Notebook: South Carolina starting QB expected to play vs. Florida

South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Starting South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who left the Georgia game in the second half with an injured knee last Saturday, practiced Wednesday and will play in Saturday’s game, USC coach Will Muschamp said on the SEC coaches’ teleconference.

“Ryan and Dakereon (Joyner) both practiced every rep, so we’re good to go,” Muschamp said. “They’ll clear (Hilinski) later, but he looked fine to me today. I think we’re ready to roll.”

With the uncertainty of Hilinski’s status, the Gators have been preparing for both quarterbacks this week.

“Obviously, it’s a challenge coming into a week where (USC) hasn’t been in this situation before,” UF coach Dan Mullen said. “When you have a week to put a game plan together for one quarterback and a game plan for another quarterback, it’s a challenge.

“Are they going to run the same offense with both guys, with each putting their flair to the offense? Or is it a separate offense (for each quarterback)? That’s always the challenging part.”

Like the Gators, the Gamecocks defensively have been preparing for two quarterbacks. USC knows it will see both Kyle Trask and Emory Jones. Mullen has been playing both like he did with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow in 2006.

“I don’t see a lot of difference when they’re in the ballgame,” Muschamp said. “Dan calls throws with Emory in the game. He throws the ball extremely well. You pay attention to their last two games against Auburn and LSU. I don’t see a lot of change.

“You saw Trask, who I think is mobile in the pocket, against LSU scramble for a couple of critical third-down situations to extend drives. I don’t see a lot of difference in the play calling or the style of play.”

Muschamp on Mullen

Muschamp seems to have a lot of respect for Mullen as a playcaller and coach.

“Dan looks at things from a defensive perspective in what gives defenses problems as opposed to running his scheme and system and, ‘This is what we do,’ ” Muschamp said. “He makes adjustments game week and he makes adjustment game day that he thinks will give you issues defensively.

“That’s what makes him a really good play caller. He calls the game based on how the flow of the game is going. He’s also tied into special teams. He sees the big picture and does a really good job.”

O-line making strides

Offensive line coach John Hevesy said he’s seeing some encouraging signs from the big guys up front. Progress is being made, he said.

“Yeah, I think we’re all coming together along the way,” he said. “The tight ends and the running backs are starting to see things. I think it’s a positive you’re seeing some things in there that are key. There’s things we’ve got clean up still to. We’ve got to be right on at crucial times, when it’s third-and-one, third-and-two. We got better this week with that, but we still have to be better than we were on that down and distance.”

“They’re getting there. I think the one thing is they’re getting more experience. I can’t influx experience into them, but they’re getting the game atmosphere. I think we did a really good job last week of handling the atmosphere, which is a positive thing. We got to go into one this week.

“So to me, let’s keep on the same track of that part of it — handling the atmosphere, the cadence, all of those things. And do that again this week, but still clean up little things technically and fundamentally.”

This, that and the other

Florida defensive end Jon Greenard and cornerback CJ Henderson made the Associated Press midseason All-America team. … The Florida-LSU game last Saturday drew more than 6.4 million viewers according to ESPN, making it the most-watched college football game on the network in two seasons.


  1. ““I don’t see a lot of difference when they’re in the ballgame,” Muschamp said”
    Shows you what kind of coach he is, i see a whale of a difference. Trask is a dead accurate passer and very clutch! I guess that’s why he’s at SC!
    6.4 mil, now thats saying something, has to help out with recruiting, reconfirming were a big time program in these young men’s minds!

    • Awfully nice guy and a passionate-to-the-max football coach who was over his head in a first time gig at Florida, who many of us thought would grow into his capabilities at SC. Regrettably, we apparently overestimated those capabilities.

    • Keowee, I have lamented and rejoiced both events at the time each happened, and am immeasurably glad we went for solid over glitz in late 2017. Had we not, I’m confident we would have wandered in the desert much longer than we did.

  2. Agree, Chip Kelly and Scott Frost (for different reasons) would have been complete misfits for UF. We have the right guy, just need some time to continue to recruit, especially along offensive line. Despite was Hevesy says above, I haven’t seen much improvement in the run blocking capability of this line.