Thursday night’s game against Vanderbilt is South Carolina’s first under new head coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks don’t have a ton of talent on their roster this year, and this is probably a Year Zero situation for Muschamp. It’s not all about wins and losses, at least not yet. But this was, uh, an uncomfortable start
The Commodores kicked deep to return man AJ Turner, and Turner was immediately interested in starting his season by returning it. But then he thought better of things and opted for a kneel and a touchback. Except Turner almost brought the ball out of the end zone and back in, which would’ve been a safety.
Turner narrowly avoided that fate, because he didn’t (apparently) haul the ball all the way out of his own end zone before going back in. That would’ve been positively disastrous, but the Gamecocks got away with something that merely looked awkward. That’s probably best for all involved, except the Commodores.
The next two snaps for the Gamecocks resulted in a 10-yard holding penalty and a four-yard sack of veteran quarterback Perry Orth.
Maybe Muschamp will go on to good things with South Carolina, and maybe this season won’t be so bad. But the start was every bit discordant as you’d have guessed it’d be.