Sports

Sources: Gamecocks Eyeing Will Muschamp

COULD ANOTHER EX-FLORIDA COACH WIND UP AT SOUTH CAROLINA? By FITSNews  ||  University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp is unlikely to hold onto his current job title much longer.  After a disastrous 4-8 season in 2013, Muschamp’s Florida Gators needed to show something last weekend on the national stage…

COULD ANOTHER EX-FLORIDA COACH WIND UP AT SOUTH CAROLINA?

By FITSNews  ||  University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp is unlikely to hold onto his current job title much longer.  After a disastrous 4-8 season in 2013, Muschamp’s Florida Gators needed to show something last weekend on the national stage against No. 3 Alabama.

And they did show something … just not anything good .

Florida surrendered 645 yards and 45 points to the Crimson Tide – and it would have been worse had Alabama not committed four turnovers (including a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Gator defense).

The bottom line for Muschamp is simple: He needs to win at least one of his next two games in order to keep his job.  If he loses on the road against Tennessee on October 4 – and at home on October 11 against LSU – he’s toast.

Meanwhile in Columbia, S.C., University of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is looking at some incredibly troubling numbers.  The Gamecock defense has been shredded to the tune of 36 points a game through its first four contests.  Coordinator Lorenzo Ward‘s unit ranks No. 106 in scoring defense (out of 128 FBS programs), No. 111 in total defense and No. 116 in passing defense.

Opponents are completing 70 percent of their passes against Ward’s unit – and amassing 146 yards per game after the catch.  Both of those are SEC-worst figures.  Opponents are also rushing for 5.8 yards per carry against South Carolina and picking up 66 yards per game before contact  – again, both of those being the worst numbers in the SEC.

We understand that Ward has lost some insanely talented players from last year’s squad – most notably No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jadeveon Clowney – but South Carolina is still a major college program isn’t it?  One that awards scholarships, right?

Anyway …

If (and increasingly “when”) Muschamp loses his job in Gainesville, he may not have to wait long to find a new gig.

Multiple sources close to the University of South Carolina football program tell FITS the 43-year-old Georgia native is being eyed for a job as the Gamecocks’ next defensive coordinator.  In fact our sources say Spurrier is lobbying hard for Muschamp’s hiring owing to two things: 1) Muschamp’s previous success as a defensive coach and, 2) the friendship the two SEC East rivals have struck up in recent years.

Muschamp – who played his college ball at Georgia – has built elite defenses at LSU, Auburn and Texas.  In fact his 2003 LSU defense – which helped power Nick Saban’s Tigers to a national championship – is regarded as one of the best defensive units in college football history.

Muschamp and Spurrier also get along famously – dating back to a courtesy call made by Muschamp after he took the Florida job in December 2010.

“Will is a good guy, a good coach and a good family guy,” Spurrier said this summer as the two coaches flew together to Bristol, Connecticut for an ESPN event.

The admiration is mutual.

“I consider him a friend, certainly, but a guy that I look up to,” Muschamp said of Spurrier.  “Over the course of his career as a player and coach at the University of Florida, it’s absolutely amazing what he’s accomplished. I enjoy being around Coach Spurrier. He’s as quick-witted as anyone you’ve ever been around. I appreciate his honesty in how he handles his business, and what he’s done at South Carolina has been outstanding.”

“He’s a Hall of Fame football coach and it’s an honor to be able to talk to him about our profession and to build a friendship,” Muschamp added. 

Spurrier has been vocal in his criticism of South Carolina’s defensive performance so far this season (it’s impossible not to be critical) – but he’s avoided going after Ward, who took over the reins of the Gamecock defense from Ellis Johnson following the 2011 season.

Obviously anything can happen over the next month – and beyond.  Both Muschamp and Ward will have opportunities in the coming weeks to remove themselves from their respective hot seats, although if the Gators lose to both Tennessee and LSU there’s no way Muschamp will still be roving the Gator sidelines when Missouri comes to “The Swamp” on October 18.

As for Ward, if a Gamecock defensive collapse results in a loss to either Missouri or Kentucky – expect the calls for his ouster to intensify.

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26 comments

Lorenzo heads to Furman September 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm

If we could get him before heading to the swamp that might be particularly helpful.

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Jonny Logic September 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Disagree. Better chance to beat UF with him still HC there.

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USC Student September 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I’d take him in a hurry. Give Lorenzo the boot.

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Todd September 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Clemmy will be fucked until at least 2020.

