College Sports

The similarity this Gamecock great sees between Muschamp and Spurrier teams

Former Gamecocks great Bobby Bryant discusses being inducted into SC Football Hall of Fame

Bryant was a two-sport star at South Carolina before playing for the Vikings
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Bryant was a two-sport star at South Carolina before playing for the Vikings

South Carolina great Bobby Bryant doesn’t make it to Williams-Brice Stadium very often anymore.

The recently inducted member of the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame would rather watch games in his living room where “if a game is not going right I can get up and go outside and rake some leaves or something.”

Just because Bryant isn’t watching in person doesn’t mean he isn’t watching.

Bryant has continued to follow South Carolina football since leaving Columbia, throughout his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings and since he retired. Most recently Bryant has watched USC teams led by legendary coach Steve Spurrier and current coach Will Muschamp.

While on the surface Spurrier is known as an offensive genius and Muschamp as a defensive coach, Bryant sees a similarity in the two.

“I think he’s got a philosophy that’s sort of like coach Spurrier had. ... To try to have a chance you just tried to keep the score as low as possible and not be too flamboyant on offense or not too wide open,” Bryant said. “You had to be somewhat disciplined on offense and try to keep the score low so that you’d have a chance to win it at the end.”

During Spurrier’s best three years in Columbia from 2011-13, the Gamecocks acquired plenty of defensive talent and held opponents to 20.3 points or less each season.

South Carolina was 11-3 in games decided by seven points or less during that three-year stretch.

In Muschamp’s best season thus far at South Carolina in 2017, the Gamecocks allowed 20.7 points per game and finished 6-1 in one-score games. USC is 12-5 in one-score games in Muschamp’s first three years.

“Just proud of the way they won a lot of close games at the end of the game,” Bryant said.

Bryant admitted that having to hold on to a late lead or rally for a close victory can be tough at times, but he is also excited about what Muschamp is building in Columbia.

“Sometimes it was so hard to watch them because you think, ‘Goodness gracious, even when the Gamecocks win you felt like they lost’ because the games were so boring,” Bryant said. “But I think he’s done a good job and he’s getting some good players. Hopefully they’ll continue to get better and better and will maybe be able to beat Clemson again at some point in time.”