Ahead of his first rivalry game as the head coach at South Carolina, Shane Beamer is saying all the right things.
The son of former longtime Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer was very complimentary of Dabo Swinney and Clemson when meeting with the media on Tuesday.
“I saw somewhere Dabo was very kind and said I should be the coach of the year in our conference,” Beamer said. “Well you could certainly make the case that he should be the coach of the year in their conference with the injuries they’ve overcome all over the field. So many new faces going into the season. To struggle by their standards at the beginning of the season, to continue to get better each week and be sitting here at eight wins and still have a realistic opportunity to win the ACC if a couple of things go their way. And if they get to Charlotte, fully expect them to win that.”
“You look at what Clemson did last weekend to Wake Forest, who was ranked in the Top-10, and Clemson dominated them. Quarterback continues to get better every week. Their last four games they’ve scored 30, 30, 44, and 48. I think Dabo has done an amazing job this season.”
Coming off their most complete game of the season, Clemson (8-3) heads into the most hostile environment they have seen all season, and will do so as a double digit favorite. Night game, in Columbia, the crowd will absolutely be raucous, and the Tigers have not played well away from home.
However, Beamer is certainly expecting to get Clemson’s best shot, seeing as the magnitude surrounding the rivalry game.
“Defensively, they’re fantastic,” Beamer said. “They’re all over the place. So much respect watching them play, just how multiple they are. I don’t know how they coach it all because they do so much defensively it’s impressive to watch. And they’re disruptive. When you’re top four in sacks and tackles for loss, that’s pretty amazing. So disruptive to say the least.”
“Georgia is the best team in the country and scored three points against them. We know the weapons Georgia has on offense and they scored three against them. Clemson has had some injuries since then, but not that many on defense. You look at how Murphy and Thomas rush the passer, have so much respect for their linebackers, the defensive backs are really, really good and athletic and well-coached. It seems like they were in the backfield of Wake Forest before the quarterback wanted to throw the ball every single time.”
While it may be Beamer’s first time experiencing the rivalry as a head coach, this won’t be his first foray into the Clemson-South Carolina matchup. Beamer was an assistant at the school during the Steve Spurrier era, when the Gamecocks were in the midst of a five game winning streak over the Tigers. He’s well versed on the implications this game can have. Not just on the programs, but to most people inside the state.
“It’s not just another game, let’s be realistic,” Beamer said. “We understand what this game means to the people of this state and to the people in each program.”
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