ATHENS — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer acknowledges there will be a lot of familiarity on Dooley Field next Saturday night.
Beamer was an assistant on Kirby Smart’s coaching staff in 2016 and 2017, helping to recruit and coach up some of the players on the Georgia football roster that his Gamecocks will face in the 7 p.m. kickoff (TV: ESPN).
“I can remember being there in 2017 and Kirby talking about Stetson Bennett the scout team quarterback, and how he used to dice up Roquan Smith and the defense,” Beamer said. “Stetson is a heck of a competitor and player, and clearly Kirby has a ton of confidence in him to get the job done.
“Just the fact he put him out there against UAB over the other quarterbacks he has in that program.”
RELATED: Shane Beamer shares lessons learned working for Kirby Smart
But Bennett and Smart won’t be the only familiar faces on the sideline across the field from the South Carolina team.
Many Gamecocks players will surely note their former head coach, Will Muschamp, who now serves as a Georgia assistant for special teams.
Beamer said he expects Muschamp will be able to provide UGA information about South Carolina player talents, but he doesn’t expect that to have a big impact on the game.
“None of the schemes are alike, what we’re doing here compared to last year,” Beamer said. “He’s obviously going to know personnel about certain guys, offense, defense and special teams.
“Scheme-wise is the big thing and there’s not going to be a lot of knowledge about that. But he’s a great coach, and it’s unique that last year’s head coach is on the staff at Georgia now.”
Muschamp was the Gamecocks head coach from 2016-2020, fired after a 2-5 start and a loss to Florida last season.
Muschamp reportedly pocketed a $12.9 million buyout before going UGA’s staff as a senior defensive analyst during the bowl season.
Beamer, who has opened the season 2-0, said he has great respect for Muschamp and appreciated his assistance in January.
“He’s been very willing to help me since I became the head coach, I talked to him a couple of times, when I initially got hired and then in January we talked about some different things,” Beamer said.
“He’s someone I have a ton of respect for, and I know he’s doing a phenomenal job for Kirby over there in Athens, and I know it will be an exciting night for him on Saturday, as well.”
Beamer said he hasn’t had a chance to study this season’s Georgia team.
But he knows from his time working with Smart to expect the Bulldogs will be even better than they were in their 56-7 win over the Blazers.
“I know how he runs that program and no one in the facility is ever allowed to get comfortable, coaches or players,” Beamer said. “They aren’t sitting around patting themselves on the back about their 2-0 start. They are doing everything in their power to get better this week.
“We know they will be better on Saturday against us than they were against UAB and the week before against Clemson.”
Beamer shared time with DawgNation after being hired to expound on his time on the Georgia football staff, and what he learned about building a program from Smart.
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