South Carolina football: will special teams improve in 2021?

Parker White #43. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Parker White #43. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Can South Carolina football embrace Beamer Ball?

South Carolina’s special teams units experienced ups and downs last season. Veteran kicker Parker White struggled, connecting on just 58% of his field goal attempts. Gamecock kick returners finished near the bottom of the league in every statistical category. Freshman punter Kai Kroeger took his lumps in year one, but ended the season with an impressive 43.3 yard per punt average.

With Shane Beamer at the helm though, the Gamecocks should see an added emphasis on its special teams group. Beamer’s dad, Frank, was known for having units that blocked kicks, returned punts for scores, and used special teams as a huge momentum shifter in big time games. Expect the younger Beamer to use the same approach.

Let’s breakdown what the Gamecocks have coming back in 2021 and see if the team can make major strides under its new head coach.


The Gamecocks struggled with field goal kicking last season, as senior Parker White made just 11 of his 19 attempts. It was the kicker’s worst performance since his freshman season, but there’s reason to believe that he’ll get things back on track next year.

Entering the 2020 season, White was considered a Lou Groza award nominee. He’d connected on more than 81% of his kicks as both a sophomore and junior, making 31-of-38 attempts. Due to COVID, White gets an extra year of eligibility. Don’t expect him to waste it.

On the punt team, Kai Kroeger struggled a bit early, but ended the year on a high note. In game one, he punted six times for just a 35.2 yard average. The freshman bounced back after the opener, though, notching a 45 yard per punt rate over the remaining nine contests.

Both kicking specialists have shown the ability to be successful. We’re expecting them to build on that in 2021.