Videos by OutKick
If there is one thing we know about coaching football in the SEC, patience from a fan base won’t last very long. We can look all around the conference over the past five years and clearly see the forward trajectory these schools are looking to take. A prime example of this is in Columbia, South Carolina, home of the Gamecocks and new head coach Shane Beamer.
We all know the history of the last name, so I won’t spell out the details. What Shane is trying to accomplish in his first year with the Gamecocks might seem like an uphill battle, but at least he’s got the attitude for it. If you haven’t seen it by now, go find the clip of Beamer discussing the loss to Georgia and the mismatches all over the field. This is pretty common in the conference, not really the rant, but the rebuild process. As you could tell by their showing against the Dawgs, it’s going to take a few recruiting classes to solidify the rebuild in Columbia.
But I caution you not to judge what Beamer and his team do against opponents like Georgia. Look at what they do against a team like Kentucky (-4.5 on FanDuel), who travels to Columbia on Saturday. If you truly want to measure where the program stands, let’s see whether they can keep it close and take the Wildcats into the fourth quarter. Unlike Georgia, Kentucky certainly doesn’t have far more talent than South Carolina, and I also want to see how these Gamecock coaches respond to adversity. This week, Beamer spoke about how the coaches have to fix the miscommunication that plagued them against Georgia.
“We’ve got to be better, it starts with us as coaches,” Beamer said. “We’ve got to coach better. Saturday night was not good in a lot of ways, us included as coaches. There were certainly some miscommunication. You guys watched the video, when we had the play, two guys blocking the run and we had three guys blocking the pass, that can’t happen. That’s not good football, and it starts with us as coaches.”
Beamer will need the best out of his players on Saturday night, especially the quarterback position. This week, it was announced that Luke Doty would get the start against Kentucky, after he came in to relieve Zeb Noland last weekend. Doty went 13-26 for 153 yards with one TD and one INT, but Beamer was more excited about his poise, especially when he hit Jalen Brooks across the middle.
“The throw he made across the middle to Jalen Brooks, that was a big-time quarterback play,” Beamer said on Tuesday. “He stepped up in the pocket with elite ball security, knew he was going to get hit, 99 (Jordan Davis) comes right past him, throws the ball in there to JB and it was a big-time play, a big-time quarterback play. Excited for his potential going forward.”
There is no denying what a win against Kentucky could do for this football team. I know a lot of folks may read that and just scratch their heads, but it’s true. This team capturing their first SEC win at home could bring a flood of good vibes. But the main thing it could do is screw up the East for Kentucky and also let the rest of the division know they aren’t lying down. It’s hard to rally back after a humiliating loss to a division foe, but I promise you, Georgia will humiliate a few more teams in the conference, so don’t just look at the Gamecocks.
This Saturday’s game against the Wildcats, especially at home with thousands of people dancing to “Sandstorm,” presents an opportunity for this staff and team to stymie the bleeding and not let this squad fall off the tracks. The roster might not be up to par with the rest of the league — just ask Shane Beamer — but that doesn’t mean they can’t upset a team like Kentucky. If you watched the UK game against Chattanooga, you noticed their flaws as well.
The great thing about this sport is that teams always have the opportunity to put the past behind them within seven days. The Gamecocks have that opportunity on Saturday night, and the first step will be sending the Cats home with their first loss of the season.
So, let’s see if this “Beamer Ball” can throw the SEC a curveball.