BY TRAVIS BOLAND T&D Sports Editor
After an eight-win season, including victories over Tennessee and Clemson, the USC football team will be back on the field March 14 to begin spring training.
South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer met with the media Thursday along with nine players who have been placed in the Gamecock program.
Beamer said expectations are certainly different than when he took over the program two years ago. Internally, he spoke about players should learn to do the right things and do things right.
“The energy and excitement is higher than it was two years ago, but that’s what we want,” Beamer said. “We still have a lot to do. The challenge is to take the next step. We had six regular-season wins and then eight regular-season wins. The goal is not to become complacent, but to move forward.
One of those moves included the addition of Dowell Loggains as the team’s offensive coordinator. Beamer said he and Loggains have been working on offense over the offseason and are excited to bring it to the players once spring training begins.
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“There are elements that we want to carry over (from last year), but there are elements that (loggains) will bring in,” Beamer said. “After spring we will be adding some pieces to the mix, especially when our freshmen come onto campus, but a lot of things we’re doing will be related to adjusting our staff.”
Beamer said he wants a 50-50 offense split this season.
“We want to be able to run when we want to run and throw when we want to throw,” Beamer said. “We have to keep finding the ability to be explosive and stop flipping the ball. We’ve been bottom in turnovers in the SEC for the last two seasons and as a head coach it’s embarrassing.”
Beamer said the transfer group did a great job getting used to how things work in South Carolina.
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“There are many new faces in the program,” Beamer said. “We cannot assume what will happen in 2023 based on what happened in 2022. It’s all about how quickly those new pieces fit together. The challenge is to keep getting better and not settle for the status quo.”
He also commended the new freshmen for their ability to deal with the college atmosphere.
“They were great,” Beamer said of the newcomers. “Our strength and conditioning program was tough and they were put in some difficult situations. The moment wasn’t too big for them, they don’t seem lost. It’ll be a different matter once we start practicing, but I like her progress.”
As spring training begins, Beamer is pleased with how relatively healthy his team will be. He said Tonka Hemingway is unlikely to train, but Jordan Strachan and Mo Kaba are expected to have limited work in the spring and be ready for summer training. Both suffered ACL tears against Arkansas that forced them to miss much of last season. Beamer also said the three currently suspended players, Monteque Rhames, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw, remained suspended and are unlikely to be back with the team any time soon.
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