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Mitchell: It's going to take time

"It's not add water, instant player" is one of Will Muschamp's favorite sayings regarding young football players.

The meaning of Muschamp's maxim is simple. Unlike on Madden the video game, college football is not plug-and-play and despite the microwave world we live in, most players don't instantly step on the field and become good football players.

Muschamp's saying can be modified to fit the Gamecocks' current situation too. It's not add water, instant program, either.

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South Carolina quarterback Brandon McIlwain is gang tackled Saturday night in Lexington, Ky.
USA Today Sports Images

It's easy (and certainly okay) for fans to get frustrated by South Carolina's 17-10 loss to a Kentucky team that's part of a program that appears to be treading water under the guidance of head coach Mark Stoops. The loss definitely matters and a win for the Gamecocks would have meant a 3-1 start and a good shot at a bowl game.

And it's certainly okay for fans to disagree with decisions.

But Muschamp should not be judged on his first four games at South Carolina.

What is obvious after four games is the Gamecocks have a long way to go before they're SEC East contenders again.

There is no quick fix. It's going to take time.

Some may be quick to point out that Kentucky's defense allowed 44, 45 and 42 points respectively in its first three games of the season. How then, could the Gamecocks, only score a measly 10 points? But it doesn't matter how porous a defense is if the offense across from it cannot consistently execute.

South Carolina's offense features a true freshman quarterback learning on the fly, an offensive line that has woefully underperformed expectations, a receiver group with no continuity due to injury and inexperience, and a play caller who is completely hamstrung by it all.


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