South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp met with the media Thursday as the Gamecocks start practice for the Birmingham Bowl.
Notes from Will Muschamp:
** Veteran offensive line coach John Latina will coach South Carolina offensive line for the bowl game only. Muschamp says he will not hire a full-time line coach until after the bowl is complete. Latina, who has coached for over 30 years, is currently retired.
** Start practice today. Will have eight in Columbia. First four, there will be no focus on USF. Will focus on South Carolina.
** Exams went well. All of the guys are eligible. No new transfers. Asked they guys to come talk if they felt like they needed a new start and now one came by.
* Congrats to Shawn Elliott on Georgia State job. He will take Cedric Williams has his offensive line coach. Will not hire an OL coach prior to bowl.
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** JUCO DB signees Keisean Nixon and Kaleb Chalmers could potentially join the Gamecocks for bowl practice. If they're accepted early enough. Would love for that to happen. Both of those guys will make the team better next year. They would only be able to practice in Columbia - can't travel. If players can come in early for bowl practice, it's a good introduction to the program for them, to the other players and to the pace of practice.
** After self scouting, in all three faces there are things we can improve on. Have to continue to work on consistently running the football and stopping the run. Those are a huge emphasis moving forward.
** Losing to Clemson "still burns." It's part of it.
** A team not having its head coach (such as USF not having Willie Taggart) can be a distraction if you let it, but he's got a great staff still there. They'll be looking to impress Charlie Strong and there's still plenty of motivation for them. They will probably have some wrinkles but won't change who they are.
** Darius English has worked his tail off in practice every day which has led to his successful senior season. "For what we've asked him to do, he's very effective."
** USF runs the ball extremely well. They're a fast team that creates a lot of 1-on-1 situations. Quinton Flowers has a competitive edge that you appreciate as a coach.
** Model bowl practice structure some after Mack Brown and Nick Saban. Some teams practice all December, but don't want it to get monotonous for the players. You want to treat it like a spring practice and condense a bit to keep the players locked in.
** Skai Moore still plans to be back next season.
** Sadarius Hutcherson, Stephon Taylor, Ty'Son Williams, Evan Hinson, Aaron Taylor and Randrecous Davis are some guys who will redshirt this year that have practiced well.
** South Carolina's seniors won't practice the first two days. It will be a good opportunity for young players.