Beamer evaluates the production of games performed on both sides
South Carolina Gamecocks Coach Shane projector wasn’t entirely ready to admit the idea that Troy could have won both lines of scrimmage.
A review of the post-match movie on his iPad would help him draw a more concrete conclusion after the 23-14 victory. Beamer, however, didn’t have to go back and watch to get that hold: South Carolina’s rushed exit wasn’t good enough.
“We’ve certainly struggled, at times, to lead the game,” Beamer said during the post-match Zoom on Saturday. “And we can sit there and say it’s a Sun Belt team, it’s Troy – it’s a really good defense. It’s the top five in the country in sacks, loss tackles and total yards per game for a reason. Don’t tell me they haven’t played against anyone. If you look at all of their work over the past two or three years, they’ve been doing it steadily over the past two years. We definitely have to be better because I realize we’re going to be playing better defenses the rest of the season than we’ve seen today, but let’s give Troy some credit.
Josh Vann led the Gamecocks with 52 rushing yards. Kevin harris, the most successful running back, ran 47 yards on 11 carries. Juju mcdowell finished with five carries for 20 yards. MarShawn Lloyd had three litters for three yards.
Troy’s top running backs combined to rush 28 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Two wide receivers had a pair of carries for 26 yards.
“I don’t think they lined up and necessarily forced it on us on defense,” Beamer said. “We missed a gap and gave them a long run early in the game they had. I remember another long run where we had them in a reinforcement situation and we missed a defensive back tackle. We need to tackle better, but I don’t think they necessarily lined up and crushed us.
According to cfbstats.com, Troy has run less than 68 yards against each of his three previous opponents: Liberty, Southern Miss and Louisiana-Monroe. The Trojans have totaled 137 yards in those three games. None of the three teams averaged more than 2.91 yards per carry.
Troy averaged 4.68 yards per carry against South Carolina. During Sunday night’s teleconference, Beamer was again asked about Gamecocks’ defense against the Trojans.
“I think yesterday was over, an unsuitable gap – the long touchdown run they had at the start was just a little bit slow guy to come back to his gap and be where he was supposed to be,” said said Beamer. “The one after (Zacch) Pickens’ penalty, they hit a 10 or 12 yard run after that. It was more security has to be there to support the game a little faster than it was, and then the one on the saved situation, we had a wedge in the game that just lost the effect of the sink. We always want to flip this thing inside and we let this ball come out of us.
“If people were in line and mutilating us, I would be worried. I don’t see it. It’s just controlling the gaps and dominating your space.
Liberty (47 carries for 185 yards) and Louisiana-Monroe (41 carries for 129 yards) finished with more total yards against Troy than South Carolina. The Flames (3.94) had a higher average yards per carry (3.61) than the Gamecocks.
“Offensively we definitely have to be better,” Beamer said. “I don’t think we handled the ball as well as we would have liked (Saturday). And we’ll keep looking at why, but I watch we had the ball saved, took the ball and walked it all the way up the ball, threw the soccer ball, kicked the basket, to make it a two – score game.
Maybe there is something to lean on. Harris had four carries for 24 yards on that drive. McDowell carried twice for nine yards.