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Confidence rises as Carolina turns focus to showdown vs. LSU

South Carolina defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) celebrates an interception with Israel Mukuamu...
South Carolina defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) celebrates an interception with Israel Mukuamu (24) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Auburn 30-22. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)(Sean Rayford | AP)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If you’re a South Carolina fan, your food may have tasted a little better and you may have smiled a little bit more.

That’s the effect of beating a ranked team at home while pushing your record to the .500 mark.

While fans are still beaming over the big win, the players have noticed what a victory like that can do for the team.

“Winning does come with confidence,” said Gamecocks sophomore running back Deshaun Fenwick. “We beat a really good Vandy team. We beat a really good Auburn team. Today, I feel like at practice, we were really locked in, dialed in to what we had to do, and what he had to get accomplished.”

The impact of that win in the Gamecocks' locker room hasn’t gone unnoticed by Will Muschamp.

“Winning helps the attitude of your football team,” Muschamp said, “but winning also coats and soothes things that maybe you’ve got to correct and that’s our job as coaches -- to recognize the things we’ve still got to improve on and there’s a lot of things on this team as well. Winning sometimes covers up those things and we think it’s okay and it’s really not okay. So, we’ve got to continue to work to improve and get better in all three phases.”

Saturday’s 30-22 win over Auburn, who was previously ranked 15th in the nation, is the first win over the Tigers since 1933. However, members of the team will tell you that didn’t just happen on Saturday. They credit the work they put in throughout the week in preparation for their matchup.

“Like Coach Muschamp says, we have to win on Tuesdays,” Fenwick said, “and I think it does bring a little more attention to detail to the practices and a lot more competitiveness just so we can push each other to get better, to play better on Saturday nights.”

This week, having that focus and that confidence will be especially important as the Gamecocks face another set of Tigers in Baton Rouge. Defending national champion LSU finds themselves outside the top 25 after falling to 1-2 this season, but that’s not a reason to underestimate Ed Orgeron and his squad.

“We don’t need to worry about anything,” Muschamp said when asked if he had concerns about the team focusing on LSU’s record. “We need to worry about preparing extremely well against a very good LSU team and I would be shocked if anybody in our locker room feels that way.”

South Carolina will travel to LSU to play under the lights in Baton Rouge. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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