South Carolina Football: How have the Gamecocks fared after recent Bye Weeks

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Tennessean
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Tennessean /

2023 is the third year of the Shane Beamer era of South Carolina football, and this Saturday marked the Gamecocks’ third Bye Week during Beamer’s tenure in Columbia.

What many fans might not realize is that the Gamecocks were great after the Open Week in both 2021 and 2022.

In 2021, the Gamecocks got smacked around by Texas A&M in College Station by a score of 44-14 but rebounded after a week off to knock off the Florida Gators in blowout fashion, 40-17. No Gamecock team had ever scored 40 points against the Gators until that night.

In 2022, Carolina was set to play A&M after the Bye, and the Gamecocks picked up their first win over the Aggies in program history. The 30-24 final score also marked the most points that USC had ever scored against Texas A&M.

Both Beamer-led post-Bye victories came in the friendly confines of Williams-Brice Stadium against SEC opponents who had beaten the Gamecocks handily the year prior.

South Carolina football fans are hopeful that the 2023 version of the Gamecocks can cause history to repeat itself coming out of the Bye this fall. A Florida team equally desperate for a win will be coming to Columbia for a 3:30 kickoff.

Last season, the Gators beat the Gamecocks in embarrassing fashion in the Swamp in a game in which the Carolina offense didn’t score.

This matchup with UF mirrors the exact situations the Gamecocks found themselves in after the 2021 and 2022 Byes:

  • Playing an SEC foe after Bye? ✔
  • Getting the post-Bye game at home? ✔
  • Lost to the post-Bye opponent in the previous season? ✔
  • Needing a win to keep reasonable bowl eligibility on the table ✔

The Gamecocks and Gators will play what amounts to a must-win game for both teams.

The Gators are 4-2 but are expected to be underdogs in four of their five games following the matchup with USC. The Gamecocks are just 2-3 with a tough schedule still remaining, so every win matters when trying to reach bowl eligibility.

If South Carolina football knocks off Florida, Billy Napier’s warm seat might turn into a hot seat, especially if the Gators do not bounce back and finish, instead, below bowl eligibility.

If Florida wins, Beamer is in danger of missing out on a bowl and losing much of the good will he has built up over the past two seasons. The “overachieving” Gamecocks moniker would be a thing of the past, and USC’s solid recruiting momentum could be affected without postseason play.

Related Story. South Carolina Football: 10 Gamecocks who must step up after the Bye Week. light