The teams immediately went into “hurry-up” mode Tuesday when the scheduled game between South Carolina and South Carolina State was moved up to Thursday night at Columbia, S.C., because of the inclement weather Hurricane Ian is expected to bring to the area.
But, Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer acknowledged at his weekly press conference, “you can’t do everything” in the short week.
“There’s no perfect plan,” Beamer said, “but we’re trying put together the best plan for our team at this moment.”
The Gamecocks (2-2) routed Charlotte 56-20 last week, rushing for 295 yards and breaking the game open with three second-half interceptions.
“I’ve got confidence in our run game and I believe we will get better there,” Beamer said. “I believe we’ve shown that we can run the ball.”
Sophomore MarShawn Lloyd ran for a career-high 169 yards, more than three times his previous best of 55 yards last year.
“Is that MarShawn Lloyd or is that Marshawn Lynch?” South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough said, referring to the former NFL star known for his power running.
Pough’s Bulldogs (1-2) are coming off a 41-27 loss to North Carolina A&T. Without veteran running backs Kendrell Flowers and Alex James, the Bulldogs netted only 12 yards rushing while giving up 284 in the loss.
“We couldn’t run the football and we couldn’t stop the run,” Pough said. “A very unusual sensation for us in a game such as this. We couldn’t stop the run and we could not run the ball.”
Oddsmakers have installed the Bulldogs as much as a 38-point favorite, but Pough said the game provides his players with an opportunity to show they can compete against a bigger program.
“It gives us a chance to show that we belong,” he said, “and I think that means a bunch to a bunch of our individual guys.”