USC 15 - Tennessee 9: Thoughts on Win #5

Black Day(s) for Orange; Hope for Humanity

Evil is real. Fortunately in some parts of the world evildoers clad themselves in approximate hues of safety orange (some almost constantly in recent years), allowing them to be seen from 3 towns away and thereby easily avoided. Long-term exposure to this sight does however cause grievous wounds to the retinas of the righteous, and a state of nearly perpetual nausea to those with a shred of common sense. Given this, Week 7 of the 2017 college football season will go down in history as a victory for humanity against not just evil, but good taste as well. Yes, I'm well aware that our provisional allies in Week 7 garb themselves in a similar palette, and indeed even call themselves the 'Orange', but we must remember that these people are from New York and therefore cannot be expected to abide by the rules of decent civilization. So, to Dino Babers and Syracuse, and to the men of South Carolina football, I say well done sirs.

  • Tennessee is obviously not having a great season, but they do have a win against a solid Georgia Tech squad, and a road win against a division rival is something that is never guaranteed in the SEC.
  • This was only the 3rd time that the Gamecocks have ever managed to win in Knoxville, with the other wins coming in 2005 and 2011. So the Gamecocks are now firmly on pace to win in Knoxville every 6 years. The series record is now 9-25-2, with SC winning 6 of the last 10.
  • Interestingly, Clemson has lost the same week every time the Gamecocks have won in Knoxville. They lost to Georgia Tech in both 2005 and 2011 on October 29th.
  • The South Carolina defense now has 17 sacks after 7 games this season. This is 3 more than they had in 13 games in 2014, 3 less than they had in 12 games in 2015, and 4 less than they had in 13 games last year. They are currently 5th in the SEC, just behind Alabama. The coaches have done a great job manufacturing pressure so far this year.
  • South Carolina has now won every coin toss this season. The odds of that happening are less than 0.8%.
  • Excluding the final drive of the game, Tennessee moved the ball a total of 6 yards in the 2nd Half, including penalties. This was good for  1.2 yards / drive. Absolutely brutal domination by the defense.
  • John Kelly, arguably one of the best backs in the conference, was held to 58 yards on 16 carries, for an average of 3.6 yards / carry for the game. He had a long run of 24 yards on Tennessee's first drive, completely trucking Jamyest Williams in the process, but averaged less than 2.3 yards / carry on his other 15 rushes.
  • Credit is again owed to Jeff Dillman, as the Gamecocks just flat wore out the Volunteers in the 2nd Half. The offense was able to run the ball nearly at will, and the defense was beyond dominant at the line of scrimmage. The Gamecocks seemed to get more physical as the game went on, while the Vols wilted.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

After every South Carolina win I'll hand out a dozen wings to the players most responsible for the victory.

Parker White

After a terrible start to his season White hit all 3 of his FG attempts with a long of 47 yards. The Gamecocks would have lost this game with Clemson's kicker.

D.J. Wonnum

My man Wonnum had 6 solo tackles and 2 sacks in the game. This dude is playing lights out right now and earned his 2nd consecutive Defensive Lineman of the Week honor from the SEC.

Chris Lammons

Tennessee's punter was booming his punts, but Lammons made 4 tough returns to keep the Gamecocks from being pinned back near their end zone too often. He also saved the day by successfully defending the pass on the final play of the game.

Skai Moore

Led the team in tackles with 9 and also got himself a sack where he knocked the body thetans out of the QB.

Dante Sawyer

Sawyer is having an All-SEC-type season in his senior year, and got a sack and his 4th forced fumble of the year against Tennessee.

Taylor Stallworth

Was solid defending the run all game and knocked down a pass at the line of scrimmage in what should have been the final play of the game.

A.J. Turner

A.J. had his breakout game for the season, rushing for 86 yards on 14 carries and scoring the game's only TD.

Bryan Edwards

As the Tennessee DC said, 'a 50/50 ball with Bryan Edwards is more like 80/20.' This is true. Edwards has been and continues to be the most consistent receiving target for Bentley, catching 6 balls for 63 yards. He is a great blocker on the perimeter as well, as you can see in Turner's TD run above.

Rashad Fenton

Fenton continues to keep his name out of the stat sheet, in that teams hardly ever throw his way. He has not given up more than 4 receptions or more than 43 yards against an opponent this year, and of course no one has scored a TD against him. He held Marquez Callaway to only 37 yards on 4 catches, with 33 of those yards coming on Tennessee's final drive when the Gamecocks softened their coverage. His pass interference penalty in the end zone with 9 seconds left was actually a heads-up play, as the yards aren't important in that situation. After the game he absolutely destroyed Tennessee WR Tyler Byrd, who thought it wise to doubt the existence of Fenton Island on Twitter.

That's all I've got for the win over Tennessee. Watch the full game again below.