What Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer said on South Carolina's quarterback competition
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What Shane Beamer said on South Carolina's quarterback competition

With the scrimmage Saturday, that’s a wrap on South Carolina’s camp portion of the preseason and now the attention turns fully to the quarterback position and who will take the field with the offense less than two weeks from now.

The position is still in flux with Luke Doty still on the mend from a foot sprain with the Gamecocks entering a very pivotal stretch for the competition.

Photo by Katie Dugan
Photo by Katie Dugan

“Frankly Zeb (Noland) had a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday practice and a scrimmage so he’s only been playing quarterback a week,” Shane Beamer said. “Today, tomorrow and Thursday will be critical practices and we’ll have a better idea of how things will shake out towards the end of the week as we get through these next few practices with our current quarterbacks and see what Luke’s situation is as well.”

Also see: Full updates from Beamer's weekly presser

South Carolina scrimmaged Saturday and had off days from practice Sunday and Monday and enter a mock practice week with practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to mirror what an in-season week will look like.

The Gamecocks practice six more times before it officially becomes game week with the competition, if Doty isn’t available, centering around Jason Brown, Colten Gauthier and graduate assistant turned quarterback Zeb Noland.

The coaching staff wants to evaluate this week of practice before going into game week with a likely starter in mind.

“You’d love to go into next week with everyone knowing who the quarterback is and we can rally around that guy and he starts getting the reps with the first group. All those guys—Luke before he got injured, Jason, Zeb now—they’ve all gotten plenty of work with that first group and that second group,” Beamer said.

“Whoever it is, we have confidence whoever takes the first snap out there next Saturday night to go perform and lead us. The sooner the better but at the same time all those guys are ready to play, whoever it is.”

Also see: Examining the Gamecocks' quarterback recruiting board

One of the bigger reasons the Gamecocks want to give Noland—who played most recently at North Dakota State—more time to practice and get his feet under him while also getting a clearer picture of Doty’s prognosis.

Doty is out of his cast and wearing a boot, which is progress over the last week, and the Gamecocks want to know what his rehab plan and potential return could look like.

“We want to see if Luke’s available, for one. Even if we knew Luke was going to be out until October we probably wouldn’t have named one yet. If you name one, you’re basing it off four days of practice for Zeb,” Beamer said. “We want to see Jason continue to come along, Colten continue to come along, Connor and Zeb as well. We gave Zeb last week and then he’s got this week of practice and we’ll see where we are.”

Noland’s the biggest wildcard, coming in from the graduate assistant group to exhaust his final year of eligibility at South Carolina.

It’s been all positive from Beamer on Noland, who’s been impressed with not only his ability in the offense but also him pushing the other quarterbacks on the roster.

Also see: PFF breakdown of Gamecock Zeb Noland

“There’s going to be some rust and you see it, but the arm talent, the knowledge, get us in the right protection, get the ball to the right person, that’s been very impressive and will continue to get better. Along with what Jason Brown’s done,” Beamer said.

“Jason Brown’s had the best week of practice he had as a Gamecock last week. Zeb being out there has really pushed Jason, and I’d say the same thing about Colten as well. Both those guys had really, really good weeks as well. I’m pleased with where we are at the quarterback position as well.”

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