This will be family weekend at USC, and for Gamecock coach Shane Beame, that designation carries extra meaning with Mississippi State coming to Columbia. Beamer’s first fulltime coaching job was for Sylvester Croom at State. He met his wife there. She’s a Starkville native and Mississippi State grad, so the in-laws and more will be staying at the Beamer house this week.
Beamer, of course, is putting all those personal feelings aside to get his team ready for a Mississippi State team that has had a complete offensive makeover since the death of Mike Leach. The air raid is gone and the ground and pound is in vogue for the Bulldogs. They have the SEC’s leading rusher.
Defensively, Beamer said he Bulldogs are an older group with practically everyone back from last season. New head coach Zach Arnett was the defensive coordinator before his promotion, so it’s a scheme that’s been in place there for several seasons.
The Bulldogs are 2-1 and are coming off a loss to LSU. The Gamecocks are 1-2 and are coming off a loss at Georgia.
Some of Beamer’s key comments:
- Brown did not practice today, questionable for this week, he’s not far off, Geer did a little bit in practice today, Wells is out this week, saw a specialist in Charlotte this morning, a good visit, not a season ending situation.
- Tyreek Johnson is also questionable for Saturday but is trending in the right direction.
- Mississippi State is a veteran group, quarterback been there forever, defense made up of older guys, arguably the best linebacker tandem in the SEC. Big offensive line, leading rusher in the SEC. They want to run the ball down your throat.
- Mississippi State had a tough time with LSU last Saturday but knows they will bounce back and play hard.
- They need to play Harbor and Russell more at receiver and they will.
- Needs to develop more depth on defense, can’t afford to keep playing their linebackers and safeties the large number of snaps they’ve had thru three games and need to get the running game going as well.