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Shane Beamer reacts: USC-Texas A&M game, more injuries, suspended player

South Carolina is now 2-6 overall (1-5 SEC) after Saturday’s 30-17 loss to Texas A&M. Here are some highlights from what Shane Beamer said afterward.

Said Texas A&M “made enough plays to win. What an environment. Love coming to his place. Hats off to Texas A&M, the fans and the environment.”

Opening statement: “I told the team in the locker room, there’s not another team in America that I’d rather be the coach of. They played their freakin’ guts out out there today. Not to make excuses, but shorthanded as you guys know. Injuries that happened in the game at the worst positions they could possibly happened at. .... Our guys stayed in the freakin’ fight today. All we said was, ‘Get this thing to the fourth quarter and let’s find a way to win it. We got it to the fourth quarter. It was a one score game after the touchdown and couldn’t quite get over the hump. That’s disappointing, starting with me. I told them in the locker room, it was fun watching them today. They flew around, they played with passion. Didn’t always play smart and that’s the frustrating thing. That goes back to me as a head caoch... Just not a clean game. They had two penalties, which is interesting, and we had eight. Our eight were legitimate. They were the right calls.”

Beamer again lamented the defense’s inability to force turnovers. USC has had no takeaways the last three games. The Gamecocks have six interceptions and one fumble recovery this season. “It’s hard in the SEC when you’re not generating takeaways,” Beamer said.

South Carolina lost two starters to injuries in the third quarter of the game. Beamer afterward said offensive lineman Trai Jones suffered a high ankle sprain. He confirmed that tight end Trey Knox injured his hamstring. Wide receiver Xavier Legette, who was questionable with an upper body injury, suffered an ankle injury late in the game. Beamer did not offer any timetables for their return.

Starting cornerback O’Donnell Fortune did not play in the first half. Beamer after said Fortune was serving a suspension for an undisclosed violation of an athletic department policy. “Nothing illegal,” he said.