Shane Beamer understands that the Tennessee tempo is a key to Saturday’s game in Williams-Brice Stadium.

First of all, the Gamecocks need to do better than they did last year when they faced an early deficit.

“We certainly got behind quickly last year,” Beamer said Wednesday on the SEC coaches media teleconference. “Did not do a good job handling their tempo. … We’ve got to be able to get ourselves off the field on third downs and be great in the red zone. … I hope we’re better prepared for (the tempo), not just how we handle it on Saturday night, but how we practice and prepare for it during the week.”

Beamer also praised the Tennessee defense, which comes at opponents in a straight forward manner.

“They’re really disruptive. … They start all juniors and seniors. … They’re a team defensively that’s playing with a lot of confidence,” he said. “They play with a lot of effort, as well. They don’t try to trick you, and I mean that as a compliment. They do what they do, get up in your face and come get you.”