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Beamer not backing down as chatter around Gamecocks’ play-calling grows louder

·4 min read

Shane Beamer isn’t backing down.

Beamer again held firm when pressed Sunday night during his weekly teleconference Sunday night where he stands on South Carolina offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield in the wake of another dismal offensive showing in a 44-14 loss at No. 17 Texas A&M this week.

“My confidence is fine in all our coaches,” Beamer said. “No one is happy with where we are. We didn’t play well last night. We’ve got to be better — myself and all the 10 assistant coaches included.”

Beamer, who has largely avoided directly addressing Satterfield’s future, is coming under increasing scrutiny from those outside the program after the Gamecocks’ latest offensive blunder on Saturday in Aggieland.

The Gamecocks recorded only 15 total yards through three quarters against the Aggies and didn’t record their first third-down conversion until there were just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Now sitting at 4-4, South Carolina has continued to be held back by its offense. The Gamecocks haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game against FBS competition this fall, while the running game has yet to take off.

Reigning Southeastern Conference rushing leader Kevin Harris has been a borderline nonfactor this fall as a slew of injuries, illness and ineffectiveness have seen him dip far from the form that saw him run for more than 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns against SEC-only competition a season ago.

Beamer told reporters Sunday that Harris was limited in practice leading up to the Texas A&M game and that played a part in his only getting two carries for zero yards against the Aggies.

“I think we only ran 20 plays in the first half, and it was hard to get get a lot of guys involved,” Beamer explained. “But nothing, from our standpoint, is wrong with Kevin. Just kind of how the game went and the overall health of that (running back) group.”

The Gamecocks did get a semblance of a spark late Saturday from third-string quarterback Jason Brown, who finished the game 8 of 14 for 84 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. However, Brown wasn’t inserted into the contest until South Carolina trailed by more than 40 points and the game was already well in hand.

Brown was previously beaten out for the starting quarterback job by Zeb Noland — who took over in place of the injured Luke Doty earlier this year. Doty has since aggravated the foot injury that held him out for the first two games of the season, and he’s slated to miss the rest of the 2021 campaign.

Noland started Saturday’s loss in College Station but was battered and beaten behind an offensive line that struggled to pick up Texas A&M’s varying blitzes and stunts. He finished the stagnant offensive effort 7 of 12 for 30 yards.

Beamer told reporters postgame the former North Dakota State and Iowa State quarterback had a bloodied nose and lip at varying points during the game. South Carolina’s first-year head coach also dispelled the notion Noland had been knocked out at any point in the game after the announcing crew on Saturday night’s contest insinuated he might’ve lost consciousness on a hit early in the game.

“Let’s be professional here, too,” a noticeably irritated Beamer said. “As a college football coach or college anything coach, you’re not going to endanger a player that gets knocked unconscious by putting him back in the game. You know better than that.”

Whether Beamer makes a change at offensive coordinator or who handles the play-calling going forward remains to be seen. Heading into the bye week and needing two wins in its last four games to reach bowl eligibility, if any move is going to be made, it’d make logical sense to make that move now.

That said, Beamer held steadfast to his past comments on the subject. He has confidence in Satterfield, his staff and the Gamecocks to get things right — even as poor offensive performances continue to pile up.

“We didn’t get it done last night in any phase,” Beamer said. “We’ve got to look at it as coaches as why we lost as many one-on-one, competitive plays as we did and also continue to put our players in position to have a better chance of success than some of our guys did last night, as well.”

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