The Daily Gamecock

Zeb Noland named starter, injury updates ahead of Eastern Illinois game

<p>University of South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer speaks to the media during the 2021 SEC Football Kickoff Media Day on July 19, 2021 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, AL. (Jimmie Mitchell/SEC)</p>

University of South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer speaks to the media during the 2021 SEC Football Kickoff Media Day on July 19, 2021 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, AL. (Jimmie Mitchell/SEC)

Head football coach Shane Beamer was lively in his midweek press conference on Tuesday. Addressing the elephant in the room, Beamer joked, “Obviously the topic of conversation, what everyone is here today and wants to talk about, is our uniforms.” 

The real topic of conversation was graduate transfer Zeb Noland who was named the starting quarterback hours before. 

Beamer highlighted Noland’s knowledge of the playbook saying, "he has a great understanding of what we’re doing offensively because he spent the entire summer, I know as he told you guys, drawing up the playbook and coaching."

Beamer also praised Noland's football ability.

"He is very efficient getting us in and out of the huddle, commanding the offense, controlling what’s going on out there," Beamer said. 

Redshirt senior quarterback Jason Brown also spoke to the media on Tuesday. 

Brown was mature following the decision to name Noland the starter, leaving him at backup. When asked about how he handled the announcement, he said "I didn’t take it negatively just because I love to compete." 

“I would say I am a really positive person," Brown said. "I haven’t let it affect me on the field in any way. I haven’t let it affect my teammates in any way." 

Brown said he wants to see Noland succeed because that would mean the team succeeds as well. 

Brown was not supposed to make the press conference, due to a class conflict, but showed anyway. Beamer said Brown exhibits the quality of accountability, which is a "core value" of the team. 

When asked about injuries ahead of Saturday’s contest, Beamer said junior running back Kevin Harris and redshirt sophomore defensive back Cam Smith can play on Saturday. 

“Cam absolutely attacked his rehab to be able to go out there, and I think Cam would love to go play 70 plays Saturday night if he could," Beamer said, applauding Smith's work during the process of rehabilitation. 

Beamer said sophomore quarterback Luke Doty has been out at practice in tennis shoes, but not in pads. He hopes Doty will be able to practice with the team next week. 

Junior defensive lineman Zacch Pickens and senior edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare also spoke to the media.

Pickens talked about what the Gamecocks expected to see from Eastern Illinois offensively, saying the Gamecocks need to be, “aware of everything." 

Enagbare echoed Pickens' sentiment, saying everyone has to do their job and have their man. 

As for the uniforms — white helmets, garnet jerseys and white pants — Beamer said his team should be more concerned with how it plays instead of how it looks. 

"We’re not going to be wearing a different uniform for the next twelve weeks I can assure you that," Beamer said. 

The Gamecocks open the season against the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m.


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