Shane Beamer on how South Carolina is trying to be more competitive in red zone situations

On3 imageby:Jack Veltri04/02/24

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Shane Beamer provides update on South Carolina football through six spring practices - 4/2/24

Shane Beamer will be the first to admit a lot did not going according to plan for South Carolina last year. And how could it have? The Gamecocks finished just 5-7 and seemingly took a step back after two solid years.

But in the heat of spring practice, Beamer has been using this as a time to start course-correcting some of what went wrong a year ago. In particular, red zone efficiency has been a main focus.

After wrapping up practice No. 6 on Tuesday, Beamer said one of the things the team worked on was short yardage and goal line situations. And this all goes back to executing in the red zone.

“I think overall, we weren’t good enough if you just look at our record and whatnot. We didn’t do a lot of things well enough last season,” Beamer said. “In regard to being able to finish drives, I think we had our moments, but certainly games like North Carolina stand out. I think we were inside the 20-yard line three times and didn’t score if I’m not mistaken. Being able to get down there and then finish.”

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Last year, South Carolina ranked 25th in the country in red zone offense, which doesn’t sound too bad. The Gamecocks were able to score some type of points in 35 of their 39 tries. 26 of those were by way of touchdowns.

But defensively, it’s not as pretty. South Carolina allowed opponents to score 37 times on 46 red zone tries. The defense allowed nine field goals but also gave up 28 touchdowns. So there’s definitely room to grow in this area.

“Defensively, a team is going to get down there, but when they do, you’ve got to hold them to field goals and try and keep points off the board in general,” Beamer said. “Certainly need to be better without a doubt.”

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When looking at schemes on both sides of the ball, Beamer said “every year is different” with what they’re going to do.

“Each week’s different, depending on teams and what their philosophy is in the red zone,” he said. “Are you playing a defense that’s going to pressure you once you cross the 20-yard line, or are you playing a team where they’re going to rush four and play coverage and make you make throws?

“So every week is different. Overall, I’ve got to be better. We’ve got to make sure we come out of there with points, preferably touchdowns without a doubt. So there will certainly be some schematic tweaks week to week and year to year.”

In practice, there haven’t been any big changes or tweaks yet. But Beamer said that will change a little bit as he plans to do something new with the team. His idea is to create even more competition.

“(We’ll do) kind of a points system for the defense and a points system for the offense where you can compete and have a winner on offense-defense down there that we’re going to implement for the first time in practice,” Beamer said.

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