South Carolina Football: Shane Beamer gets blasted by Marc Ryan

South Carolina football Head Coach Shane Beamer and his team continue to be doubted despite improving every season. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
South Carolina football Head Coach Shane Beamer and his team continue to be doubted despite improving every season. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

South Carolina football fans had a rough Saturday watching their defense fail to stop the Florida Gators.

A nice game from the offense saw quarterback Spencer Rattler lead an explosive day behind a slightly better, new-look offensive line. Skill players like Mario Anderson, Xavier Legette, Josh Simon, and Trey Knox performed well and even 5-star freshman Nyck Harbor got in the mix.

But the Gamecock defense was abysmal again, surrendering over 500 yards of offense (before kneel-downs) to the Gators and blowing a 10-point lead in the game’s final minutes.

Head coach Shane Beamer’s frustrations with his defense were evident on Saturday. A “do your freaking job!” highlighted (lowlighted?) a sideline interview between the 1st and 2nd quarter, and his postgame media availability included an emotionally-charged rant directed at much of his defense.

In the aftermath of Beamer’s initial comments—even later when still speaking to the media on Saturday night—he made sure to emphasize that much of the team’s issues had to do with coaching and that all coaching issues start with him as the man in charge.

However, Coach Beamer has still faced some criticism for his mini-rant and his team’s performance on the field.

The loudest criticism, as it so often is, has come from ESPN-Upstate and CBSSports personality Marc Ryan.

Ryan, a Florida graduate who also covers the Clemson Tigers closely, loosely covers the Gamecocks and is one of the program’s biggest critics. Over the weekend, he came after Shane Beamer with some takes that he admitted stemmed from some “personal” feelings.

Those personal feelings were obvious as Ryan spent part of his Monday making up conspiracy theories about flickering lights at Williams-Brice Stadium, theories he won’t take back despite eyewitnesses (both South Carolina football fans and Florida football fans) telling him he is incorrect.

One of Ryan’s biggest criticisms of Beamer from this weekend came from what he perceives as a lack of personal accountability.

Ryan compared a headline about Oregon head coach Dan Lanning to a short video clip of Beamer. The headline surrounding Lanning was about how he “shoulders blame” for some late-game failures in his team’s loss to Washington while the Beamer clip (just a one-minute snippet of the press conference) showed Beamer criticizing his defense.

Lanning did a good job taking accountability as a head coach in a loss. Beamer did some of that, too, but in his frustration with his defensive players and coaches, he led by holding them accountable. It is important to note that Beamer did, on multiple occasions, say that he and his coaching staff must do a better job.

Ryan, however, tried to pretend that the South Carolina football coach dodged accountability, and that just isn’t true. Recognizing that media folks like Ryan would take his rant and run with it without listening to the entirety of his comments, Beamer has since led off media opportunities by taking direct responsibility for Saturday.

Ryan didn’t just take issue with Beamer’s postgame comments. He also (rightly) had some criticism for the on-field product. However, he took things a bit far by implying that the Will Muschamp era was more of a success in Columbia through three seasons than Beamer’s first two-and-a-half years at the helm.

South Carolina football has not had a good season in 2023, and despite the country’s most difficult schedule, the expectations for the year were higher than what the Gamecocks have delivered at the halfway point this fall.

It will be an uphill climb to bowl eligibility the rest of the way for Beamer and his program, and if the Gamecocks can’t reach six victories, South Carolina football fans can rest assured that they will be hearing from Marc Ryan all offseason.

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