The South Carolina football team and head coach Shane Beamer are 1-0 on the season after a victory over Georgia State on Saturday night.
After the game, while doing a post-game interview with the SEC Network, Beamer seemingly trolled the Tennessee football program while he was complimenting Georgia State.
“That was a struggle,” Beamer said about his team’s 35-14 victory over Georgia State during the interview. “That’s a good football team we just beat. We know there are some other SEC teams that have played these guys and aren’t having the feeling that we have right now.”
While Tennessee fans don’t need any reminder of that game or that era in Knoxville, here we go. Beamer was most certainly referring to Tennessee’s season-opening loss to Georgia State in 2019.
Led by then-head coach Jeremy Pruitt in his sophomore season at the helm of the Tennessee program, the Volunteers lost to Georgia State by a score of 38-30 on Aug. 31, 2019. The Vols and the Panthers went back-and-forth for the first three quarters until a 17-point fourth quarter from Georgia State would put the game to bed. The Panthers held a 15-point lead over Tennessee until an 18-yard touchdown reception from Jauan Jennings closed the gap in the game’s closing seconds.
When Beamer mentions other SEC teams that have played Georgia State, he is correct. The Panthers are not a team that is afraid to schedule SEC competition from time to time. However, the only difference is that Tennessee is Georgia State’s only SEC win in the last 10+ years.
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The Panthers lost to Auburn by a score of 34-24 in 2021 and Alabama by a score of 45-3 in 2013. Georgia State also lost to Tennessee by a score of 51-13 in 2012.
At the end of the day, Beamer’s implication of Tennessee and Georgia State is just a simple troll at the beginning of the season. The comment doesn’t even have ties to the current Tennessee coaching staff or administration.
That being said, though, it is an interesting step in the budding connection that Tennessee and South Carolina are emerging into.
There’s a lot of talk regarding the similarities between South Carolina and Tennessee lately. Both programs are back on the rise after a down stretch thanks to a new energetic coaching staff that has redirected the route of each program. Beamer was hired by South Carolina just about two months before Heupel was hired at Tennessee, and both men ended up as the Steve Spurrier Co-First Year Coach of the Year selections after the 2021 season.
There are certainly rising expectations surrounding both programs entering the 2022 season.
Tennessee and South Carolina will square off in the second to last game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 19. Tennessee will hit the road to take on transfer quarterback Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks.
“We spent a lot of time on it and it was good to see their hard work pay off,” Beamer said about his special teams play after the game in full. “We needed it tonight. That was a struggle. That’s a good football team we just beat. We know there are some other SEC teams that have played these guys and aren’t having the feeling that we have right now. Had that thing in control in the fourth quarter. Three phases of the football all did some good stuff today. It was awesome to see the special teams really have a big day.”