Let’s face it. South Carolina is currently in a slump. Although many expected Carolina to lose to both Arkansas and Georgia, at the conclusion of both matchups, the Gamecocks have looked flat to say the least.
Being outmatched in a ball game is one thing. However, what has most fans enraged is the lousy performance that Carolina put up. Following last Saturday’s game, many fans have prematurely abandoned all hope for the season.
It is more than understandable to have high hopes for the season and to be disappointed thus far. With that being said, it is far too early to throw in the towel on the season, or to even claim that Carolina’s bowl hopes are unlikely.
Believe it or not, South Carolina found itself in a similar situation last season and they found a way to bounce back.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
The date is October 23, 2021. Last night South Carolina took a 30 point loss to Texas A&M scoring only twice (both scores in garbage time).
The week before, Carolina survived an absolutely terrible Vanderbilt team, by scoring in the final seconds. Before that, the Gamecocks were completely manhandled by the Tennessee Volunteers at Rocky Top.
Poor performances three straight weeks in a row. Many fans are beginning to write off the team for the season. With a 4-4 record, and only 4 games left against Florida, Missouri, Auburn, and Clemson, South Carolina’s bowl hopes are certainly in jeopardy.
Similar to this season, Carolina last season found themselves struggling. Many complained the team was difficult to watch. Two wins was all that was needed, yet that seemed implausible.
Or was it?
Two weeks later, the Gamecocks would come out looking like a completely different team. Carolina would demolish the heavily favored Florida Gators by 23. Although the Gators struggled near the end of the 2021 season, Carolina had to play lights out to beat them the way they did.
The Gamecocks would end up clinching bowl eligibility against an Auburn team that was ranked the week prior. For a team that struggled against a two-win Vanderbilt program, this performance marked a solid improvement on the season.
Finally, South Carolina would end up putting the cherry on top with their dominating performance in Charlotte against UNC. This game brought the win total to 7. While, earlier in the season, fans predicted Carolina to finish with 4 wins 5 at best.
Despite the success of last season (given the circumstances obviously), you must remember that the Gamecocks still found themselves at a low point in the season. All felt lost, and games really felt miserable to watch.
However, the team overcame adversity and really found a way to bounce back, to finish the season the way they did.
With South Carolina in the position they are in now, they’ll really need the same type of momentum they had last season to push themselves forward. Many will probably deem this idea impossible, but when you have Shane Beamer as a head coach, I would argue it is achievable.
Over these next few weeks, we will see if Beamer truly holds the energy, expertise, and connection with his players to make the same turnaround he did last season.
I want nothing more than to see him overcome the criticisms and prove all the critics wrong.