COLUMBIA — The second year of South Carolina Coach Shane Beamer’s tenure has not started the way he hoped.
The Gamecocks (1-2, 0-2 SEC) are below .500 for the first time since Beamer took over the program following a 48-7 loss to Georgia on Saturday. It was the worst margin of defeat in the 128-year history of the series, and Beamer knows his team has more potential than what it showed against the Consensus No. 1 program in college football.
“I think it’s a process, and I do believe we’re close. I know we’re not as far away as it looked on Saturday, and that’s the frustrating thing,” Beamer said. “We do see on tape that there’s opportunities out there … and we have to go right back out there on the practice field and go right back to work and continue to try and get better. That’s the only answer. You just don’ t flip the switch and turn it on on Saturday. Otherwise, we would have done that last week. It’s got to come out there on the practice field, and I see that from our guys.”
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The Georgia game was another slow offensive start for South Carolina, which has outscored itself in the second half of every game this season. The Gamecocks have only led once at halftime, by five points against Georgia State. They went on to beat the Panthers by 21 points.
Sluggish first halves were also an issue for South Carolina in 2021, and Beamer said he’s struggling to figure out why the team has been unable to correct it.
“If you’ve got any ideas, let me know,” Beamer joked. “We’ve tried to implement it with the way that we start practice. … We try to start practice fast every day because that’s how you start games. There’s things that we do at the hotel, but I don’t want guys thinking so much and pressing so much that. We’ve got to get off to a fast start. To me it’s just about executing.”
However, Beamer is optimistic about the Gamecocks’ direction entering their Week 4 game against Charlotte (1-3). They said quarterback Spencer Rattler has stepped up his communication with the Offensive staff, and he was impressed with the Offensive line’s development after struggling in the season opener.
After allowing six sacks against Arkansas and three against Georgia State, the Gamecocks didn’t give up a sack to the Bulldogs.
“I thought they played really, really well,” Beamer said. “I think we lined up and were able to pop some runs in there, and we were a shoestring tackle away from popping a couple of them. We protected the quarterback for the most part. Did he get some pressure? Yes, and Spencer . .. he’s got to step up in the pocket. I thought (the Offensive line) took a step forward.”
Rattler, who was third in the SEC for passing yards entering the Georgia game, went 13-of-25 for just 118 yards, two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Beamer said the entire offense met Sunday to review tape instead of splitting into position groups.
“We sat there as an offense and went through every play to allow every player in that room to see how close we are,” Beamer said. “We’ve got guys open. We’re close to popping runs. It didn’t look like it — it’s not anywhere near good enough — but these plays are there to be made. We’ve got to make them.”