South Carolina football is 2-6. Despite owning the most difficult schedule in college football this season, 2-6 is a mark that didn’t seem remotely possible this offseason. Yet, the Gamecocks are on a 4-game losing streak and a bowl game is almost out of reach.
Gamecock Nation, understandably, is not happy. After winning 7 games and 8 games, respectively, in the first two years of the Shane Beamer era in Columbia, the bottom has fallen out for South Carolina football in 2023.
Injuries have decimated the offense, but of the three phases of the game, the Gamecock offense clearly has outperformed the defense and special teams this fall.
Gamecock fans are fed up with some of the coaching staff, and the calls for changes have gotten louder and louder as the losses pile higher and higher.
Defensive coordinator Clayton White is facing the most heat from the garnet and black-clad fanbase, and the stats back up the fans’ frustrations. South Carolina sits 127th in the country (out of 130 teams) in passing yards allowed and passing yards allowed per game. The run defense hasn’t been abysmal, but it hasn’t been good either. South Carolina football fans expect Coach Beamer to make a change and move on from White.
As the Gamecocks continue to be hurt by injuries (especially on offense), calls for a change in the strength and conditioning program are growing louder, as well. Luke Day and his staff have overseen one of the most injured teams in the country in 2023. Whether that is their fault or not is impossible to determine, but fans are running out of patience.
When popular online personality Big Game Boomer asked what changes Beamer needs to make to get the Gamecocks back on track, the most popular answer was “Fire Clayton White,” but “Fire Luke Day” was a popular refrain, as well.
Running backs coach Montario Hardesty is also on the “list” for South Carolina football fans. An underperforming unit the last two years, the Gamecock running back room has not recruited well under his watch and hasn’t been able to hold onto the talent already on the roster.
If not for the surprise ascension of D-II transfer Mario Anderson, the position would have been an utter disaster this fall, as well. Gamecock fans are hoping for a change in the running backs coach job, as well.
It is important to mention that the Gamecocks likely will be favored in their next three games at home against Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky.
If the Gamecocks can win those games, it also seems likely that the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry game at the end of the year could be a battle for bowl eligibility as Clemson sits at 4-4 with games against ranked Notre Dame, ranked North Carolina, and unpredictable Georgia Tech remaining.
It does not seem far-fetched at all that both teams will be 5-6 heading into the Palmetto Bowl. If South Carolina football finishes the year on a 4-game win streak, favor with the fanbase will be much higher, and the calls to fire coaches may lessen, whether they should or not.
If moves are made, a number of available coaches could make sense at defensive coordinator or running backs coach, but until the coaching carousel gets spinning, speculating on new hires (before openings are even made) is not a fruitful exercise.
However, if the Gamecocks lose to Jacksonville State this weekend (or even just look really bad in a win), the loud shouts for change that are echoing through the South Carolina football fanbase will become deafening.