|TideSports College Football Preview|
Will Muschamp has learned some things as he enters his second season as South Carolina’s head coach. He was let go by the Florida Gators after the 2014 season, and has worked to build a system at South Carolina to ensure that won’t happen again.
“Will I sit here and say I’ll do the exact same things I did at Florida?” Muschamp said at SEC Media Days this summer. “You know what will happen? I’ll get fired again. So, no I don’t think I‘ll do everything the same.”
To Muschamp, it comes down to proper management of every aspect that is in any way relevant to the team, whether it be campus life, recruiting or even public relations for the program.
Muschamp coached under Alabama coach Nick Saban earlier in his career, and wants to see South Carolina catch up to be competitive with the Crimson Tide. In order to reach that point, the coach said he must first move on from the idea that his team is too finesse-oriented.
“The ability to run the ball against good people and the inability to stop the (run) against good people goes back to toughness,” Muschamp said. “We didn’t do that against good people, that’s called soft.”
Jake Bentley will return as starting quarterback to carry the team after moving into the role as a freshman last season. He started the final seven games of last season and finished with 1,420 passing yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
South Carolina will open the season against North Carolina State in Charlotte, followed by a matchup at Missouri.
Sept. 2; North Carolina State*
Sept. 9; at Missouri
Sept 16; Kentucky
Sept. 23; Louisiana Tech
Sept. 30; at Texas A&M
Oct. 7; Arkansas
Oct. 14; at Tennessee
Oct. 28; Vanderbilt
Nov. 4; at Georgia
Nov. 11; Florida
Nov. 18; Wofford
Nov. 25; Clemson
2016 record: 6-7 (3-5 Conf./T5th East)
All-time SEC championships: 0
Bowl appearances: 21 (8-13-0)
Starters returning: 16
Starters lost: 8