USC coach Shane Beamer met with the media Sunday night just a few hours after getting the official word that his Gamecocks would be heading up I-77 to Charlotte in late December for a matchup with North Carolina in the Dukes Mayo Bowl. Both teams are 6-6 and last met in Charlotte to open the 2019 season, a game the Tar Heels rallied to win in Mack Brown’s first game back as their head coach.
USC also is no stranger to the Charlotte bowl setting. The Gamecocks played Virginia there in what was then called the Belk Bowl to close the 2018 season with a 28-0 loss to the Cavaliers. This will be the Gamecocks’ sixth game in Bank of America Stadium, and they are 3-2 on their visits to the Queen City.
The Gamecocks are 9-14 in their bowl history but have won five of their last seven bowl games. Against the Tar Heels, USC trails 35-19-4. North Carolina has lost four of their last five bowl games.
USC is the designated home team for the game. They will hold the first of 9 bowl practices in Columbia a week from Monday.
Some key comments from Beamer:
- Really excited about the opportunity to go to Charlotte and play North Carolina and go up against Mack Brown.
- Hopes the fan base is excited about going back to a bowl game, said the Gamecocks were attractive to a lot of bowl games because of how well the fans will travel.
- Notes it was one year ago tonight he got the call from Ray Tanner with the offer to be the USC head coach, and he’s excited about the future.
- Nothing final with any players who might opt out of the bowl game, met with about 8-10 players during the week, those who are seniors with another year, those who are thinking about the NFL.
- When asked if he expects all the current assistant coaches to be with them in their current positions for the bowl game, he replied, “Yes.”
- Hasn’t had to convince any of his assistants to stay if they’ve been contacted about other jobs.
- No one from Oklahoma in an official capacity reached out to him, and the answer he gave when asked previously about the Virginia Tech job was meant for any opening, he’s where he wants to be at USC and wouldn’t look elsewhere.
- Most of the recruiting over the last week has been on the high school level but they have been evaluating players in the Portal.