ATHENS — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer knows to expect the unexpected against Georgia on Saturday.
Beamer, a former assistant under Smart, understands how the two-time national championship coach operates when it comes to not showing any more than what is needed.
“It’s a challenge because certainly they’ve had two blowout wins two weeks in a row so they haven’t had to do much offensively from a schematic standpoint,” Beamer said this week.
“So you know what their base stuff is, you try and prepare for that, you look back at last year, the schemes they ran and the concepts in the run game and pass game and you prepare for those.”
The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs are a four-touchdown favorite over the Gamecocks, a team they beat 48-7 last season in Columbia.
Of course, South Carolina was a three-touchdown underdog in 2019 when it upset Georgia between the hedges, handing the Bulldogs their most recent home loss.
Last season, Beamer’s Gamecocks upset Tennessee and Clemson, essentially knocking both teams out of last year’s CFP playoff hunt.
Stopping Georgia on Saturday would require South Carolina to derail UGA quarterback Carson Beck, who Beamer has already taken note of.
Beck, who ranks fourth in the SEC in yards passing per game behind South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Ole Miss’ Jaxson Dart.
“He can make every throw,” Beamer said. (So) you study that quarterback and throws that he makes that maybe Stetson didn’t … "
Beck’s arm talent has never been in question, so much as it has been his decision-making and mobility that some have wondered about.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has worked within Smart’s team blueprint, which has been to lean more on Georgia’s experienced defense while Beck and the offense grow.
Injuries and interior run game inefficiency have led the Bulldogs to modify their offense attack, moving more toward perimeter passes to act as “extended handoffs.”
It’s nothing Beamer hasn’t seen before on tape.
“They are going to do what they do,” Beamer said. “Obviously they have a new coordinator with Coach Bobo, but the system has stayed the same — Mike was there with the staff so they’re not going to like re-invent everything.”
Beamer believes Georgia will, however, break out some twists.
“You also know that they’ve had a whole offseason, too,” Beamer said, “that there’s some things they haven’t shown the first two games that we’ve got to be ready for and adjust to on Saturday also.”
Like any other game, South Carolina looks to hold its own in the trenches.
“This is a massive offensive line, size-wise,” Beamer said, “and we need guys in there that can hold their own make plays and be disruptive.”