The game plan to beat Auburn on Saturday wasn’t too complicated for South Carolina coach Shane Beamer.
After his team’s come-from-behind 21-17 win, Beamer told ESPN that the Gamecocks leaned on just two plays in the second half to help secure the victory.
“We talk about this being big-boy SEC football, and we literally lined up in the second half and ran the same two plays over and over and over,” Beamer said. “That’s a heck of a team we just beat, but man, I’m so happy for these guys and so happy for our fans.”
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Beamer clarified in his postgame press conference that the two plays were in the run game, a counter and a duo (inside run).
Beamer said the run game with counter and duo, over and over and over.
— Ben Breiner (@ben_breiner) November 21, 2021
The Gamecocks handed the ball a combined 14 times in the second half to running backs ZaQuandre White and Kevin Harris. They threw seven passes.
Auburn coach Bryan Harsin told reporters after the game that he thought one of the run plays was an inside zone.
Bryan Harsin when asked about Shane Beamer saying South Carolina kept running the same two plays in the second half: “They ran inside zone, they ran it hard. I know that was one of the two plays.”
— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) November 21, 2021
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This game certainly did not start out in South Carolina’s favor. Auburn scored touchdowns on two of its first three drives to take a 14-0 lead before the end of the first quarter. South Carolina responded in the second quarter with two scores of their own, with White catching a 28-yard pass from Jason Brown and Trai Jones catching a 3-yard pass from Brown.
Auburn kicked a field goal on its first drive of the second half, but South Carolina got a 7-yard pass from Brown to Josh Vann later in the third quarter to go ahead for good.
The Tigers missed a 25-yard field goal attempt on their next drive and were forced to punt on back-to-back series. Auburn appeared to get one last chance with 2:11 left in the game when South Carolina punted, but the ball clipped Jaylin Simpson’s knee and R.J. Roderick recovered to put the game away.
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The win was significant for South Carolina in that it made the Gamecocks bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018. They moved to 6-5 (3-5 SEC) in Beamer’s first year as head coach.
The Gamecocks still have one major matchup left; they host in-state rival Clemson on Nov. 27.
“So happy for them. To be bowl-eligible after they won two games last year, just so happy for them and proud of them,” Beamer said. “Since the day I got hired, since we came in here, they’ve done absolutely everything that we’ve asked them to do and they never flinched. And it was ugly early, and we were down what 14-0 and it wasn’t looking pretty. Nobody panicked and then we came right out in the second half.”