to play better.”

A.J. Turner is one player who could help at cornerback, but he’s dealt with some injuries earlier this season that have slowed his progress.