Beamer Gets Mayonnaise Bath As South Carolina Wins Mayo Bowl | Sports News

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By STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – South Carolina coach Shane Beamer expected a bucket of mayonnaise to be thrown in his head would be horrible.

And yet, it was worse than he could have imagined.

Beamer was hit in the back of the head by the cooler before 4 1/2 gallons of mayo cascaded down his face and shirt, crowning the Gamecocks’ celebration after their 38-21 victory over Carolina North at Duke’s Mayo Bowl Thursday.

“I was hammered on the back of my head by the cooler – then came the mayonnaise,” Beamer said. “I can have a concussion. It was horrible.”

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He changed his shirt for the post-game press conference, but joked, “I still have mayonnaise in my pockets.”

But, for Beamer, it was worth it to end the season with a bowl victory.

Jaheim Bell had five catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns for South Carolina (7-6), who rebounded well after losing 30-0 to Clemson in their regular season final on Nov. 27. Kevin Harris added 169 rushing yards and one Goal.

Bell, a second-year tight end, broke free for a 69-yard touchdown from convert receiver Dakereon Joyner and caught a 66-yard TD from former graduate assistant coach Zeb Noland on Carolina’s first two possessions. South. Juju McDowell added a 35-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter as South Carolina averaged 11.6 yards per play while opening a 25-13 halftime lead.

“Everyone on offense was locked in and grabbed into the details,” Bell said.

Sam Howell threw for 205 yards and a touchdown, and the reserve running back British Brooks posted a record 63 touchdown yards for the Tar Heels (6-7).

South Carolina ran for 301 yards, despite Tar Heels coach Mack Brown saying North Carolina’s game plan was to stop the run.

“You’re not going to win football games like that,” Brown said. “They led it, we didn’t.”

South Carolina pivoted Joyner and Noland under the cross, and both were effective.

Joyner entered the game after attempting just one assist this season and 31st during his college career. But the element of surprise proved to be effective in the Gamecocks’ first possession, when Joyner hit the Bell 6-3, 232 pounds in a stride down midfield.

Joyner, who was named the game’s MVP, completed 9 of 9 passes for 160 yards and also ran for 64 yards.

“The element of having them defend the quarterback’s run was important,” Beamer said. “And he’s also a talented pitcher. … We just wanted to give them something else to defend.

Joyner, who has struggled at times to find a role with the Gamecocks, said he learned how to play the quarterback during first bowl practice earlier this month.

“It means everything to me,” Joyner said. “It still feels like a dream. I thank God for preparing me for the past four years. Never give up on your dreams. Adversity will come, but this is how you overcome it.

Beamer said in hindsight that he should have used Joyner more in the quarterback earlier in the season.

Howell, a slated first-round pick in the NFL Draft, wouldn’t say if he’s considering going pro. After the game, he retired to a corner of the field, spending time soaking up what could be his last college game.

“I have a decision to make,” he said, adding that it would involve a lot of prayer.

Howell made several impressive throws with his strong, precise arm. But the junior quarterback spent most of the game under heavy stress playing behind a struggling offensive line.

“We wanted to limit their explosive plays – and we wanted to make sure (Howell) didn’t get too many yards when he came out of his pocket,” South Carolina safety Jaylan Foster said.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have won wins over Florida and Auburn this season in what is expected to be a low season. Winning seven games was an encouraging sign that Beamer could finally have this once proud program in the right direction. “It’s a great statement on where we are at,” Beamer said.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels started the season in the nation’s top 10 and ended the year with a loss record, so it’s hard to describe this season as anything other than a major disappointment. The defense needs major upgrades and the offensive line needs an upgrade as well.

South Carolina: There’s a lot of enthusiasm for the program moving forward, especially with former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler expected to transfer.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels will look to Jacolby Criswell or Drake Maye to inherit the quarterback job if Howell leaves. Maye is the younger brother of former UNC basketball star Luke Maye.

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