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As we all witnessed on Saturday night or watched on a highlight package, South Carolina beat up on Florida, giving them the juice needed to finish out the season. This wasn’t one of those games where the Gamecocks got lucky. No, they pummeled the Gators and forced Dan Mullen to let go of a few assistants before the season ended. This was the performance that Shane Beamer needed for the life of his program.
Yes, most folks discussed how the game would affect the Gators, but we’re still talking about the Gamecocks. It’s kind of funny, as you don’t see that type of atmosphere in most conferences around the country. Meaning, even when a team is clearly out of the conference title race, they can have a matchup like the one we saw Saturday night. The Gators bring eyes, and South Carolina took full advantage of it by putting on a show with a 3rd string quarterback.
Beamer understood how frustrating it must have been for Jason Brown to see other guys get the starting nod over him. But Brown kept pushing in practice and finally received his opportunity against Florida and took full advantage of the moment. On Sunday, Shane Beamer spoke about Jason’s mentality this season.
“You know, he protected the football, he showed his ability to run, got himself out of trouble a couple times and got out of the pocket… so it’s a great testament to what he’s about. And it’s a great example for all the kids in our program, that he had every right to complain and be upset about not playing early in the season, but all he did was just come to work and prepared every week to be the starting quarterback and prepared every week for his opportunity.”
It was noticeable how much control the Gamecocks’ offensive line had for most of the evening, as they pushed around the Gators’ front seven. It showed up better on the stat sheet, as they rushed for 284 yards against the former Todd Grantham defense. Shane Beamer was happy to see it finally carry over from the practice field.
“Yes, I mean, I know you guys think I’m crazy when I tell you that. I see how we practice and then sometimes it’s frustrating the way we’ve played and we haven’t played good enough. But you know, every single person made an individual commitment to win your one-on-one battles, be physical and then just compete… And credit Coach Satterfield and Coach Adkins and the rest of our offensive staff [for] putting together a great plan and then and putting together a scheme that gives our guys a chance to be successful. They played physical, and it was fun to watch them from that standpoint.”
It might not mean a lot to the folks outside of Columbia, but any time the Gamecocks can beat Florida, it’s a great thing for the program. Steve Spurrier was in the house taking it all in, as he watched both of his former teams battle it out, maybe even giving Shane Beamer a little more juice on the sidelines. Beamer had finally put it all together, after months of practicing and pouring his heart into trying to rebuild a program, and a win like that over Florida can bring much needed juice to recruiting and the overall mindset of the program.
Shane Beamer was adamant that a night like that one in Columbia was one of the main reasons he took this job and felt it would only lead to more success.
“This is why we came to South Carolina. This is why this is my dream job in the world, and there’s nowhere else I want to be. And this is why these coaches came here is for nights like this, and we’re gonna have a bunch of more nights like this going forward. And I’m certainly proud of our kids in the way they played tonight and so proud to be their coach and just love coaching them.”
Even on a cold night in South Carolina, with not much going for the program at the moment, it’s funny how perspective can change after a sixty-minute game.
That’s SEC football, where every win just means more.