By Josh Hyber/Photo by SC Athletics
Will Muschamp always hits on South Carolina’s injury report within the first few minutes of meeting with reporters after every game. But on Saturday, after his team’s comeback victory over Ole Miss, that routine changed.
“The injury list, I’m not going to even start it. Be on the conference call tomorrow night,” the Gamecock head coach said, referencing his weekly Sunday night checkup with reporters. “I’m not going to even start going through that. I don’t know who’s up, who’s down.
“I know that we got really thin in the secondary. We got thin at linebacker. We got thin at running back. Receiver. So I don’t know where the injury situation is.”
There were so many injuries it prompted one Gamecock fan on Twitter to post a meme of Oprah Winfrey with the caption, “You get an injury! You get an injury!”
Running backs Rico Dowdle and Ty’Son Williams both did not play in the second-half because of injuries. Defensive players Aaron Sterling, R.J. Roderick, Javon Charleston and Bryson Allen-Williams as well as tackle Blake Camper also missed time with injuries.
“In the game of football, you’re going to have injuries,” said running back Mon Denson, who capitalized on the situation and rushed for 102 yards. “People go down. You’ve just got to be ready to step up. Next man up. Make sure you get in there and contribute.”
“Everybody just has to be ready to play every position,” safety Steven Montac said.
Malik Young — himself starting at left tackle for Dennis Daley, who injured a foot last week against Tennessee — came out late in the second quarter. Blake Camper, who started the first seven games of the season at right tackle before losing his job to Dylan Wonnum, came on to replace him.
“[Offensive line] coach [Eric Wolford] does a great job mixing it up and putting guys in different positions to get them ready to go no matter what happens,” Bentley said. “Blake did a great job coming in. Obviously he’s played a lot in his career. He was ready to go. His mind set was right before the game. That’s why he was able to help us out.”
“Next man up. We practice that too,” linebacker T.J. Brunson said. “Whenever your number is called, be ready to go. We don’t expect a drop-off just because someone new is in. You should be able to come in and contribute.”
“Man down, man up,” Muschamp said. “We don’t make excuses around here.”