By LARRY VAUGHT
How do you stop Kentucky running back Benny Snell?
Southeastern Conference opponents Florida and Mississippi State couldn’t. Can South Carolina Saturday night?
“Well, you’ve got to swarm the ball field; that’s the bottom line,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “When you play really good backs, they are going to make you miss. They are going to break some tackles. You’ve got to swarm the football; you’ve got to leverage the ball the right way.
“The ball carrier is never down until the whistle blows. You’ve got to finish on the ball carrier, and you have to have the right mindset going into the game. And I think that’s something really important when you play a back like Snell, because he is a guy you’re going to have to gang-tackle to get on the ground.”
Muschamp says South Carolina must win the “one-on-one” battles with Kentucky to stop the running game others have not been able to do this year.
“Football is a game where you’re matched up against another person. Sometimes you may have to face a double-team, but you have got to win your one-on-ones,” Muschamp said. “We talk in terms of winning downs, which wins possessions, and if you win enough possessions, you win games. So, our approach never changes, as far as that is concerned.”
Yet Muschamp knows what challenge his team faces, especially since it has lost four straight times to UK.
“They’re very efficient (offensively) because they manage for third down. They make it very difficult for you to get off the field. They don’t give you a lot of negative plays on offense, so they’re not in a lot of bad down-and-distance situations,” Muschamp said.