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Kentucky Week Football Media Availability
Football  . 

Kentucky Week Football Media Availability

Gamecocks Host Wildcats on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network

Head Coach Will Muschamp Weekly News Conference Transcript

– Thanks, Steve. Somebody leave their cell phone here? Oh, it’s tape recording, my bad. High tech stuff here. Good start this morning on Kentucky. A good football team, and we need to have good preparation. Was very pleased with practice this morning. Need to have another good Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and lookin’ forward to gettin’ under the lights at Williams-Brice Stadium. There’s nothing like a night game at Williams-Brice. I know our players are excited about it. You can feel a buzz in the building this morning about comin’ back home in front of our fans, and I know that it’ll be great environment for our football team. You got a lot of respect from Mark Stoops in his seventh year there are Kentucky and the job he’s done offensively. They lost Terry Wilson earlier in the year at the quarterback position, and Sawyer Smith’s come in as a transfer from Troy. He’s done a nice job for them. You know, Lynn Bowden’s a guy that really jumps off the tape at ya as a very good player. We’ll play him at quarterback, running back, plays him in the slot, gets the ball to him. He’s a returner. He’s really electric with the ball in his hands. An outstanding competitor, and a really really good football player, but both backs, Rose, and Smoke are good players. We recruited Kavosiey here at South Carolina. Got a lot of respect for him. They’re big and physical on the offensive line. We got a transfer Ahmad Wagner from I believe a basketball player from Iowa. Six five, 240-pound guy, a mismatch on the edges a little bit, as far as jump balls and those things are concerned, but a really good football player and has made a bunch of plays for him here in four games into the season. Defensively, very big up front and stout. I mean, they’re 360 at the nose, 300 plus at the two end positions. Mostly a three down structure. They play some four down, and very active at linebacker in the secondary end. You know, really good on special teams. Injury-wise, really Hank Manos is really struggling with his ankle. We may do the ankle cord surgery. So, he’d be about four weeks before he’ll be back in that situation, and other than that, I think we’re ready to go. So, I’ll open up for any questions.

– [Reporter] Will with Jam deciding to leave, how does the secondary reshuffle? I mean, it’s a man down, but how do you guys up and handle that loss?

– No different than we have before. We’ll be fine.

– [Reporter] Was his decision to leave a surprise to you?

– No, he just wants another opportunity, want a better, another situation. So, we support him 100%, love coachin’ Jam, but we’re movin’ forward.

– [Reporter] What do you wanna see more from your team offensively heading into this week, and what have conversations with Bryan been like going into I guess Kentucky?

– Well, you know, I think, first of all, you know, startin’ the game out much better than last week is a major issue, you know, and we’ve talked in terms of runnin’ the ball to help Bryan more in some situations. You know, you go back and evaluate you know last week’s game. You know, the first 26 plays, 17 of ’em were called runs or RPOs. Based on how they played us and whether we’re reading a first-level defender and an RPO, a second-level defender, an apex player or whatever the read may be, you know, Ryan made really good decisions as far as throwin’ in those situations. I thought he made really good decisions. Now, we weren’t always accurate with the throw. We didn’t always win on the top end of the route, create enough separation, and we had a couple protection issues. So, there was three-fold, you know, some issues as far as the breakdowns that we had, but certainly, being able to run the football, you know, like the Alabama game certainly is gonna help. Now, you also go back, let’s flip, let’s go back to Alabama game to start the game, a 14-play drive. You know, 10 of those were passes. We had a fourth and one speed option. We had one hard-call run and two RPOs, which we handed the ball off based on the look that we got. So, you know, we started extremely well in that ball game throwin’ the football and doin’ the things that we felt that were most comfortable for Ryan and his third start. So, we’ll continue to explore those things based on what Kentucky does and put us in the best situation to get out to a good start, and I think part of that is gotta be runnin’ the football. There’s no question.

– [Reporter] Is changin’ play caller something you’ve ever considered on offense?

– No.

– [Reporter] Is it something you would consider during a season, or you believe in, do you ever think there’s value in change for change’s sake in something like that to shake things up?

– No, I mean, we’re gonna make decision what’s best for our football team.

– [Reporter] From an offensive game planning standpoint, do y’all evaluate during the season how y’all prepare for a game where there’s play calling or putting together the game plan, or is that something y’all may look at in a by week for example, or is that something you assess after a season?

– No, I think that’s something you evaluate on Sunday. You know, every week that you take a look at what worked, what didn’t work. Going into the game, what was our thought process, you know? What were we thinking here? Did we not get the certain look that we thought we would get? Did they change some things up? Did they do some things differently? Did we just get physically whipped to the point of attack? You know, what are all the variables? And the first thing you do as a play caller is you look in the mirror, and what do we need to do to be more successful? You know, gettin’ out to a good start, obviously, was really important on the road. You know, I go back to last year. In 13 games, we scored on our first drive in seven of the 13 games. That’s a very high percentage of starting out the right way. In our first three ball games, we scored on the first series on all three ball games. That’s really good football. Obviously, this past week, we didn’t do a good enough job offensively. Game plannin’, you know, and adjustin’ within the first half to get more things goin’ offensively, and that was the evaluation. So, then, from there, you know, I think a little of it was physical, we got whipped up front. A little of it was inaccuracy in throwin’ the football. A little of it was not winning on the top of some routes that we need to be able to win in some one-on-ones because based on how they were playin’ us, they were challenging us to throw the football, and we didn’t win well enough early in the ball game. We made some adjustments at halftime. We came out, and we hit a screen pass for 75 yards. We take the next possession all the way down the field, and unfortunately, have a turnover there goin’ in, but no, John, those are all things that we evaluate, you know, on Sunday about what went right, what went wrong, and then, the more important is the why. You know, was it a scheme issue? Was it a planning issue? Was it a physical issue? And those are all questions that you gotta be real honest with yourself ’cause it’s easy to say well, we got whipped. Well, you know, let’s be realistic here. Are we askin’ the player to do something he can’t do? You know, those are all questions that we get asked, and really, John, in all three phases, you know.

– [Reporter] Well, with Ryan’s injury, how do you manage his workload this week? How has he looked? And I assume that he’s good to go for Saturday night?

– Absolutely, he made every throw today. He looked great, and there’s been absolutely no cut of reps or anything, he looks great.

– [Reporter] With Jamyest’s departing, how does that change dynamics in the secondary at all, and does anyone get more, does the work get kind of distributed over the guys who’ve been playing? Or does anyone else kind of step into the mix?

– Well, the guys who have been playing, we’ll just continue to roll the guys we’re playing.

– [Reporter] Will, you know, with the linebackers, you said that need to get better production. Has there been one thing over these last four games, one thing that they haven’t been doing consistently enough?

– You know, I just think in fittin’ in the run game. You know, the run fits have gotta be right, and sometimes we’ve lost our eyes on some things and we gotta just clean up some fits in the run game to make sure we’re right in those situations ’cause we really, you know, you really know in our first four ball games, Jevon and Kobe, I thought Zacch, I thought Rick Sandidge played his best game Saturday, and Zacch Pickens continues to come on for us, but Kobe and Jevon have played at a high level.

– [Reporter] Coach, you know, when Ryan’s havin’ the half that he had, the first half, then, havin’ the game collectively that he had, in the position where you wanna be a perfectionist, this is only his second start. What’s the message that you have to him to kinda keep him motivated to move on from that one, and just you know take the highs with the highs and the lows with the lows?

– Well, it was his third start, but you know, that’s part of being the quarterback at South Carolina. You know, he and I had a conversation late Saturday night. Unfortunately, with being the startin’ quarterback, you get way too much credit when the things go right and go correct and then are goin’ your way, and you’re gonna burden the blame when it’s not goin’ your way, and that’s part of being the quarterback. You know, he’s a mentally tough guy. You know, he’s a mentally tough man. He’s been through an awful lot, and you know, the way I saw him respond on Sunday and the way I saw him respond Monday and Tuesday he’s been really good, and I thought he had a really good practice today. But you know, be careful what you ask for. You wanna be the startin’ quarterback at South Carolina? That’s part of it, and you gotta deal with the criticism, and that’s part of the position. That’s fair, and he understands that. He understands that.

– [Reporter] Concerns you had about the secondary from the Alabama game, how well did they address that in Missouri game? Did you feel like they made, they played better?

– I thought we made some improvements. You know, at the end of the day, we played 54 snaps in the first half, and that’s far too many snaps. And I think I’ve addressed that, but you know, we’ve got a, we plan on playing 90 snaps in the game, and we’ve gotta put ourselves a position to stay on the field more offensively and not play as many snaps as we played, but I thought we made some improvements.

– [Reporter] When your background as the head coach is in a specific position area, do you find your eye naturally going there more? Do you deal with that group more than you deal with other groups? How does that work?

– Oh yeah, I mean, I coach on defense, and I meet with the defense and game plan, and obviously, as far as plannin’ to win the game, we meet as a staff, and we talk about the things we need to do in order to win the game, whether it’s in all three phases, offense, defense, and special teams, but certainly, I spend more time with the defense.

– [Reporter] The defensive back specifically?

– Sure.

– [Reporter] When they’re struggling, is that more frustrating for you because that is your area, and that’s where your background is?

– Yeah. I mean, what are you tryin’ to punish me or what?

– [Reporter] No, I’m just wonderin’ how it works? Do you get more–

– Yeah, it pisses me off.

– [Reporter] Do you find yourself gettin’ more involved in that sort of scenario, or do you–

– I’m always involved. It’s not a situation where all of a sudden you wanna start gettin’ involved, I’ve been involved the whole time, and I take a lot of the burden on myself.

– [Reporter] Joseph Charlton had another really good game the other night. How valuable is a guy like that, particularly when offense is struggling a little bit?

– Yeah, when, you know, you flip the field, and we never wanna punt and have the ball on our side of the 50, and I think he flipped it every single time and actually out-punted the coverage a couple times there. It was a tough cover, and we have Xavier and A.J., and Shi and J.C., and I think even Bryan took a rep as a gunner as far as guys, you know, that’s a 70-yard sprint to go cover a really good return guy in the Southeastern Conference, so. But Joe’s puntin’ the ball really well. He’s been a weapon force to be able to flip the field, the hidden yards, and the vertical field position, and he’s done nice job, really nice.

– [Reporter] Coach, because of the situation you guys are at, being pushed back in the corner, what would you tell fans in terms of being able to come out this week, and how important is that gonna be for you guys first night game at home?

– Well, we’re excited. A night game at Williams-Brice is a special special, there’s nothing like it, and I’ve coached in a lot of arenas, and there’s no doubt that that’s as good as anywhere in the country. Our guys are excited about it, and you know what? Our fans will be great. They’ll be supportive. I don’t need to tell ’em anything. I know they’ll be excited to see the play, and we really really appreciate their support. And it starts with which they’ll be a packed house for that, and we just appreciate all the positive support they’re givin’ us right now.

– [Reporter] Will, everybody’s frustrated with the running game. How has Tavien handled that considering he’s the guy that transferred?

– He’s been great. He’s been great. I mean, at the end of the day, we’ve actually run the football pretty well ’til Saturday, you know, so I’ve been, you know, you go 150 or whatever we did against Alabama, there’s not many teams that’ve done that. So, very disappointed with the inability to run the ball Saturday.

– [Reporter] How does he look Sunday and today?

– Good, yeah, yep.

– [Reporter] I had a quick question on the pass that got picked off against Missouri on the goal line? It looked like the edge defender kind of sunk in to open up the window for that slant. I guess was that kind of the case, and with it getting picked off, was the ball maybe a little too far inside, or did the guy just kind of bounce out and sort of make that play?

– They zoned us on that situation, and we were expecting man coverage, and we probably should’ve handed the ball off.

– [Reporter] With the new redshirt rule, there’s obviously, you see some guys four games into the year with the whole redshirt, is that a concerning trend for you in terms of just being a football coach, or is it something you just have to live with with this new rule?

– Collin, I think it’s something you just gotta live with as part of where we are in college football right now, so.

– [Reporter] Donell said there were some communication issues on the offensive line last week. What kind of adjustments you need to see there?

– Well, we practice with crowd noise, you know, every, startin’ in training camp, you know. Those are things we really work on as far as the communication and bein’ on the same page or whatever combo and two and who we’re workin’, whether that be an A-block, B-block, or C-block or whatever the case may be out front. And we did have a couple mishaps on the offensive line, which we just can’t happen, you know? The closest two knit units on the team need to be the offensive line and the secondary because they’ve gotta work cohesively together. And what we try to do, and normally, it’s a negative play if they’re on the same page, but we, that has not been an issue for us, and then, we’re gonna continue to work through ti.

– [Reporter] Will, I’m sure turnover margin is not where you want it to be. I’m sure you emphasize ball security every single day. Is there anything you can do to kinda get those numbers turned around, or is it just up to the guys to say hey, it’s time that we do this?

– Well, I mean, again, I think that number one, we need to be more opportunistic defensively. You know, and taking the ball away. You know, Aaron Sterling had a great strip on their side of the 50 the other day. The tackle was secured, and he went in for the strip, and then, it was an outstanding play. You know D.J. Wonnum does just a very instinctive play on the interception, but we need to be more opportunistic defensively, and when we don’t have the ball and gettin’ the ball off people, and certainly taking care of the football, but it’s hard to win on the road, when you give up 14 points, you know, and your defense isn’t on the field. That’s very difficult so those are things that we’ve gotta, and it’s the most important thing in the game, the ball and explosive plays, that ratio dictates who win and loses games, and right now, we’re on the negative side of that. So, on both situations.

– [Reporter] A couple of things, has anybody else come to you to have the conversation like Jamyest had about transferring after four?

– No.

– [Reporter] And have you gotten what you expected out of Jaycee and Israel so far at the corner position, and does Israel maybe get a look more at safety with Jamyest leaving?

– Well, Israel actually played safety against North Carolina and Charleston Southern in both of those games, and he’ll continue to rep, I believe he even got some snaps at Alabama. I don’t know that for sure, but I know in the first two games, but he always reps back there and helps us back there with John, you Cam Smith emergence has come on. I thought he had a really good day this morning. You know, A.J.’s gotten healthy so he’s another guy that’s gonna be back in the fold at the corner position. But you know, John, it’s always about puttin’ the best four, best five, and best six guys out there. You know, I think Jaycee and Israel can play better than they’ve played in the first about four ball games.

– [Reporter] Will, with the one and three start and five straight loses to Kentucky, how much pressure is on this coaching staff right now to win this game Saturday?

– We have pressure every single week. Every single week, there’s a lot of pressure, and you know what? There’s more pressure internally than there is externally, I can assure you of that.

– [Reporter] Do you consider this a must-win game Saturday–

– They’re all must-win games. Every single game, you know what next week’s gonna be? Well, that’s when we’re open. The next week’s gonna be? Must-win, and we need to kick open’s ass too.

– [Reporter] With Sawyer Smith in there, does that change Kentucky’s offense and all, and just in your experience, how unusual is this sort of run into a backup quarterback with the kind of experience he has?

– Well, he has legs. I wouldn’t say he’s Terry Wilson, but he has legs. He’s been able to extend plays for them. He was a really good runner at Troy. So, we’ve done a lot of research as far as those things are concerned so I don’t know that how much it changes, you know, what they do, they wanna run the football play action, and that’s kinda their mantra since Eddy’s been there. So, but I don’t know how much it changes it.

– [Reporter] Will, kind of specific here, but you guys had the goal line stand in on one of those plays, the running back tried to jump over the pile. Is that a play that when you’re coaching your running backs, your Thomases, do you guys teach your guys to do that, or is that just something that they kind of make up their mind to do?

– No, that’s something that we’ve, you know, done before. You know, I think, I believe it was Rico two years ago that, you know, a lot of it is schematically, you know, a lot of, some defensive lines like ours, when they get inside the two and inside the one knee run, meaning they’re gonna submerge the line. They’re gonna try and create a new line of scrimmage. They wanna knock everything back, take the legs out of the offensive line and to eliminate a crease in the run defense, and the ball’s gotta be run on the perimeter is what probably should happen. And then, in the situation, let the linebacker go clean, play up over the top. So, that’s kind of what they obviously, you know, havin’ some familiarity with me, knew probably what we were gonna, you know, from a fundamentals and technique standpoint gonna do, and that’s what they called. T.J. Brunson made a really good play comin’ over the top and knockin’ him back, and Zacch Pickens, you know, cleaned him up a little bit there.

– [Reporter] Coach, lookin’ at Kentucky’s offense, I think they have seven drives of 75 plus yards, a four of 90 plus, how concerning is that to you, and what’s the key sort of to gettin’ your defense off the field?

– Well, you know, third down is gonna be critical in this game. You know, sometimes, you know, third down can in some instances can be a little misleading, but when you play a team like Kentucky, you’ve gotta get off the field on third down because they’re gonna, you know, they’re a team that’s totally content runnin’ the ball 40 plus times in the game, and so, you gotta understand that mindset and mentality, and there’s gonna be some third and threes, some third and twos, some third and fours, and you’ve gotta win on those situations ’cause that’s where they keep the drives alive, and they keep expending the time, and that’s somewhat of their makeup and what they wanna do offensively so you gotta get off the field on the third down. Third down’s important all the time, but especially when you play a team like this that’s willin’ to be very patient, and when you get inside third and three to six, you know, they’re willin’ to run the football. And those are things that a lot of teams, once it becomes third down, a run won’t be called, and in this ball game, that’s different. All right, y’all have a good one, all righty.

RS Senior P Joseph Charlton Transcript

– [Reporter] I was in here last week, and somebody asked a question about you, and he said, “Oh, Joe’s done a great job. When he first came in, he might not have been the most charming guy in the world.” What did he mean by that?

– I don’t know. I hadn’t really adapted yet, I guess you could say. So, yeah, we’re good now.

– [Reporter] What was that? Like you came in and was just kind of quiet, stand-offish? How would you describe yourself back then?

– Probably all that, yeah.

– [Reporter] Did you all have any dust ups? Did ya’ll have any memorable moments?

– Not really, no. Just kind of did our own thing.

– [Reporter] Is that part of just being a punter? Punters and kickers are sort of known for being a little quirky.

– Yeah.

– [Reporter] Is that accurate?

– I reckon so, yeah.

– [Reporter] Anything you like to do to kind of keep guys off-balance a little bit? Crack jokes with them, or anything?

– Yeah, I’m a big jokester, so.

– [Reporter] Give me an example.

– I just kind of pull it out, you know? Pull it out, when it comes out. If it pops in my head, I’ll do it.

– [Reporter] What’s the funniest thing you’ve done?

– [Reporter] Or strangest thing?

– I’m sure, back in the day, ya’ll saw the old specialists video. The specialists music video. Where Frye and Drew Williams, and all them, we did that.

– [Reporter] Yeah.

– I think that was very memorable memory, right there.

– [Reporter] Did you guys do that like… I mean, I’m sure you didn’t ask anybody before you did it, right?

– No, we did not ask anybody.

– [Reporter] So, when it ran, what did all the coaches say?

– They said some stuff, but it wasn’t too bad.

– [Reporter] What caused you to take a step up in the way you played? Is there something specific, or just gradual work at it?

– I just gradually work at it, just being more mature. I guess.

– [Reporter] How does that translate? Just practicing more?

– Practicing more, being more consistent. Just learning from others.

– [Reporter] How’d you feel you punted Saturday? You hit some booming kicks.

– I think I punted pretty well. Could’ve put more hang on ’em.

– [Reporter] How does a punter… You want to get into the game and show what you can do, but it’s generally not a good thing.

– Right.

– [Reporter] How do you mentally handle that? How do you approach that? Do you want to get in the game? Or, you not want to get on the game? How do you…

– I’ll always want to get a couple, you know? But, put team first, so. It is what it is.

– [Reporter] What’d think when all these Australian guys coming over? The Australian punter is kind of a thing now, do you–

– Not really. I mean, I really don’t care.

– [Reporter] There’s no rivalry? There’s no–

– No, not really. I’m just going to keep doing my job, you know? Go out there and bomb ’em.

– [Reporter] What’s this?

– Took a knee to the face.

– [Reporter] When did that happen?

– Over camp.

– [Reporter] Oh, really? Who was that? Who owned the knee?

– Another teammate. We were messing around.

– [Reporter] In practice?

– Nah.

– [Reporter] Did you have to get a few stitches there?

– Yeah, I had a couple, had four.

– [Reporter] I don’t know if you got credit for it, or not, but, you almost made a tackle.

– Oh, yeah. I mean, I feel like I made half a tackle.

– [Reporter] What is that like, as a punter, and going to make a tackle? Is that nerve racking?

– Not really.

– Or, is that something you relish?

– I love it. I like it.

– [Reporter] Why?

– Lowering the shoulder, man.

– [Reporter] So, you like to hit people?

– Oh, I do.

– [Reporter] Did you play another position in high school?

– No, I did not. I was usually just a kicker, punter kicker.

– [Reporter] How many tackles would you say you’ve made over your career?

– Not many, maybe like three.

– [Reporter] Did you play soccer?

– Growing up, probably like nine years. Never in high school, though, never.

– [Reporter] Oh, I was going to say, does the soccer background form a little bit of tackling? I mean, obviously not as physical a sport, but.

– Yeah, probably not, no.

– [Reporter] Joe, looking at this game, obviously there was a lot of… I mean, it’s social media and people talk, all that, but do you guys feel like you’re playing for Coach Muschamps’s job, this Saturday?

– No, not all. Muschamp’s a great coach. I mean, I don’t really go on social media and look at what everyone says about him, but, I think he’s one of the best coaches I’ve played under.

– [Reporter] Is it easy to tune out all that outside noise?

– Oh yeah. I don’t really listen to it, so.

– [Reporter] You have aspirations of playing in the NFL?

– Yes, sir.

– [Reporter] Do you feel like you’re in a good spot to do that? Have you heard anything? Do you know where you stand? Do you expect to get opportunities?

– I mean, I hope so. Kind of right now just focusing on the team. See where it takes me.

– [Reporter] How much do you guys focus on hang time, versus, coach just saying let it rip, and let you get out there take it as far as you can?

– Kind of just depends on the situation we’re in. I mean if you’re pooching it, if your ball’s on the 50 and I’m going to hit a pooch punt inside the five yard line, I’m going to put some hang on it so I give my gunners some time to get down there. But, yeah.

– [Reporter] What’s most satisfying, booming a 60, 70 yarder, or dropping one inside the five?

– Probably the 70 yarder. That’s tough. Yeah, you see that ball fly, and you know you ripped it.

– [Reporter] Is that like getting a good drive in golf?

– Exactly.

– Do you play golf?

– Every now and then. Not the best.

– [Reporter] How many stitches did that take to close?

– About four, yeah.

– [Moderator] Anything else?

– [Interviewers together] Thank you.

Senior WR Chavis Dawkins Transcript

– [Reporter] Chavis, how have things been this week at practice, what’s the mindset of the team after coming back from Missouri?

– I mean, mindset is still the same, just getting better every week, control what we can control, and just focus on us and get better.

– [Reporter] How do you feel Ryan has done? Do you feel like the performance at Missouri was maybe, a little anomaly or something like that, it wasn’t what he’s about or, how do you feel he’ll do this week?

– I mean I just, I mean, the game’s over so I mean we’re just moving on from that game and just trying to get better this week and I mean he looked good today. So, I think we should be fine moving forward.

– [Reporter] Think he’ll respond well mentally? Just given the fact that he’s been through something…

– Yeah Ryan’s, Ryan’s a strong-minded person, I think he’ll respond really well.

– [Reporter] What are kind of your memories from the previous meetings with Kentucky?

– Oh, man, uh… Not good, I don’t really like Kentucky but, but, I mean, they’re a good team. But, just previously playing them, they just, I don’t know, I don’t want to talk about that, I’ll just say…

– [Reporter] It’s a new year and I know you guys take it one year at a time in terms of who you guys play, but I mean, how nice would it be to be the team that ends the streak?

– Yeah, like you said it’s a new year so, I mean, that’s what we’re playing to do. End that streak.

– [Reporter] Do you guys talk about it at all though? I mean do you think about…

– Nah, we’re just focusing on us, and trying to get better everyday.

– [Reporter] Do you hear that from fans at all? Talking to them I guess out in public about the streak, or anything like that when it’s Kentucky week?

– Nah, not really.

– [Reporter] Do you all consider this a must-win game?

– I mean, I think we consider every game a must-win game. But, this is definitely a game that means a little bit more. I think we’ll be ready and prepared.

– [Reporter] What percentage of the plays you all run are RPOs?

– Ooh, that’d be a question for B-Mac. I honestly don’t know.

– [Reporter] Would you tell fans how important is it going to be for them to come out and show support on Saturday?

– Oh yeah it’s definitely going to be important. I mean it’s a night game, everybody’s excited, everybody’s always excited about night games so, fans definitely need to be there and show support.

– [Reporter] How do you process 1-3 knowing that there’s still a lot of ball left but also, it’s going to take a minute to kind of dig out of this hole that you guys are in right now, how do you guys process that, and you know, not get too far ahead of yourselves?

– I mean we just don’t get overwhelmed with everything. We just take it week by week, day by day, and try to get better.

– [Reporter] Have you had a chance to talk at all to Jam after his decision or no?

– Ah, no I just found that out this morning actually.

– [Reporter] Chavis, what do you remember about the first time you met Joe Charlton?

– Joe Charlton. Joseph?

– [Reporter] Yeah, punter.

– That was my, that was my roommate, that was my roommate, my freshman year, so, it was pretty fun.

– [Reporter] What was he like back then?

– He wasn’t really there in the room, he was always, he was always with girls and stuff, so. Don’t tell him I said that.

– [Reporter] He’s got a reputation for being maybe kind of a joker, kind of standoffish, what do you remember about him, playing pranks or something like that?

– I mean he don’t, he don’t really play pranks on me, but he did, he was a little joker in the room, sometimes when he was there, but, yeah he’s a good dude to be around.

– [Reporter] What kind of things would he do?

– Like, don’t flush the toilet or something.

– [Reporter] That’s a terrible joke! Chavis, trying to move on from that, what do you want to see from this offense, I guess? After moving on from these four weeks and into the last two thirds of the season?

– I mean we’re just going to keep getting better, I mean, all we can do is get better, so, I mean, I feel like we’re the best offense in the conference in the world so I think we’re just going to keep going.

– [Reporter] What’s the biggest thing that you guys need to improve on if you guys want to reach that potential of best offense in the SEC?

– Just basically improve on just getting better every day and just focus on what we can focus on really. That’s all we can do right now.

– [Reporter] Do you believe in momentum offensively during a game? I mean Alabama looked like it went pretty well and then Missouri nothing worked. Does it kind of go that way, does momentum count, or is it just play-to-play basis?

– I think it’s just play-to-play basis honestly. Momentum’s there, momentum’s in every game, but it’s really just play-to-play, focus on the next play, and just try to play the next play better.

– [Reporter] Did you all pinpoint why it didn’t click against Missouri?

– No sir, we didn’t.

– [Reporter] What was B-Mac’s message to the offense after that game?

– Just basically we got to play better. What everybody’s message is really. Just play better, control what we can control.

– [Reporter] We seen anything different I guess, with these two practices Sunday and Tuesday, preparing for Kentucky at all?

– Nope.

Senior WR Bryan Edwards Transcript

– [Reporter] How do you characterize the last three weeks for you? I think a couple 200-yard games, and I think you’ve just been a little bit more explosive since obviously that first week. What’s these last three games been like for you?

– I mean, obviously I’ve seen a lot of touches, you know, just being the older guy in the room. I’m just trying to make the most of those touches and make plays for my team.

– [Reporter] How confident are you that Ryan’s going to bounce back? Obviously tough week for him, but he’s played really well at home so far. How confident are you in him?

– I’m pretty confident in him. Like I said, he’s a tough kid, he’s resilient, so he’s going to bounce back, I know that.

– [Reporter] Did you worry about his performance at times last week when things weren’t going well, that maybe he was injured?

– I mean, I talk to him. We usually have conversations about it, and I ain’t too worried.

– [Reporter] What’s the biggest step this offense has to take after these first four games that you’d like to see the rest of the season?

– Just mentally, everybody being locked in on what their job entails.

– [Reporter] Bryan, what would you tell fans right now in terms of just coming out for the support. ’cause I know it’s going to be a night game, and being able to get things back on track. How important is it going to be for them for them to be able to be loud this week?

– It’s always important, but you know the fans are going to turn out. It’s a night game in Willie B. If anything it’s a good time, so you know, and we’re going to try to go out there and put a great product on the field, so I’m not worried about the fans showing up. People are going to show.

– [Reporter] What stands out with this Kentucky defense, in your eyes?

– They always play hard, they always play physical. It’s always going to be a tough opponent.

– [Reporter] Even though it’s early in the season, some people are already ready to write you guys off.

– Yeah.

– [Reporter] Honestly, but you’re a senior leader. What do you say to your guys at this point in time, and how do you feel, do you pay attention to any of that outside noise?

– People are going to what they say. They was writing us off in the beginning of the season, so it really don’t make me no difference. You don’t care what people say about you. You got to go out there and do a job end of the day. I got a job to do. The quarterback’s got a job to do. Defense got a job to do, and everybody got a job to do and a responsibility to uphold, so I don’t care what people say.

– [Reporter] Have you had a chance at all to talk to Jamyest after his decision?

– I actually just found out about it this morning, didn’t even get to talk to him about it, so, I mean, it’s tough. I wish him the best, but you know, it’s tough.

– [Reporter] Is that something you all talk about as players after that fourth game mark, in kind of assessing your future? We’ve seen it with some players over at Houston who are sitting out, ready to transfer, now Jamyest. Is that a conversation that happens among players?

– Not here. I mean, I ain’t that type of guy, you know. I’m here to play, and I’m trying to go out there and put my best product on the field every day. I ain’t worried about sitting out. I’m a football player, you know? I want to play football.

– [Reporter] Bryan, have you talked at all about the streak of losing to Kentucky, or is that a thought in your mind at all this week?

– Kentucky’s just like another opponent. We got to go out there, another SEC opponent. They’re going to be good. They’re going to play physical. You got to go out there and match it. It’s not who we playing, how many times we lost, whatever that is. You’re not trying to make the game too much.

– [Moderator] Anything else for Bryan?

Junior LB Sherrod Greene Transcript

– [Reporter] How hard was it to kind of move on from last week and how do you feel like the team’s responded through two, three days?

– Um, I mean obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to go. So, we have to just move on from that. And treat every week how we usually treat it with a “must win” mentality. Just come out and compete, in this game.

– [Reporter] When you put a “must win” mentality on stuff to do, is that putting too much pressure on yourself some days?

– Oh, no I just actually come out with the mindset ready to play, ready to get to it. So we can just do our jobs and execute and hopefully come out with a win.

– [Reporter] Sherrod, what’s different about you this year through four games? How do you think you’ve improved as a player? What’s different about you year over year?

– Uh, knowing the players more, you know, being out there, being able to play fast, knowing what to do. Uh, footwork better, keeping my vision, so I can know what the offense is doing as far as like reading the pulls so I fit the gaps and do my responsibility. That’s about it.

– [Reporter] Do you guys talk at all about the streak to Kentucky this week, I know you’ve only been there for a handful of em, but just does that come up at all in the locker room?

– Uh, not really. We just try to treat every team the same way because um people, a lot of people just try to talk about the winning streak they have against us but you know we just treat every team the same and just work hard and hopefully come out with a win.

– [Reporter] You know coach says ‘every week’s a season,’ but given how the first four weeks have gone, does that “must win” mentality take another step up this week?

– Uh, yeah man. Just got to keep a positive mindset and just hope things, uh, go the way as planned. Uh, we have the players to do a lot of big things, we still have the big season ahead of us. Can’t just get down on one game.

– [Reporter] Is it something you guys talk about as players after that fourth game, kind of what Jamyest is doing sitting out and looking at other options. Is that a conversation that happens, just kind of assessing how, you know, where things stand with you guys?

– Uh. not really. I think that’s more of a question for the coach.

– [Reporter] Have you talked to Jam at all?

– Uh, no sir.

– [Reporter] How confident is the team in Ryan, that he’s going to bounce back after last week? I mean he’s played well so far at Williams-Brice, so how confident is his team in him?

– Uh, I think we’re very confident. We got a lot of faith and belief in Ryan Hilinski and what he can do. He’s a very talented quarterback and we’re just going to let him lead us the way.

– [Reporter] What have you seen out of Kentucky, so far in the film that you guys have been .

– Uh, they were running the ball a lot .

– [Reporter] Really?

– Yeah, that’s about it.

– [Reporter] Is that kind of more, you’ve expected to play a little bit more this week as kind of a base 4-3 or how do you guys kind of plan for that?

– Hopefully, I get in there a little bit more this week. Since they are running team, they are probably going to ball about plenty of times, I’m sure. Hopefully they’ll put me in there more. So we can fit the run.

– [Interview] You mentioned they run a lot, but they don’t have Snell anymore. Does that give you guys an advantage obviously?

– Uh, I mean Snell was a good back but they still have a good couple backs so we still have to respect that and just do our jobs and play physical. [Reporter] Sherrod, in one of these first four games, as a linebacking group, has there been one thing that you guys haven’t been doing consistently?

– That we haven’t been doing?

– [Reporter] Right.

– Uh, I’m sure we can work on a lot of stuff, but I mean we fittin’ the run pretty good, we just got to execute better and keep to our assignments and just stay focused within the game.

– [Reporter] Is it a key of trying to, you know, be more aggressive toward a ball carrier, instead of waiting on em, or just trying to make the tackle better?

– Uh, just be disciplined, just make the players that come to you. That’s about it.

Sophomore DB Jaycee Horn Transcript

– [Reporter] Jaycee, obviously you guys are a man down now, with Jam leaving. Just how is the secondary reshuffling to kind of cover for that loss?

– Um just goin’ out there and doing the same work we do. You know. It’s one man down, next man up, and that’s the mentality we got.

– [Reporter] How is the- I mean you guys are kind of thin in numbers, but that’s really been the situation all season. How do you guys approach that part of it?

– I mean just try to stay in the cold tub, try to get a lot of rehab in, you know just got to come ready to play. If somebody go down, the next man got to be ready.

– [Reporter] Who’d you have out there starting at safety today?

– I can’t remember to be honest.

– [Reporter] Have you talked to Jam at all about the decision, what led to it, that kind of stuff or no?

– I just wish him the best. We ain’t getting too deep into it. He’s a grown man, he makes his own decisions, so I just hope he play good wherever he go.

– [Reporter] Jaycee, this one’s a big game this week, do you guys feel like you’re playing for Coach Muschamp’s job?

– We just going out there to play. We treat every game the same no matter the opponent. Going out there, tryin’ to get a win. We need one bad.

– [Reporter] Do you guys talk about the streak at all? I know you’ve only been here for one of the games, but has that been brought up at all?

– No. No. Last year don’t matter. This 2019 Gamecocks versus Kentucky 2019 team, so we just ready to play.

– [Reporter] What do you most think Coach Muschamp was upset about in the Alabama game? Do you feel like you all addressed those well, the secondary against Missouri. Do you feel like you played better?

– I guess we didn’t play good good enough, we lost, so… I mean it don’t really matter how the secondary did, how the linebackers, D-line… we play as a unit. As a team we lost. Whether it’s offense, defense, only stat that matter at the end of the day is a win or a loss, so we lost the game.

– [Reporter] Okay, go.

– [Reporter] Kentucky’s quarterback’s obviously had some sore shoulder, how are you preparing, not knowing if he’s going to be able to play Saturday?

– Just still preparing for him to play. Cause you never know you know. We not in their locker room, so we really won’t know until Saturday night, but you know, just got to be prepared, so we’re preparing the same way as we prepare for any quarterback.

– [Reporter] How do you feel like you’ve played individually?

– We’re losing right now, so that don’t really matter either. Like I said, the only thing that matter at the end of the day, is a win or a loss, and we’re losing, so we need a win.

– [Reporter] When you go back and assess your play, do you kind of obsess over plays that you’ve made or missed, or missed especially that could have changed the game to make it into a win?

– Yeah I mean you think about it, but you know that just comes as a competitor, but you’ve just got to move onto the next game. Try to make the play the next time it come around, cause you definitely going to have another chance at it.

– [Reporter] How easy is it to not dwell on those kind of things and move on?

– It’s not easy, you know Sunday, Monday, it’s on you kind of heavy, but once you start focusing on a new opponent and practicing, you just got to move onto the next game.

– [Reporter] What’s a Sunday night practice like for you guys?

– A Sunday night practice? Just corrections. Going over the film during the day and then we going to indoor and correct all the things we messed up on during the game.

– [Reporter] As a starter, do you all do much physically? Do you all practice much out there, or is that mainly for young guys?

– No that’s mainly for young guys.

– [Reporter] What have you seen out of Kentucky, I guess in the film that you have been able to watch?

– Excuse me? Say it again?

– [Reporter] Out of Kentucky, what have you seen out of Kentucky so far on film?

– Run heavy team. You know like you said, quarterback kind of sore so, we expect them to run the ball a lot so, we’ll just go out there and play.

– [Reporter] What have you seen out of, I guess their quarterback, obviously small sample size, given the fact that he came in mid-season?

– We haven’t watched much film on him. Today was our first day, but you know, he got a pretty good arm, we just got to be locked in on the secondary.

– [Reporter] What do you think is the biggest thing that’s gone wrong when you guys have played Kentucky in the past? And how do you plan to change that this weekend?

– I wasn’t here for last year, and I don’t really too much remember that game, so we just focus on this year and trying to get a win in Williams-Brice.

– [Moderator] Anything else for Jaycee?

– [Reporters] Thanks Jaycee.

Sophomore LB Ernest Jones Transcript

– [Reporter] Coach said yes, Sunday that, “you know, there needs to be some better production out of all the linebacker spots.” Has he told that to you guys?

– Yes he has. I mean, we have to continue just to do our jobs, just do it at a higher level, and do it better than how we’ve been playing in the past.

– [Reporter] Has there been one overall thing that’s been missing in these first four games, that you guys just haven’t been doing consistently?

– As a linebacker group?

– [Reporter] Yeah.

– Not to my knowledge. I mean, it’s just an overall just have to just tackle better, get everybody lined up quicker, and just when our plays come to us, we have to make ’em.

– [Reporter] What stands out with this Kentucky offense and kind of their style?

– They’re going to come in and try to run the ball. I mean, coach has told us in the past they’ve, when we’ve played them the previous three times, they’ve ran the ball 40-plus times, so definitely have to come out and stop the run. You know, when a team comes in and they want to run the ball on you, it’s like a slap in the face for defenders, especially their front seven because, you know, that’s kind of like testing your manhood and stuff like that, so we’re definitely going to come in and stop the run and do what we need to do to win this game.

