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Clemson Football

Beamer's son a fan of Dabo? 'He realized pretty quick what this rivalry is about'

November 25, 2022
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No. 8 Clemson (10-1) will host South Carolina (7-4) on Saturday. 

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer saw his team suffer a 30-0 loss in his first-ever Palmetto Bowl Rivalry game in Columbia last year. The Gamecocks will arrive in Death Valley with loads of confidence after the 63-38 upset win at home over then No. 5 Tennessee. 

Beamer was asked about that game and Clemson on Tuesday. 

A few comments about the Tigers from Beamer's opening statement:

"You could argue that they're playing their best football down the stretch. I think if you look at them year after year, they just continue to get better as the season goes, another 10-win season for them, another opportunity to win an ACC championship. And that's not easy to do.

"They're extremely talented as you know, they're extremely well coached. Offensively, they're playing really good football here, especially last week.

"Defensively, their front seven is probably the best we faced all season and their group of defensive linemen and linebackers, every single one of them will play in the NFL. So, they're really good up front as well."

Clemson quarterback D.J Uiagalelei and South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler were both the top pocket passer in their respective classes (2019, 2020). Both have also struggled since entering college and are deemed disappointments by some fans and analysts.

This season, Uiagalelei has completed over 65 percent of passes for 2,412 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, and Rattler had 438 passing yards and six touchdowns against Tennessee.

Beamer on whether he sees any similarities in Uiagalelei and Rattler in terms of hype, adversity, and then bouncing back:

"Absolutely. Two guys that were very highly recruited, and rightfully so coming out of high school, that kind of goes back, Gene, and what I've said before when you're the head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback, when things don't go, well you get the brunt of the criticism and I think we all know when you sign up to be in those positions that's part of it. But people criticize DJ and all he's done is won 10 games.

"I'm sure he would tell you there are things that he can do better as well. I don't know him but just watching him on television and seeing interviews. He stays very poised, doesn't get too high or too low. That is Spencer. He's got great confidence in his ability. That is Spencer. And they're both coming off really good games. So Spencer's been fantastic. He was fantastic on the field Saturday night, but Spencer has been fantastic off the field since the day he got here. And I would imagine it's the same for DJ and the way that he is in their program also."

It has been previously discussed that Beamer's son, Hunter, is known as a fan of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. That fandom developed while Beamer was an assistant at Oklahoma (2018-2020). Once upon a time, Beamer even sent a video of Hunter - who at the time expressed his desire to one day play for Swinney - passing and running for a pair of touchdowns during a flag football game in Norman, Oklahoma. Swinney and Hunter also hugged before last season's matchup. 

On if a year into the rivalry has lessened Hunter's fandom:

"I think there's still a good, healthy respect for Dabo. My son doesn't like to lose. So he liked Dabo a lot better before we got beat last year. Dabo was very good to him after the game, before the game. Dabo asks about him when we talk or when I see him. So there's certainly a respect level, but my son, other than my youngest daughter, is probably the most competitive person in that household.

"He realized pretty quick what this rivalry is about so there's a healthy respect but the love fest, I think isn't what it was."

Beamer held assistant coaching positions at South Carolina from 2007-2010 before becoming head coach in 2021. He worked under head coach Steve Spurrier (2005-2015), who holds a 6-4 record against the Tigers including five consecutive wins from 2009-2013.

On his favorite memories as a coach in Death Valley:

"I was here 7,8,9 [2007, 2008, 2009] and 10 [2010] Eight was not a good one because that was the day we lost when Dabo got the job after the game - so happy for him - but that wasn't a good day for us. Certainly 2010, we went up there and Antonio Allen returned an interception for a touchdown. That was a really cool night because we'd already clinched. We knew we were going to play in the SEC championship the next week and even though you're going to Atlanta, you still want to beat your rival. So to be able to go up there that night and beat them and in pretty good fashion was definitely a really good memory up there that night."

Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson passed for 162 yards with one touchdown and rushed for 67 yards and a score when the Razorbacks defeated the Gamecocks 44-30 on Sept. 10. Uiagalelei passed for 233 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 89 yards and a score in his last game versus Miami. 

On if there are any similarities in KJ and DJ's style of play:

"I think very similar. They want to run the quarterback. And then he's got arm talent as well. They'd be crazy to not study everything that Florida did to us two weeks ago, and they'd be crazy to not watch what Arkansas and KJ Jefferson did, as well. And there's a lot of similarities, big athletic quarterbacks that can hurt you with their feet but then also hurt you with their arm."

The Clemson offense has committed 12 turnovers to their opponents' 5 in the last four games. The Gamecocks had no turnovers in the win over Tennessee but five turnovers in losses at Florida and home against Missouri (10-23). 

On the recent Clemson turnovers being a factor in their game plan:

"It's something that we look at every week. They would say the same thing about us looking at us because we've turned it over way too many times.

"We spend a lot of time on turnovers and emphasizing creating them but also preventing them as well with our ball security. But it'll be critical this Saturday as well. But certainly when we see a team that has turned the ball over or maybe it's something we always look at on tape. Hey, this guy carries the ball really loose or this guy's put the ball on the ground a lot this year. Let's really be even more aggressive about attacking that thing when we tackle him. And it's things that we talk about in practice all the time. So yeah, it's something that is always an emphasis."

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Beamer's son a fan of Dabo? 'He realized pretty quick what this rivalry is about'

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