Shane Beamer's glass half-full approach must deliver tangible results
Shane Beamer has a way of glossing over the bottom-line result in favor of his ultimate vision and what he hopes is the trajectory of the program.
“Really excited about this football team,” Beamer said on his Sunday media teleconference, per SportsTalkSC.
On his coach’s show, he shared that the Gamecocks had their best week of practice last week leading up to the Tennessee game.
“Maybe it didn’t look like it today to the naked eye,” Beamer said. “I love the way our guys are working, week in, week out on the practice field.”
It’s @UofSCHomecoming Week and we can’t wait to welcome you all back to Columbia. 🤙
— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) October 11, 2021
In that statement, Beamer seems to catch himself from being a positive promoter on one hand, and realizing that fans and media see the on-field results, so he can’t sugarcoat it too much.
It begs the question about when Beamer will turn his messaging from, “look what’s coming,” to facing reality.
“We’re 3-3 and the story of the 2021 South Carolina football team is still being written and it’s up to us, what we want that story to say at the end of the season,” Beamer said Sunday night.
The halfway point of the season is here, and there’s plenty to be desired except for the defensive takeaway prowess and special teams contributions.
Beamer rinsed any talk of the first quarter, which really dictated the Tennessee game, and instead focused on the more positive final 3 quarters in a message that looked forward.
“We weren’t able to get over the hump and disappointed, because we all expected to win that game, but we’re not going to let one quarter define what this football team is,” Beamer said. “We put way too much work into this thing for this thing to go in the wrong direction. We’ve got a bunch of fighters on this team and a bunch of kids that love each other and care about each other and love each other. You saw that (Saturday).”
So what will define what this football team is?
Luke Doty is still not yet 100%. Kevin Harris, the SEC’s leading rusher a year ago, scored his first touchdowns of the season at Tennessee, and his 61 rushing yards were a season high. The offensive line has been a revolving door with 3 new starters to start the second half on Saturday, for example, and the play-calling has been questioned multiple times already. For seemingly the 3rd straight season, a reliable No. 2 receiver has not emerged.
So far, Beamer said his evidence is the come-from-behind win against East Carolina, and a win over Troy. But both of those teams are 3-3.
“I’ve seen signs of that,” he said. “Mentally weak teams probably don’t win the East Carolina game. Mentally weak teams probably don’t win the Troy game. Mentally weak teams probably let that game get away from us and probably lose 63-0 (to Tennessee). We’re not mentally weak. We’re just continuing to try and get over the hump and try and get a little bit better each week. We’ve got to continue to put our guys in position to make plays, but our guys, they battle each and every week, which I’m proud of. We’ve just got to execute better and that obviously goes into winning, execution and coaching, all of that.”
South Carolina fans deserve more than a message of, “we could have lost by more” and instead only lost by 25, mind you, in a game that had a betting line of 10.5.
Bowl eligibility seems to be a distant dream for a team that has 4 home games remaining out of a slate of 6 opponents. Winning at least 3 of those games against opponents with a collective record of 20-15 will be a tall order.