'Today was one of those days:' Dawgs take big CFP hit with inexplicable loss

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ATHENS, Ga. — On Saturday morning, two hours before kickoff at Sanford Stadium, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp stood in the end zone and looked over the field where he once played as a University of Georgia defensive back.

Barely into mid-October, it had already been a long season for Muschamp and the Gamecocks. They lost their starting quarterback before the season had barely started. The resulting 2-3 record had sports talk radio in the Palmetto State already crackling with potential candidates to replace Muschamp when he was inevitably canned. After a must-win victory over Kentucky two weeks ago, the coach held his press conference wearing his reader eyeglasses and joked that the long season had aged him and that even his wife was tired of him because she didn’t like hanging out with losers.

But on Saturday morning, when asked about his team’s chances against third-ranked Georgia, he grinned. “We are going to have to play pretty damn well,” he said with a handshake. “And we’re going to.” It felt genuine, not merely optimistic coachspeak. Because of the honesty he confessed next, joking, “We could also use them to not play well. Good plan, right?”

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