“Beamer Ball” Leads South Carolina to 35-14 Win in Season’s Opener

Dick Cox

September 06, 2022 at 12:00 pm.

South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler throws a pass, while his lineman blocks a Georgia State defender.

South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass against the Georgia State Panthers in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. (Photo: Jeff Blake/USA Today Sports)

South Carolina opened the season with “Beamer Ball” at its best with a 35-14 victory over Georgia State in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,297.

“Beamer Ball” was first made famous by South Carolina Head Football Coach Shane Beamer’s father, Hall of Fame former Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer, for excellence in special team play.

The Gamecocks returned two blocked punts for touchdowns, new place-kicker Mitch Jeter debuted by knocking two field goals of 53 and 51yards and long snapper Hunter Rogers carried a fake field goal 5 yards for a first down that led to the Gamecocks’ only first-half touchdown on a one-yard run by running back MarShawn Lloyd. Gamecock punter Kai Kroeger also flipped the field with a 79 yard kick.

South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler, the former Heisman trophy candidate at Oklahoma, made his highly anticipated debut with the Gamecocks a successful one. Rattler was 22-36-227 yards with one touchdown and he also ran for a 2-point conversion. His athleticism helped to extend plays and create big plays for the offense.

Rattler talked about playing his first game in Williams Brice Stadium. “It was great! I’ve never been in a stadium that packed and with the light show, the fans, the Gamecock Walk, it was amazing. Just winning in that environment, our defense played great, special teams played great, and we’re never going to be sad about winning” said Rattler.

Trailing 12-7 at the half, Georgia State got the first big break of the game when a Rattler’s pass bounced off the hands of his intended receiver and the Panthers intercepted the ball at the Gamecocks 32 yard line. Seven plays later Georgia State took their first and only lead of the night 14-12 on a four yard run by quarterback Darren Grainger.

Carolina took the ensuing kickoff and marched 75 yards on 9 plays capped off by a 16 yard touchdown pass from Rattler to Lloyd. Rattler ran for the two point conversion to give South Carolina the lead for good 20-14.

In the 4th quarter the Gamecock special teams scored twice on a blocked punt by Rashad Amos and returned 26 yards by DQ Smith for a touchdown, and Traevon Kenion blocked a punt and it was returned 10 yards for a touchdown by Ahmarean Brown to round of the South Carolina scoring.

After the game Lloyd talked about the great play of the special teams. “Yeah, so it was exciting to see those blocked punts, and you know just our special teams unit playing their tails off. That’s something that Coach Lembo, and Coach Beamer has integrated into the whole staff and the whole team to where we want to be on special teams, and it’s not like you have to do it now. We want to go out there and make those plays. They have done such a great job of making the special teams a huge priority within this program, and just watching everything unfold is amazing.”

During the off season South Carolina made various changes to Williams Brice Stadium to make the game day experience exciting for Gamecock fans and players. They put in new LED lights, ribbon boards around the stadium, and a new sound system just to mention a few of the changes. This changes made an electric atmosphere for both the fans and players.

Lloyd talked about the atmosphere with the new lights, sell out crowd, and the energy of the fans.“I loved it, I’m sorry. I enjoyed every bit of it, it was really fun, all the guys out there, they did a great job with the lights and everything, I loved every bit of it.”

South Carolina held a halftime ceremony to honor former All-American and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney’s jersey No. 7 was added alongside the Gamecocks’ four retired numbers, although his number will continue to be worn as per a 2007 university policy.

Next week South Carolina starts SEC play at No. 19 Arkansas. Georgia State gets another shot at a Power Five team when it opens its home season against North Carolina next Saturday.

Lindy’s Sports Post Game Coaches Corner: South Carolina vs GA State

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