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aaaaaaand WHAMMY!! September 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

If Whammy leaves, he’ll take half our recruits with him. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Let’s bring on Muschamp and just make Whammy the highest paid recruiter in the country. But that is a dream scenario.

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EllisJ September 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Keep Whammy, hire Muschop, and figure out titles to make them both happy. Whammy is a solid recruiter and would be bad to completely lose, but keeping as the man in charge of D is looking like an increasingly bad idea.

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Could it work? September 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hire Muschamp, make Whammy special teams coach and send JoeRob packing.

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Mike at the Beach September 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm

That’s not half bad…

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MC September 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Why in the world would we want a coach whose own team just gave up 645 yards. Ward isn’t that bad. Find a coach whose team gave up less than 100 yards. That’s the one you want.

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John September 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

That is some logic that escapes Will, apparently.

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TB September 24, 2014 at 6:17 pm

It’s completely different managing a unit vs managing a team/program. Look @ Ellis Johnson and Southern Miss

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wayzupusc September 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Lorenzo Ward has proven himself time and time again. He’s at least as good a DC as Muschamp, I’d go as far as to say he’s better & he relates to this generation player more. This is a click-baiting article at best….Ward’s a better recruiter than Muschamp could ever be so why would USC even consider hiring the borderline personality disorder coach in Gainesville? Makes no sense and it’s not going to happen….not to mention the impact it would have on a lot of the prospects USC already has locked up for the 2015 class.

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TB September 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

You’re crazy if you think Ward > Muschamp. USC is Ward’s first DC job and he’s benefited from the system Ellis Johnson built while Ward worked under him. I’ll take Muschamp’s track record and experience over Ward’s “let’s be friends” approach to players all day. Best case – keep Ward and move him to a recruiting position, hire Muschamp for DC. Depends on how big of an ego Ward has and whether or not the board would approve it.

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wayzupusc September 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

Muschamp has lost it though – he can’t relate to players and they don’t play hard for him. UF was a stout D when he took over but they’ve been showing cracks even on the defensive side for the past couple years. And that’s with our former DL coach Brad Lawing there helping him. And Texas wasn’t even real stout on D when he was the DC there either.

I also have to disagree that Ward’s success is related at all to Ellis Johnson…our D didn’t start being ranked in the top 10-top 15 consistently until after Ellis left and Ward was named DC. Our D didn’t start really becoming formidable under Ellis until Ward was named co-DC in 2009. Before that, it was maddeningly bend-don’t-break stuff – Ward came in and we became the aggressive, swarming and turnover producing bunch that got USC to where it is now.

The notion that Ward would take a demotion to a recruiter position is laughable….if Spurrier even hinted at that, Ward would take his services and a lot of our recruits with him elsewhere, likely to another SEC program. And we’d be stuck with crazy-eyes Muschamp who can’t win with the richest recruiting state in the nation surrounding him.

USC fans have become spoiled by the past few years of success and expect it every year; even a year or two after we lose players like Clowney, Quarles, Swearinger, Hampton, Sutton, D.Taylor and Allen just to name a few….many of whom wouldn’t have come to Carolina without Ward’s influence. Of course there’s going to be some struggles when you lose that much talent to the NFL – this knee jerk reaction is Old Carolina thinking IMHO. Why fix what isn’t broken? The only thing wrong this year is inexperience and youth.

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Say what? September 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Muschamp can’t relate to players? At least the players will be able to understand what the hell Muschamp is saying when he talks to them. Ward starts talking and I can only understand every 5th word he is saying. Also, I don’t think it’s “spoiled” when the fans of a Div. 1 SEC team have been waiting decades for a team like we’ve had the last two years, who play really well, and then we get what we have now. What, we should just expect to be shitty again? I understand that there are “rebuilding years” but I also don’t think Ward should take all the credit nor hang his hat on the accolades on a handful of talented guys. It’s not like Ward has had 5+ years of incredible defenses. It’s not like we’re having a few issues here and there from filling the gaps of a few defensive players. Our entire defense just sucks: plain and simple. Our defensive linemen are a bunch of fatasses that get out of breath after two plays and our secondary haven’t mastered the concept of turning the fuck round to look where a pass is going. That’s not rebuilding: that’s a lack of coaching. Don’t believe me? Just watch the HBC’s press conferences. The constant, according to him, is that our team is getting out-coached. If our offense is doing ok and our defense is terrible, which coach do you think he’s talking about?!?

