Entering the week of the Texas A&M matchup, Shane Beamer understands the frustration of fans who are looking at the offense and wondering when the team will finally break through. It’s definitely not hard to notice that some things aren’t working with the offense right now, including the rushing attack and the lack of explosive plays.
So, for this team to pull out any kind of luck in College Station this week, they’ll need to test the Aggies in multiple ways, especially down the field. But Beamer says that the struggles on offense aren’t just the result of play-calling, that turnovers are killing momentum as well.
“We’ve certainly got to be better,” Beamer said. “We’re seven weeks in, so it’s no more of ‘it’s growing pains’ and things like that. I mean, we’ve got to have some continuity at quarterback. We’ve got to have continuity at the receiver position, running back position, staying healthy. I know everybody wants me to sit up here and say the play-calling stinks and that’s the issue, but the play-calling on Saturday didn’t cause us to fumble or turn the ball over four times.”
When facing a team like Texas A&M, who can beat you in many different ways, especially through the air, you don’t want to give them easy field position, and Beamer has harped on that for most of the season. The problem is, the Gamecocks aren’t good enough right now to win these type of games, especially without much of a flow on offense.
The Gamecocks will not have Luke Doty, who is out for the season with a foot injury, so they will go back to Zeb Noland, who started three games earlier this season. This will be more of a test for the offensive line, who will look to give Noland at least enough time to get the ball out of his hands.
South Carolina is 13th in the SEC in total offense (348.9 yards per game), yards per play (5.37) and points per game (21.9). These type of stats will not bring winning results, which is another reason why their only SEC win this season came against Vanderbilt last weekend. Let’s not forget, Vandy held the lead until a last-minute drive from Zeb Noland gave them the 21-20 win.
Their leading rusher, Kevin Harris, has only 247 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season. This is a byproduct of an offensive line that struggles to maintain a block or procure any kind of push after the snap.
Still, Beamer makes it clear that he doesn’t think the play-calling is the issue.
“That play-calling got us some explosive plays down into the red zone that we then fumbled. We threw two interceptions. The play-call didn’t force us to have holding penalties and things like that. We all have a hand in it, and that’s not me blaming players. We’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to put our players in position, but I think on Saturday, and every game is different. You can look at – blame why we haven’t operated at a high level. It’s all of us, myself, down to the offensive staff, down to the offensive players. And every game is different.”
Either way, South Carolina will face a team on Saturday that doesn’t have those types of problems. The Aggies are clicking right now with Zach Calzada leading the way.
So, with South Carolina trotting the backup quarterback into College Station, it would be wise for Shane Beamer to come up with more creative ways to get his playmakers the ball and to keep it away from the Aggies. Because if he doesn’t, the Gamecocks will be playing from behind early and often, which is a recipe for another SEC loss.