The Shane Beamer era kicks off at South Carolina on Saturday night as the Gamecocks host Eastern Illinois at Williams-Brice Stadium. The matchup marks the first time that USC has ever faced Eastern Illinois or a member of the Ohio Valley Conference of the NCAA-FCS level. Eastern opened the season last Saturday with a 26-21 loss at Indiana State.
On Tuesday, Beamer met with the media to explain his decision to tab former North Dakota State quarterback Zeb Noland as USC’s starter for the season opener. Beamer noted that Luke Doty is still recovering from a foot injury he suffered in preseason camp. Jason Brown was also in the mix to start, but will backup Noland on Saturday. Brown says he expects to play against the Panthers as well.
Some of the key comments from Beamer
- Beamer joked that the biggest story of the week is what uniform combo the Gamecocks will wear on Saturday. It will be white helmets, garnet jerseys, and white pants, by the way.
- Eastern Illinois committed three turnovers in last week’s contest, including throwing a pick-six in the five point loss.
- The coaching staff told Noland and Brown on Monday who would start at QB this weekend. Beamer says Noland is the starter for “this week”. Not looking beyond EIU.
- On the injury front, both Cam Smith and Kevin Harris should be good to go. Rick Sandidge is definitely out this week.
- Couldn’t be more excited about going out into a packed Williams-Brice Stadium. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere. So glad ‘Gamecock Walk’ is back this year. It’s a chance for our fans to show how much you missed our football players.