– [Reporter] Seemed like ya’ll did a really good job of that in the first half and then the second half there was some breakdowns with the quarterback getting some runs and stuff. What changed? Did they make adjustments or did you guys just get fatigued or what happened?

– I mean, it’s a possibility they made adjustments, I really couldn’t tell. It kind of felt the same, but just second half, just missing tackles, the first missed tackle, then, you know, people are over-pursued and stuff like that just kind of allowed them to get a few extra yards and carries and stuff like that.

– [Reporter] Were you all fatigued by being on the field so long?

– I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s definitely a factor, but I mean, you sign up to play football, so no matter what, how many times you’re out there, no matter how many three-and-outs your officers gives you, you have to go out there and produce and stop them and we didn’t do that enough to get the win.

– [Reporter] Ernest, this is kind of a specific question. During that goal line stand you guys had, they tried to hurdle the pile with a running back. How do you guys approach that? How do you try to defend that, as a linebacker, a guy jumping over the top?

– You just jump right up there with them and.

– Whoever, whoever, was, like, hitting each other harder, that’s who’s going to come out on top, so we came out on top of that one. T.J. and, I believe, Zacch, you know, made a good little stand right there. Then they came back and they tried, Kelly tried to pull it. That didn’t work either, so, I mean, it stopped them then.

– [Reporter] Do you guys work on that particular drill, like if a guy tries to jump and what you need to do? Is that a practice?

– Nah, no, we’re not going to jump, they’re not going to jump at practice. You’d hurt somebody like that. No, we’re not going to do that.

– [Reporter] Have you talked to Jam after he made his decision or no?

– No, I haven’t talked to Jam. I plan on talking to him, just to see where his head is at and just how he’s doing, personally. ‘Cause he’s still a friend of ours and he made a decision for himself to better himself, so.

– [Reporter] Does the losing streak to Kentucky come up at all this week? For you guys, is it a factor?

– I’m not worried about it. We’re not worried about it, no. We have to win ourselves. This is a must-win game for us. We, we’re sitting at 1-3, that’s not where we want to be. We just got to win this game. That’s all it is. I don’t. What happened in the previous times doesn’t come to my mind. I’m focused on getting this game right here, going into the bye week and then handling business with Georgia.

– [Reporter] So that, sort of 1-3, gotta-have-a-win supersedes every other conversation this week?

– Oh, yeah, definitely. This is definitely, we got to win this game. Now, ya know, they have beaten us, I believe, like four or five times in the past. Yeah, you don’t definitely want to make that six, so, so, you know, we definitely are, you know thinking about like, yeah, they’ve beaten us, but this has got to be our game.

– [Reporter] Do you guys feel that pressure? Like, is there a pressure when you guys walk out to practice this week knowing that you guys have to win Saturday?

– Is, is there, yeah, I would say there’s pressure. I mean, we’re not going to do anything that we, just out of nature that we don’t do, try to do too much. No, we’re going to stay in the confinements of our game and outplay them and get a win this weekend.

– [Reporter] Being able to come back here on a Saturday night, I mean, I know a lot of fans, they look forward to these games, I mean, you guys would probably enjoy having some type of energy at this point. What’s that going to be like?

– I feel like it’s going to be a great game, a great atmosphere Saturday. I don’t know how us losing in the past is going to effect how many people show up, but, I mean, we’re going to go to there and play. Just hopefully, you know, we get the same type of crowd or whatnot just to keep on propelling us. That kind of energy is needed in a game like this. This is a big game.

– [Reporter] What would you tell the fans right now, I mean, that might be on the fence right now, They support you guys, but they’re going through some tough stuff.

– I mean, nobody likes losing and I get they’re frustrated. We’re frustrated, too. We’re the ones out there playing and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, we’re giving it everything we’ve got. And, you know, you never say, like, you don’t need the fans, but their atmosphere and their presence is felt by the other team and so I, if I was a fan, I would not just not show up to the game because we’re sitting at 1-3. There’s a lot of ball left to play and once we get it rolling and we start firing on all cylinders, it’s going to be special. [Moderator]: Anything else?

RS Senior OL Donell Stanley Transcript

– [Reporter] Kind of a specific question, when a running back tries to hurdle the pile, like at the goal-line or something, is that a play that you guys practice, that you guys work on?

– I mean, we just plot the schemes, so I don’t know what goes on back there, but they want to jump up there, they have at it.

– [Reporter] Have you ever seen something like that happen with one of your backs and been surprised at it or that it worked?

– Yeah, I mean it happened a few times, you get down there and everything gets piled up and they just trying to make a play so I can’t blame ’em.

– [Reporter] Is that a surprising moment when an airborne running back might land on you? Does that happen to you?

– I don’t think it happened to me.

– [Reporter] Donell with you in the field just what went wrong for you guys upfront, how you kind of worked the picks this week.

– Uh, I don’t think we just came out and I don’t think we were ready to play and guys weren’t communicating and we weren’t on the same page and it came back and it bit us so I mean that’s something we got to move forward and can’t let it happen again.

– [Reporter] Donnie, how can that happen? Considering you guys were 1-2 coming in and had those same issues against UNC?

– Uh, I mean I was, I’m making calls, I mean they can sit and make excuses that we got two younger guys at guards and stuff are not really in it but, hey, we were communicating the first time playing true road game so, I mean they got to be better ’cause we’ve been playin’ louder stadiums too so.

– [Reporter] Donell, you beat Kentucky your freshman year, right?

– I did not, they beat me all 5 years, yep.

– [Reporter] Now my question to you is, obviously, it’s a different year, it’s one year, this year seems different from last year, but how sweet would it be able to end your career beating Kentucky and ending the streak?

– Yeah, I mean, Kentucky, ever since I got here, I’ve got beat by them, so I mean it’s a big game. Again, we got to come out, we got to want to win, and those guys are good up front and they’ve got some good players, and so we got to be on the game and just like any other week, we’re going to prepare to win the game.

– [Reporter] What message would you give fans, who, you know, obviously support you guys and might be a little frustrated right now, but in terms of coming out and being able to support you guys?

– I mean, yeah, I think we got some pretty loyal fans that I know is disappointed right now, but hey, we got a game this week and you know, that’s the top of my rears.

– [Reporter] Donnie, do you guys feel like you’re playing for Coach Muschamp’s job this week?

– Hm?

– [Reporter] You feel like you’re playing for his job this week?

– I don’t want to answer that question.

– [Reporter] What kind of work do you see in, just, your film from Kentucky?

