Shane Beamer hasn’t pushed the panic button on South Carolina’s 2021 football season, and he doesn’t think fans should either.
“The real travesty in this situation is if we didn’t get better as a football team,” Beamer said in the opening remarks Tuesday of his weekly press conference. “We’re 2-2, it is still September, the sky is not falling. We have to play better, we have to coach better.”
South Carolina is off to a 2-2 start in Beamer’s first season, defeating Eastern Illinois and East Carolina and then going through a winless stretch to open Southeastern Conference play. The Gamecocks fell to Georgia 40-13 on Sept. 18 in Athens and lost to Kentucky 16-10 last weekend in the home conference opener.
They’ll step out of conference play for a meeting with Sun Belt opponent Troy this Saturday before heading into a six-game SEC stretch.
“We’re excited to get back out there on Saturday afternoon and compete,” Beamer said. “That’s what we love to do in this program is compete. Last week is behind us. We’ve learned from it, players and coaches, and we’ve got to be better this Saturday and continue to get better each and every week.”
Beamer stressed the fact the Gamecocks’ two losses have come to undefeated and veteran SEC teams. He recalled being asked in the preseason about expectations for this year’s team and what success looks like — and he said that answer hasn’t changed.
“My answer was always maximize the potential and the ability of this football team. That’s still the case. I don’t put a win-loss record on it,” Beamer said. “I don’t go in before the season and pencil in what games I think are going to be Ws and Ls. I expect to win every single football game. I’m hurting and as disappointed as anybody that we’re not 4-0 right now. Our job to maximize the ability of this team and continue to get better, and that’s what we’re doing.”
There’s room for USC to improve, and Beamer’s aware of it. But for now, he’s hoping to see those improvements against Troy. Aside from getting another win after two straight losses, Beamer wants to do it for the fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Beamer was complimentary of the atmosphere in Columbia for last Saturday’s SEC home opener, and he apologized in his press conference for the loss to the Wildcats.
“I’m sorry we didn’t perform better for you overall as a team Saturday,” Beamer said. “But we are working our butts off, day in and day out, as coaches and players to get better and be better this week. And we need to against a really good Troy team.”