Head coach Shane Beamer met with the media, Tuesday, as South Carolina enters the backstretch of the regular season. USC is coming off a disappointing road trip, falling 38-6 to the Gators in Gainesville, Fl. The Gamecocks mustered just one score, a pass from Kai Kreoger to Dakereon Joyner on a fake punt. Otherwise, it was a day USC and its fans would like to forget.
If South Carolina is going to recapture the momentum it built in winning five of six games between Sept. 24th and Nov. 5th, they’ll have to do it against the East’s rising power, Tennessee. The Volunteers (9-1) enter this weekend’s matchup ranked fifth by both the AP voters and the College Football Playoff committee. Since taking over on Rocky Top, Josh Heupel has reshaped the Vols offense, implementing a relentless and fast-paced attack. It has been the perfect marriage of system and player for quarterback Hendon Hooker. Hooker has vaulted himself among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy by passing for 2,888 yards and 24 touchdowns . If the Gamecocks are to have any hope of slowing down the Vols, they’ll need to pressure Hooker and force turnovers. That’s easier said than done as Hooker has thrown just two interceptions (vs. Georgia, vs. Alabama) this season.
Defensive coordinator Clayton White’s unit didn’t have much success against Heupel’s system last season. USC fell 45-20 in Knoxville, Tn., and failed to force a turnover. The Gamecocks were down 28-0 after the first quarter and never recovered.
As it is South Carolina’s final home game of the season, the program will honor its final-year players on Senior Day. Kickoff from Williams-Brice Stadium is set for 7 p.m., Saturday.
Key comments from Shane Beamer
- Opens press conference by expressing his thoughts and prayers for the UVA football team and all those involved. Says his players approached him about honoring the victims and that the team will wear a patch on their uniforms this weekend
- Clarified his previous “find your joy” comments, stating he was not calling out the fans, but instead is open to criticism. Says he was telling fans to find positives and not always focus on the negatives. Also says there is no “chicken curse”
- Says the defense must do a better job slowing down Tennessee’s tempo offense coming out the gate than they did last year, when the Vols jumped out to a 28-0 1st-quarter lead
- Many recruits will be in town this weekend and will take in the scenes of Paul Finebaum and crew at the Horseshoe, and hopes for a raucous home atmosphere for Senior Day