– They got some big guys, some pretty long guys too so they’re going to be good, I mean, in past years, they were good on linebackers, plugging guys in, so we have to be good with our eyes and good with our hands and stuff like that, so yeah.

– [Reporter] How has the nature of the Kentucky team maybe changed every year? Over your five years.

– Yeah, it’s it’s become a big game, especially we want to beat ’em so bad. You know, I mean, they had our number in the past years, but you know, we’re moving on, this is a new year for us and a new year for them, so we’ll see.

– [Reporter] Donnie, what do you remember about the first time you met Joseph Charlton?

– Joseph Charlton. I remember seeing him in his green truck and he was asking me to go to the lake with him.

– [Reporter] Is he a pretty good outdoors guy?

– Yeah, yeah, he’s a good, he’s good.

– [Reporter] I know that Will mentioned last week that he might not have been the most charming guy in the world the first time he meets people.

– He’s a guy of a few words but hey, he’s a punter so you don’t go to talk on the field, so who cares.

– [Reporter] Do you guys ever go fishing together?

– Yeah, we do some good stuff, he’s got a boat, so yeah, we do a little fishing

– [Reporter] You’ve got a boat together?

– No, it’s his boat.

– [Reporter] So he takes you fishing?

– Yeah, he takes me.

– [Reporter] Is he a good fisher?

– Yeah, he’s good.

– [Reporter] Do you go to Lake Murray?

– Yeah, Lake Murray, to the river, everything.

– [Reporter] Who’s better at fishing?

– Oh, you already know the answer to that question.

– [Reporter] The offensive line communication you’re talking about, you make the calls and the guards are responsible for telling the tackles-

– Yeah, we got to relay the call, I think sometimes we get so much in rhythm that they just get so caught up in just hearing me make the call and hearing the play from the quarterback, but hey, we got to make those calls, because defense, they can switch from odd and even and it varies on that, so yeah.

– [Reporter] So you make the call and the guards are supposed to tell the tackle?

– Yeah, we need to relay it, our tackles, tight ends, and everything. Especially with how, at home, you can hear me make it but when we’re on the road it’s hard to hear me two positions over.

– [Reporter] What have you seen from Ryan this week in practice that gives you the confidence he’s going to bounce back?

– Yeah that’s what it is he just got to bounce back. I mean I talked to Ryan and stuff. I mean hey, everybody has a off game but we just got to move on. You can’t let the last game beat you twice so. He’s going to be good and we got to protect better for him.

– [Reporter] How did he look in practice today?

– He looked good, looked like himself, like he’s ready to get back out there too.

– [Reporter] In the building is there a sense this series kind of gets a I guess I used the word weird. It seems like every single game that you guys play gets sort of pulled into this kind of low scoring game just sort of a lot of odd moments and a lot of odd instances.

– That question was kind of all over the place. And you just

– [Reporter] Is this just sort of a strange series the way the last five games have gone?

– With Kentucky?

– [Reporter] Yeah, with Kentucky.

– Oh yeah, I mean we haven’t won so of course it’s strange for us we’re trying to figure out how to beat these guys so. But yeah. I mean it’s a SEC game and every week is a big week in the SEC.

– [Reporter] What’s the mood of the team this week? Last week we kept hearing the word desperate. What is it this week?

– Yeah we’re still desperate you know we want to win and we just got to bounce back so everybody’s looking ahead for this game and we got to prepare well and practice so we’re taking it one day at a time up to Saturday.

– [Reporter] You mentioned communication on the offensive line. Just how long does it take to really feel comfortable especially plugging two new guys in to feel good about where that communication is?

– I mean we work it every day in practice and I don’t know if it’s just a thing with their experience but they figured it out real quick that you got to communicate especially in away side games.

– [Moderator] Anything else for Donell?

Senior B/S D.J. Wonnum Transcript

– [Reporter] What’s the mentality of this defense after the way this season’s started?

– We just got to get back to playing our ball. Circling the wagons is our big thing. We got to go back to doing the basic things, like playing the run, and tackling is our biggest thing, so just emphasizing on those this week and getting back to our regular stuff.

– [Reporter] How do you feel you’ve played?

– I feel like I played decent. There’s a lot of plays out there that I can make and do better, but, you know, I’m working to change that.

– [Reporter] D.J., how do you think, overall, the pass rush has been through these first four games? Just the pass rush as a whole, not necessarily you.

– The pass rush? I feel like it’s been good at times, but it’s a lot more that we can do, and a lot more things that we need to do and start getting back to.

– [Reporter] What can you guys do? I mean, does it matter, just because of the offensive lines you’ve been playing, or is there some kind of technique that you guys can do to be better?

– It’s just more like getting off the ball, just like playing a little bit faster, We got to make the quarterback uncomfortable. We got to do a better job of doing that, so, that’s our big focus right now.

– [Reporter] This game, this week, D.J., do you guys feel like you’re playing for coach Muschamp’s job?

– I just feel like, we’re just going out there, we’re just playing our game. We’re not really thinking about different stuff like that, negative things like that. We’re just going out there and playing Gamecock football.

– [Reporter] Is it easy to tune that kind of stuff out? I mean, it’s pretty out there.

– Yeah, it’s out there, but we don’t really focus on things like that. We’re just going to get back to circle the wagon and get back to playing our football that we know how to play.

– [Moderator] Anything else?

– [Reporter] What do you see from Kentucky, just offensive scheme-wise? I mean, anything that stands out to you about those guys?

– They got a decent offensive line. They got some good skill guys, good running back. Receivers are pretty good, so we’ll game plan for those guys and get ready.

– [Reporter] Have you talked to Jam at all after the news broke that he’s in the transfer portal?

– No, I have not, but I wish Jam the best of luck.

– [Reporter] D.J., kind of off-topic here, but Joe Charlton, what do you remember about him, when you first met him?

– Joe Charlton, Joe, the punter?

– [Reporter] Yeah.

– He’s just a funny dude, man. I can’t remember when I first met him, but we’re pretty close, and he’s a cool dude. He’s funny.

– [Reporter] You say funny. What kind of things does he do?

– Just his personality, you know. He’ll do something random, odd to me, and I’ll be like, what? Where’d that come from? No, he’s a good dude.

– [Reporter] I think coach Muschamp said last week that maybe at first he wasn’t the most charming guy in the world? Do you remember him being kind of rude, or kind of insulting or anything like that?

– No, I really don’t, he’s always been kind of. Well, my freshman year, we ain’t really talk much. Maybe that was the time, I don’t know, but other than that he’s been a pretty cool dude to me.

– [Reporter] Thanks, D.J.