The Gamecocks crushed the Vanderbilt Commodores 47-6 Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. It marked South Carolina’s second conference win of the year and fourth overall. USC has two more home games to finish the regular season: Kentucky next weekend and Clemson on Nov. 25.
Beamer called the game a great win and said he was proud of the team for how it rebounded after a tough first half.
“Offense, defense, special teams, everybody’s celebrating for one another,” Beamer said. “There was some adversity early with playing sloppy, but everybody just stayed together and continued to bring energy. It was really cool to see throughout the day.”
Here’s what coach Shane Beamer had to say after the victory:
After playing just two snaps, junior running back Juju McDowell exited the game in the first quarter and never returned. He was shown on the video board with his right arm in a sling during the post-game alma mater.
He broke his collarbone and will be done for the rest of the season, Beamer said.
“What a testament to that kid,” Beamer said. “He breaks his collarbone and then I look out there on the field and he’s out there trying to motivate the tea during a timeout on the sideline at the end of the first quarter. So he’s awesome, and he’s a great energy booster for our football team.”
Beamer also revealed that Alex “Boogie” Huntley got hurt Wednesday and was rolling around on a scooter Friday. But Huntley played Saturday, securing a touchdown pass and a fumble recovery against the Commodores.
Running back Dakereon Joyner is doubtful for next week versus Kentucky, Beamer said. But Beamer didn’t want to count the sixth-year senior out. Joyner was seen after the game rolling around on a scooter, but Beamer said the running back is determined to make his return.
“He’ll do everything in his power to come back,” Beamer said. “He’s in great spirits.”
On the defense
Saturday marked the first time the Gamecocks held an opponent under 20 points.
What made the difference?
“So for us it was going back just one is continuing to get better,” Beamer said. “Without a doubt starts with stopping the run. Though we played with great competitive spirit and physicality today. And then schematically we pressured them like we’ve been doing a little bit more of your recently.
“I would say the only thing schematically is we’ve just continued to evolve that three-down package that we have where we started with (Texas) A&M. We’re always playing our base coverages and bringing pressure with it. And then we’ve kind of evolved to where this week we did a little bit of the same package but just play some drop a coverage with it where we essentially had three safeties back there. And then did a good job of disguising and just playing fast. So nice credit to Clayton (White) and our defensive staff putting a good plan together.”
Tight end Joshua Simon, running back Mario Anderson, linebacker Bam Martin-Scott and defensive back Keenan Nelson Jr. all received game balls for great inidvidual play, Beamer said.
Simon had six catches for 65 yards, trailing only Xavier Legette.
Anderson ran for 102 yards on nine carries. His longest run came in the third quarter when he spuns out of a glob of four Vanderbilt defenders for a 72-yard touchdown run.
Nelson Jr. blocked and recovered a Vanderbilt punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was one of seven Gamecocks to score a touchdown against the Commodores.
Martin-Scott led the defense with 13 tackles -- seven solo, one sack and one tackle for loss -- along with a pass breakup.
Legette, too, had a great game. He accumulated 120 receiving yards on nine catches, which made him the sixth Gamecock ever to catch for at least 1,000 yards in his career.
“We’ve got a lot of good players on this team, and we need our best players and all of our guys to continue to make plays,” Beamer said. “Saw a lot of that out there today.”