Upperclassmen help ready young Gamecocks for first SEC road game

Updated: Sep. 18, 2018 at 8:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Jake Bentley remembered his first trip to Nashville.

As he sat on the sidelines as a freshman and watched his teammates battle for a 13-10 win over Vanderbilt, the feeling that Bentley and his teammates had was one they'll never forget. Fast forward two years, Bentley is now one of the leaders of the Gamecocks squad tasked with helping his younger teammates as they great ready for their first SEC road game at Vanderbilt.

"[Don't] get wrapped up in the atmosphere and just really focus on what you've got to do and feed off each other," Bentley said when asked about the advice he's given his younger players heading into their first road game of the year. "Feed off the energy that your teammates are bringing to the field and to not get distracted and really just focus on what we have to do as a team to win the game."

Like Bentley, Edwards was also a freshman in that 13-10 win. However, he wasn't just on the sidelines. The former Conway star led the Gamecocks with eight catches for 101 yards in the win. For Edwards, preparing for a road game is as pretty similar to getting ready for a game at home.

"I'd just say treat it the same," Edwards said. "Approach it the same way you would a home game. Approach each game the same way. That way when you get out there, you don't get startled. Everything's the same for you. You've got to get comfortable."

The Gamecocks roster is full of upperclassmen that the freshmen can rely on heading into this game. According to head coach Will Muschamp, that'll be key come Saturday.

"As much as anything, you lean on the older players as far as their experience traveling and understanding that it's a business trip," Muschamp said. "There's going to be a time you need to focus and dial in. There's a time you can relax when you're on the plane and that sort of thing. Some of these guys will be jumping on a plane for the first time on Friday. That's always interesting."

South Carolina will travel to Vanderbilt on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on the SEC Network.