Williams-Brice Stadium stands quiet and near deserted days after the raccous atmosphere of Sout Carolina's 24-21 win over the then 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
Head football coach Will Muschamp speaks about the tough test in Missouri on Saturday. USC now has four wins and four losses with four games to go. Two wins are all that's needed to be eligible for a bowl game.
By Brandon Gann
The South Carolina Gamecocks and their head coach Will Muschamp are feeling good.
The team is coming off of easily their biggest win of the season, beating the then 18th ranked Tennessee Volunteers at home 24-21, and improving to four wins and four losses on the season.
However, football is a game where if players and coaches rest on their laurels, the losses will outnumber the wins.
“We don’t have any room for (complacency). We have no margin for error,” Muschamp said.
The lack of the margin comes from their record: four wins and four losses. Three losses and USC won’t go to a bowl game.
Despite the need for focus, optimism is now high the Gamecocks will have a good enough record to make a bowl game.
To qualify for bowl eligibility, a team must have at least six wins or five wins with unique extenuating circumstances.
If USC wins two of their final four games, they will be bowl eligible.
The Gamecocks are currently favored against Missouri on Saturday, and are projected to also be favored over Western Carolina on Nov. 19. Saturday’s game will kick off at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network.
In their other two games, the Gamecocks will play heavily favored and top-ten ranked opponents Florida on Nov. 12 and archival Clemson Tigers on Thanksgiving Saturday.
Both of the top-ten opponents will be on the road.
Muschamp knows the task ahead for his team, but he jokes about player accomplishments during the game.
In the win against Tennessee, defensive back Jarmarcus King intercepted not one, but two passes. For his efforts, he received shirts.
“We give them ‘Ball-hawk shirts.’ We keep getting them shirts,” Muschamp said. “They’re good-looking shirts.”
The upbeat mood was dampened by the announcement that freshman tight end Robert Tucker must retire from football due to a hereditary neck condition discovered by the athletic training staff.
“We are going to take care of Robert, but really sad for him.” Muschamp said.
Tucker will continue his education at USC and is seeking to continue to work with the team in some capacity.