Coach Will Muschamp held his weekly press conference early Tuesday and previewed the Gamecocks upcoming matchup with Texas A&M on Saturday at 3:30 in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“We’ve got Texas A&M here at Williams-Brice (Stadium) at 3:30 (Saturday). We certainly need our crowd ready to roll and loud, and I know they will be. I want to thank the ones that stayed for the entire duration of the game Saturday. I was like something I’d never been through before, and I certainly appreciate them. They were certainly loud at the end there. We appreciate that.
“(I have) a lot of respect for Jimbo (Fisher). He’s a great friend. We worked together back at Auburn in the 90’s, then obviously we were together at LSU. He’s a really good football coach, and he’s got a good football team.
“Offensively, Kellen Mond is playing at an extremely high level, completing over 60 percent of his passes and (he’s) a guy that can hurt you with his legs as well. He’s playing really good football for them and getting them in and out of the right runs against the right looks. They’ve got a really good stable of backs, and (Trayveon) Williams is a special guy as far as running through contact. He creates a lot on his own. (Jashaun) Corbin is a young back that’s really coming on for them. (Jace) Sternberger, the tight end, has been a huge addition for them and is a guy they certainly have targeted a lot, as Jimbo always has with the tight end in his offense. (They have a) big, physical group of receivers. The offensive line is mostly all back from last year with guys we’ve faced.
“Defensively, Mike Elko does a fantastic job. Mike was at Wake (Forest) for a while there. I’ve always liked watching his teams and his defenses play. They’re very disruptive up front. The front four – (Landis) Durham, (Kingsley) Keke, (Daylon) Mack and (Justin) Madubuike – are very disruptive guys. They create a lot of issues for you. They’ve done an outstanding job in the run game. (They have) two very active linebackers in (Tyrel) Dodson and (Otaro) Alaka, both guys that are very active that we played against last year. Donovan Wilson, a safety, is a very physical presence on the field. He does a really nice job for them.
“They’ve got really good team speed, which obviously helps their special teams. Their punter is averaging about 60 yards a kick, I believe, so we’ve got to manage for that in the game. They’ve got good specialists as well and good team speed.”