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wayzupusc September 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

I think he’s talking about Grady Brown and Joe Robinson myself cuz his comments this week have been almost exclusively about special teams and the secondary. Deke Adams might be on notice some due to comments about our not being able to generate any pass rush. He actually had some positive things to say about how we performed outside of special teams and a couple deep balls Vandy had. But you’ve convinced yourself that we’ve been better than we have been these past 5+ years…we’ve only been in top 15 in total defense a couple of those years & it’s when we had the players I mentioned. You have half a defense worth of players leave early and replace them with freshman, sophomores and/or guys who haven’t seen the field much because they’ve been waiting behind those NFL talent guys & it’s inevitable that performance will go down until those youngsters get experience and mature physically. We’ve gotten better on D every week since A&M – we replaced all but one of our DL, most of our secondary and you expect us to remain a top 10 defense? C’mon….at least try to think realistically here. Muschamp isn’t the answer, time is. We have talented guys, they just need experience and time to grow into their roles in the defense.

John Curtis September 30, 2014 at 12:20 am

You’re crazy if you think the players don’t play hard for Muschamp and he has very good relationships with them. The problem with the Florida secondary is too much youth. Having 3 guys leave early and I graduating gutted the secondary. The only starter to return was VH III. We have s ton of talent back there, but, little to no experience. The problems have not been lack of effort. 2 of the DB’s have made critical errors in recognizing their responsibilities in coverage.

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Robert September 24, 2014 at 7:18 pm

This story is a stretch. I hope so anyway. Just don’t care for Muschamp’s personality.

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RHood2 September 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Here’s the thing. Look at what Ellis Johnson did at Auburn and you can tell who the better coach of the two is.
BUT …
Big But too. …
I think Ward is the one the kids want to come play for, and that is why he was given the DC title while Johnson was still here, and Johnson made Assistant Head Coach for Defense.

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Tough September 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

who runs the show? This ain’t the pros. They will play or they will ride the board. As for the coach – there is a replacement for everybody.

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Scooter September 24, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Ward is toast.

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Tazmaniac September 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

Muschamp has skill, no doubt, but I wonder why in the hell he has stuck with Driskel? That kid just can’t turn in a consistent performance at all. Driskel is going to be the death of Muschamp at Florida for sure, the Boosters will be out for his head.

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SC Political Digest September 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

Check out SCPSD and we’ll REVEAL FITS’ “Multiple Sources”…you’ll LYAO when you see where he got this story…

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CockyBannedFITS September 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

What the heck did FITS do to get band from CockyTalk?

d) There are some sites that the CockyTalk administration has decided not to allow articles or links to. At this time these include:
d1-Any Article Written by Ron Morris
d2-Any Content from a Current Player/Recruit/Coaches personal Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or other personal website. This includes references such as “OMG did you see what Blake Mitchell just changed his status to”
d3-Any Article hosted by Bleacherreport.com d4-Any c&p from or link to Gamecock Anthem (USC’s Scout site) or TheBigSpur (ESPN)

d5-Articles from Fitsnews.com

http://www.cockytalk.com/announcement.php?f=27

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ELCID September 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Ward’s problem is that he stays in his 3/4 which is actually called the uncovered 4/2 (four defensive down lineman and 2 linebackers 5 yards of the ball) too much. The 4/2 is only successful when run as the famous Wide Tackle 6. The same 4/2, but with linebackers up on the line and stunting in and out of the holes. The key to any defense is the linebackers. Ward needs to get out of any uncovered defense that the Offense can easily read. He needs to keep 2 or 3 linebackers up on the line and stunt jumping in and out of the open holes. Occasionally this year, but not against Texas A&M, Ward has actually run this system with great success. Completely stopping the offense nearly every time for zero gain or big losses. But, Ward just keeps going back to the uncovered 4/2 or 3/4 (not the good 4/3). With disastrous results.

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John Curtis September 30, 2014 at 12:31 am

This could very well happen, if Spurrier stays past this season. After watching him the past few weeks, he has acted much like he did right before he left UF. He has stayed in hopes of getting USCe to a SEC Championship and he had the teams to compete the past 2 years. He doesn’t have anything close to those teams now and the chances of him getting another Connor Shaw or JD are very slim. Now, if he could get Muschamp, that could change, because he could take a few of UF’S recruits with him, depending on who UF would hire. Spurrier could take him in and groom him to take over.

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