The South Carolina football team was left with multiple areas of adjustment following the 23-14 defeat of Troy in week five. The team looks to finish offensive drives stronger going into their week six SEC contest against Tennessee.
"We've certainly got to be better at finishing drives offensively," head coach Shane Beamer said at a press conference.
The Gamecocks had seven drives into Troy's side of the field that resulted in a field goal or a turnover on downs.
"We need to be able to score touchdowns this week and not kick field goals if we get down there in that territory," Beamer said.
Another issue the Gamecocks look to rebound is the run game. The team ranks 102nd in the country for rushing offense. Beamer said the keys to having a good run game are "sustaining blocks and just finishing plays.”
Oftentimes when the run game is not producing, fingers are pointed at the offensive line, but Beamer said there's trust for "those guys on the interior."
"We've got to be able to run the ball downhill and move people, but also put together a scheme each week that gives those young men a chance to be successful," Beamer said.
Sophomore quarterback Luke Doty brings an added element to the run game with his ability to both run and throw the football at a high level.
"If they have everything covered, he's a weapon that is hard for people to bring down, as well, because he's such a good athlete," Beamer said. "Luke's got to use his legs no matter where we are on the field."
Doty provided insight into his skills.
“I've reached a point where, I've got a lot of confidence in my foot again and just, my ability to run the ball and extend plays,” Doty said.
Being 3-2 means there are criticisms surrounding the team. A big point of emphasis was blocking out all of the negativity going forward.
“It's hard, obviously, because of social media,” Beamer said. "When you're at a place like South Carolina, when you're playing in the SEC, you are in the spotlight."
Doty said it is important to focus on internal factors and "tuning out all that outside noise."
"At the end of the day," Doty said, "it's about us."
Competition has always been at the forefront of Beamer's culture, and an example of it would be the emergence of redshirt senior wideout E.J. Jenkins.
Jenkins was given the opportunity to see the field more against Troy and delivered in a big way. He caught two passes for 28 yards and the team's only offensive touchdown of the afternoon.
Beamer said he's seen Jenkins' progression as of late.
"I've seen him practice really, really, really, well," Beamer said. "There's a reason that he was able to take the steps that he did and make those plays. It's because it's how he practiced."
The Gamecocks travel to Knoxville Friday to take on Tennessee on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The kickoff is set for noon and can be viewed on ESPN 2.