South Carolina is 5-5 on the season, meaning it will need to beat Auburn on Saturday night or Clemson in its regular season finale to get bowl eligible in Shane Beamer’s 1st season.

Against the Tigers, the Gamecocks will see a familiar face at quarterback, albeit in a different uniform.

TJ Finley will get the start at quarterback for Auburn with Bo Nix out for the season, and Finley had a big game against South Carolina a year ago when he played for LSU.

The 6-7, 246-pound sophomore passed for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for 24 yards a score in a 52-24 LSU win.

On Wednesday during the SEC coaches teleconference, Beamer was asked what impresses him about Finley.

“The size and the arm strength,” Beamer said. “If there’s a quarterback in the country with a stronger arm than this guy, I’d like to see it. … He’s hard to bring down, has got experience, going back to last year at LSU, obviously.”

Beamer was also asked Wednesday to reflect on his 1st season in Columbia.

“Injuries have been a challenge for sure,” Beamer said. “Beyond that, each week is different, each season is different. … I’m sure a veteran coach like Coach (Nick) Saban, there are things he continues to learn because it’s all different. Being short-sighted, looking at the whole season, the injury situation has been the biggest challenge for us.”