Shane Beamer talks benefits of extended practice time for the Gator Bowl
Dec. 05, 2022

Coach Beamer sees opportunities for players on his team as it begins its bowl preparation. Carolina is scheduled to play Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 30, and Beamer’s already planned out how he wants the Gamecocks to prepare for the game. “We practice on Sunday, take Monday off during the season, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, are our main practices,” Beamer said. “So I want to have a normal game week before we break for Christmas.”

The final exams are this week. The Gamecocks expect to start on-campus practices next Thursday, Beamer said. The coach hopes to get the team a week of training camp-style practice in Columbia, where the focus is more on the team getting better as a unit. The first week of bowl practice, Beamer said, is mostly for the development of the younger players on the team.

From there, Carolina plans to start gearing practices toward game planning and preparing for the Fighting Irish before leaving for Jacksonville. “We want to get better as a team during this time, get our individuals better,” Beamer said. Players across college football tend to opt out of bowl games or enter the transfer portal this time of year.

Any player who has not played in more than four games is eligible for an extra year of eligibility through redshirting. “We’ve certainly got some freshmen that haven’t played in four games yet that still can play in this bowl game that maybe haven’t been key figures for us this season,” Beamer said. Notre Dame, like South Carolina, finished the season 8-4 and in the College Football Playoff Top 25.

Both squads defeated Clemson and effectively ended the Tigers’ playoff hopes. The Fighting Irish also started the season 1-2 before picking up steam. Carolina had an extended period of prep time last year when gearing up for Duke’s Mayo Bowl against North Carolina. The team won 38-21 and will have a chance to get another bowl victory later this month. “Worked for us last year, so we’ll see if it works this year,” Beamer said of the extra time to practice. “Hopefully it does.”