South Carolina scouting report

David Whitley
Gator Sports
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Who: Florida (4-4, 2-4 SEC) vs. South Carolina (4-4, 1-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.

TV: SEC Network. Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850

Last Week: The Gamecocks had an open week, and they needed it after losing to Texas A&M 44-14 the previous Saturday. In that game, South Carolina had 15 yards of total offense after 45 minutes of play. That was the fewest yards for an FBS team through three quarters in the past 15 years. First-year coach Shane Beamer wasn’t left much to work with after Will Muschamp’s five-year reign of mediocrity ended last season, and it’s showing. The Gamecocks have doubled last year’s win total, but the wins have been against cream puffs and there hasn’t been much improvement as the season has progressed.

Best Offensive Player: Junior running back Kevin Harris is the most dangerous weapon, but like most of the offense, he’s been AWOL for most of the season. Harries averaged 127 yards rushing a game last year and had 15 touchdowns as a junior. This year, it’s a 33-yard average and two scores. The dip is partially due to injuries, but a weak offensive line has given Harris no room to run. The Gamecocks are 15th in the SEC in total yards, averaging only 328.1 yards a game.

Best Defensive Player: Former walk-on Jaylon Foster has blossomed into one the SEC’s biggest playmakers, leading the league with five interceptions. Compared to the team’s offense, South Carolina’s defense has been Georgia-like, allowing 24.5 points and 346.1 yards a game.

Series: Florida leads 29-9 and has won five of the last six games. The Gamecocks last two coaches were quite familiar with the Gators. Ex-coach Will Muschamp was 1-3 against his former employer, while Steve Spurrier was 5-6 against the school whose football field bears his name.

Fun Fact: Shane Beamer is among the winningest coaches in college football history — if you count his father/son victories. His father, Frank, went 280-143-4 in 28 years at Virginia Tech, giving the Beamers 284 total wins. The NCAA doesn’t keep an official tally, but the all-time father-son victory leaders are probably Bobby and Terry Bowden with 556 wins. Lou and Skip Holtz have 400 wins. Vince and Derek Dooley have 232. For active SEC coaches, the Beamers are far ahead of Monte and Lane Kiffin, who’ve combined for 87 wins.

Quote: “We’ve certainly got some issues we’ve got to figure out.”  — Shane Beamer after the Gamecocks’ offensive line was mauled by Texas A&M.

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