South Carolina was shut out for the first time since 2006 on Saturday, losing 28-0 to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. In a game Will Muschamp considered a home game, played in Charlotte, it was about as bad of a performance South Carolina has shown since the coach took over the Gamecock program.
The South Carolina offense finished the day converting two of 13 third-down conversions. The Gamecocks also missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs on their only trip to the red zone. The Cavaliers have also controlled the pace of the game, holding the ball for 42:35 of game clock, to only 17:25 time of possession for the Gamecocks.
Jake Bentley has only completed 17 of 40 throws for 218 yards and two interceptions in the game. The two picks occurred in the second half of the game, the first after South Carolina’s defense forced a turnover and gave the Gamecocks some life in the contest. That turnover took the air out of the game and it was never a contest following that moment.
Immediately after the game, Muschamp offered up these comments on his team’s performance during his postgame press conference.
“We had some success in the run game in the first half. We threw the ball well at times, we had some drops, which was disappointing,” Muschamp said. “In the second half, that’s when the game to me switched. It goes from 21 to nothing, it changes our approach to the game a little bit and they go to some exotic pressures — some double edge pressures. They did a nice job of designing some things there. When you get to 21 to nothing game against their defense, I knew it was going to be a difficult deal.”
on the South Carolina fans that made the trip to the game:
“I appreciate our fans who came out to support us. We didn’t give them a good showing and that’s on me.”
on Virginia receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, who had 12 catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the game:
“They move him around, they do a really nice job of presenting him in some different spots, whether it’s in the backfield or out at receiver. He’s a great competitor and he’s a guy that gets the football.”
on how he expects his program to respond following the tough loss:
“These guys are fighting their ass off. We’re recruiting the right guys. They aren’t gonna lay down. I’ll tell you that.”
on Rashad Fenton not returning to the game, despite being healthy enough to play:
Will Muschamp mentions that CB Rashad Fenton was healthy, though he did not play in the second half. While he would not directly answer the later follow up if he took himself out the game, it sure sounds like he did. #Gamecocks #BelkBowl @abc_columbia pic.twitter.com/eHPiptHpML
— Greg Brzozowski (@GregABCColumbia) December 29, 2018