Beamer Ball 2.0

South Carolina is 5-2.  The ‘Cocks have won four straight since getting blasted by Georgia.  What’s the secret to their success?  Well, in this case it appears the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

RV combines the values generated on both defensive and special teams returns, plays that generally speaking are rare and often random. On the year, the Gamecocks have produced 38.2 points in SRV value in six FBS games, leading the nation in both total SRV generated and SRV generated per game (6.4 points). South Carolina is one of only four teams that have had a positive SRV value in every game it has played this season. Against Georgia State, South Carolina produced touchdowns on two blocked punt returns, generating 16.9 points of SRV in a 21-point victory. Against Kentucky, the Gamecocks dominated starting field position with turnover and special teams returns, generating 7.5 points of SRV in a 10-point win. And against Texas A&M, South Carolina finished the game with 3.5 points of SRV in a six-point win, and that was after surrendering a late onside kick to the Aggies which cost them 2.6 points of SRV. Prior to that play, the Gamecocks had actually generated more SRV value than the scoring margin in the game.

South Carolina leads the nation in my overall special teams ratings through Week 8, and Beamer Ball is alive and well in Shane’s second year at the helm in Columbia.

One other thing that probably should be factored in to SC’s success is turnover margin.  South Carolina was minus-7 in its first three games and +1 during the four game win streak.

Brian asks a good question at the end:

There is no doubt that big special teams plays can swing games and potentially overcome offensive and defensive efficiencies. But is it sustainable? Special teams ratings do not correlate with winning games as reliably as offensive and defensive metrics, and we extract the randomness of special teams and defensive return data from possession data precisely because they are less predictive and may actually disguise a team’s fundamental strengths or weaknesses.

Their next two opponents are Missouri and Vanderbilt, so it may not matter too much, but they finish with Tennessee and Clemson, where they’ll need all the special teams excellence they can muster just to be competitive.



Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

12 responses to “Beamer Ball 2.0

  1. Biggen

    I think it’s just the luck factor of turnovers, playing bad teams, and playing UK without Levis. Take one of those three away and they probably aren’t on a 4 game winning streak.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Living on the edge with special teams is a recipe for regression to the mean. When it snaps back, it’s going to hurt.


  3. W Cobb Dawg

    What does that make our STs? Specialer?


  4. ben

    Anyone remember that bowl game vs Va. Tech when Richt flipped the script for an onside kick to open the half?


  5. jcdawg83

    The only game the chickens have won that was in any way surprising was aTm. Beating KY without Levis is no great shakes and the other 3 wins have been against cupcakes.


  6. I’m gonna call my shot now…South Carolina beats Clemson this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Beamer ball is just the point…Shane knows he has inferior talent still in many key positions and against the top of the SECE. ST play is an effective way to level the playing field. If I recall correctly, Corch also emphasized ST play and Richt learned while Kirby uses our better players for returns…no more Logan Gray fair catches. Todd Gurley returning opening kickoffs was a thing of beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. poetdawg

    Dang, I saw SRV in the excerpt and thought we were going to get a musical palette cleanser. Dang!


  9. debbybalcer

    Like Mark Richt, Shane Beamer is a likable Coach. I hope that he continues to do well but not well enough to challenge us.


  10. Hunkering Hank

    It’s been exciting! And I’m loving the continuing coverage of the Cocks on my favorite Dawg site. Go Cocks and Dawgs this weekend!