It finally happened. Muschamp was finally able to beat Kentucky.
This was the most impressive coaching I’ve seen from him, and it’s the only other SEC game I’ve seen the Gamecocks dominate since the Arkansas game in 2017.
Muschamp always has a game where he wins back the fanbase, and this one was good enough to cool his seat a good bit.
Here are my three takeaways from this game:
Establishing the run is the key to a bowl game
This one might be obvious, but the Gamecocks haven’t established the run all season until this game.
The coaching staff has been putting too much pressure on Hilinski, but last night the offense caught a rhythm without the passing game.
Both Feaster and Dowdle put up over 100 yards each, and they combined for three rushing touchdowns.
They were able to control the game using the run. It will be interesting to see how this team performs without Dowdle for the next few weeks.
The secondary was vastly improved
It may just be a mix of an improved secondary and Ketucky not playing well, but the Gamecocks held Kentucky to 97 passing yards.
Sawyer Smith was supposed to be a good backup to the injured Terry Wilson, and he looked good until this game.
The defensive line put so much pressure on Smith that it caused him to throw an interception and only 2.8 yards per pass.
The team gathered four sacks and eight tackles for loss. The secondary held Lynn Bowden Jr., their best receiver, to only 18 receiving yards.
I want to see more of this in the future.
I’m not sold yet on Muschamp
This was no doubt a must win game for Muschamp, but this team shouldn’t have lost five in a row to Kentucky.
This team still has a chance to go 6-6, but they’re also heading into the gauntlet portion of their schedule at 2-3.
I want to see Muschamp end one more streak before I’m sold on him. He needs to beat either Texas A&M, Georgia or Clemson before I really believe in him.
He needs to meet expectations because ever since Spurrier, the expectations for this team is to win eight or nine games with one big upset.
This team has the talent to do that, but I need to see consistently good coaching from Muschamp.
The Gamecocks will have a bye week before they head to Athens to play a very good Georgia team.
I see this team realistically finishing 5-7 unless they can beat a ranked team this season, which Muschamp struggles to do.