South Carolina on Saturday earned its first win against Clemson since 2013, securing the Palmetto Bowl trophy and bringing it back to Columbia.
Here’s what South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer had to say after the Gamecocks upset the No. 8 Tigers 31-30.
On what he was thinking after the last play of the game: “That I aged about 60 years today. ... Just how proud and grateful I am to be the head football coach here. I know what this rivalry means to the people of South Carolina and Gamecocks everywhere. And just really happy for them. I’m really happy for our seniors. There’s a lot of emotions, there really is. And it still hasn’t hit me. But pretty spectacular.”
On locking in mentally after the win over No. 5 Tennessee last week: “We were the feel-good story in college football last week. But nobody thought we were good enough to win this game. We were the team that just kind of caught lightning in a bottle last week, and ‘no way they can come back and do it again.’ I saw one of the commentators on ABC last night talking about how Clemson needs a really big win today. And it needed ‘style points’ for the playoff. Like, Clemson needed to win. And the group we had coming in here was very confident.
“I told them after we stunk it up in Gainesville two weeks ago, I told them in the locker room after the game, ‘You have a chance these next two weeks to completely change everything with this program, the entire trajectory of this program and the outside narrative.’ ”
On postgame conversation with Dabo Swinney: “All class, he’s fantastic. He basically just said, ‘Great game, happy for you.’ And I told him he got our very best because they force you to give your very best. They know how to win football games. No matter how bad things may look for them or adversity they face during the game, they always expect to win the football game. And that’s a sign of a championship program and championship team.”
On Satterfield’s play-calling performance: “Just what a fighter he is. He’ll be the first to tell you that we didn’t coach well enough in the Florida game, we didn’t coach well enough in the Missouri game. We knew what the issues were coming in today. That is a fantastic defense that we just played. The front seven’s as good as we played all year. All those guys are not going to be draft picks, they’re gonna be high draft picks. So we knew it was going to be tough sledding and it was going to be ugly at times. We said we can’t let their front seven take the game over. And they didn’t. We got better as the game went. And Satt did a great job, as did Clayton (White) and as did Pete (Lembo) and all of our coaches.”
On status of Josh Vann: “He’s ok, obviously it was a knee injury. Looked pretty bad. It’s not his ACL, so we’ll see.”
On punt coverage: “We told our guys all week that they’ve had some issues with protecting the football and turning the ball over. And we told our guys on special teams that, not just defense, but our guys on kick off cover and punt cover, there’s gonna be opportunities to get down there and knock the ball out against their punt returner and against their kickoff returner. Great job by them straining to get downfield and causing two turnovers on special teams. That was huge.”