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SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum gives final thoughts on Beamer, South Carolina

SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum gives final thoughts on Beamer, South Carolina

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Paul Finebaum believes in what Shane Beamer has done to bring excitement to South Carolina football — but the results will come on the field, starting Saturday.

The college football pundit gave his thoughts about the first-year head coach on SEC Network’s pregame show, SEC Nation, Saturday morning ahead of Beamer’s first season as the Gamecocks’ head coach.

“I don’t think anybody’s done a better job in the offseason at energizing the fanbase than Shane Beamer,” Finebaum said. “That’s the good news. The bad news is the season starts today.”

Beamer, who’s been an assistant coach throughout the Power Five at programs including Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia Tech and South Carolina, will coach his first game at the helm of the Gamecocks on Saturday night against Eastern Illinois (7 p.m., ESPN+ and SEC Network Plus). His father, Frank Beamer, is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee best known for his 29 seasons as head coach of Virginia Tech.

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Shane Beamer embarked on an offseason speaking tour in various cities across South Carolina this summer, invigorating a fanbase looking for hope after going 2-8 in 2020 and firing Will Muschamp midway through last season.

Beamer created national headlines this week when graduate assistant coach-turned-quarterback Zeb Noland was named starting quarterback just a couple weeks after joining the roster in practice.

Noland, who played at North Dakota State and Iowa State and backed up San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, stepped in for starter Luke Doty after he suffered a foot injury in fall camp. Beamer is optimistic Doty could be back at 100% as early as next week.

Here’s what Finebaum told The State’s Ben Portnoy in the preseason when asked what success would look like in Year 1 under Beamer:

“I think for a new coach, success is always winning a game you’re not supposed to. … I think other than Vanderbilt, you beat Missouri, you beat Tennessee, you beat Kentucky — you have to concentrate on those games. I mean, I talk to South Carolina fans all the time (and they say), ‘We’re going to beat Florida.’ Calm down. To me the SEC East is, beat the worst teams — which South Carolina is one of — try to try to steal a game against a middle-of-the-packer and don’t think you’re going back into Athens any time soon and pulling that upset.”

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