Sweet Relief of Victory
I must start by congratulating myself on my accurate prediction of the final score. Although it was obviously more luck than anything: the original prediction of 31 points for the Gamecocks was based on an assumption of 4 TDs and a FG, not 3 FGs, a safety, and 2 TDs with a missed extra point. But whatever, I'll enjoy the fleeting appearance of prescience while it lasts.
This was definitely a must win game, and therefore it's nice to be able to sit here and write about a victory. But let's not kid ourselves, beating a now 0-4 team from the AAC is not something to crow about. Considering we trailed at the Half 8-14 to a team with the worst offense in FBS, getting to 6 wins this year continues to look like an uphill battle. The Defense had their third 2nd Half shutout in 4 games (which is better than not having 2nd Half shutouts I guess....) and limited UCF to 230 yards of offense (about 20 yards below their average heading into the game). We had our best QB play so far this year with our 3rd starting QB in as many games, and as such Nunez has staked his claim on being the starter for the foreseeable future. I guess the best thing you can say about this game is that it could have been much worse.
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
After every win I'm going to hand out a dozen teriyaki chicken wings to the players with the biggest contributions. Here are the recipients for the second win:
Lorenzo Nunez - 3 Wings
2 passing TDs and 1 rushing. Led the team in rushing for the 2nd consecutive week with 123 yards. Against better competition he likely would have had at least 2 passes intercepted, but that wasn't the case, and his performance was the best we've seen from the QB position so far this year. Had a great block on Cooper's rushing TD in the 3rd Quarter. He's currently averaging an insane 8.0 rushing yards per carry on 30 carries this season.
T.J. Holloman - 3 Wings
Holloman's stat line in this game was ridiculous: 6 takles, 1 TFL, 2 interceptions on back-to-back plays, 1 pass break-up, and 2 QB hurries. After a lackluster 2014, calling Holloman's performance in his first action in 2015 a surprise is a massive understatement. We continue to get an amazing amount of production from the MIKE position this year.
Boosie Whitlow - 2 Wings
The true freshman had a TFL for a safety and sack for a loss of 10 yards. Boosie needs to play more.
Jacob "Dan" August - 1 Wing
Local boy and walk-on TE gets his first career TD, celebrates like a doofus, gets a teriyaki chicken wing.
Pharoh Cooper - 1 Wing
Pharoh would have gotten more wings if he didn't have that bone-headed muffed punt that gave UCF the ball on the 1-yard line and led to a UCF TD and lead at the Half. He recovered well and had 2 TDs (1 rushing and 1 receiving), with his rushing TD on a busted play being a thing of beauty.
Elliot Fry - 1 Wing
Kicked 3 FGs on 4 attempts, including a career long 52-yarder.
Sean Kelly - 1 Wing
"Man, we've got a great punter!" is something I never imagined myself typing, but here we are. His punt pinning UCF on the 2-yard line led to Boosie's safety.
OK, that's it for the UCF game. As always, re-watch the game at your leisure below: