Better Than Expected So Far
The Gamecocks picked up their 2nd win of the season against a dangerous conference opponent. Here's some thoughts:
- Given that Missouri had 815 yards of offense and 72 points in Game 1, count me among the many that thought this could end up as a shootout. The fact that the Gamecocks held the Tigers to only 13 points demonstrated a really good performance by the defense. This was the lowest point total for Mizzou since they played at LSU last year in Game 5.
- The Gamecocks again showed up prepared to play in all phases of the game. So far this season South Carolina appears to be one of the best coached teams in all of college football.
- Bentley missed a few throws early that would have been big plays or TDs, but settled-in for a pretty solid game. The story is that he gets a little too excited pre-game and has trouble controlling that energy. It's something to keep an eye on going forward.
- This was the Gamecocks' first true road win since opening the 2016 season by beating Vanderbilt, and only their 2nd win in their last 12 road games.
- Deebo is now 2 for 2 on the year in returning kicks for TDs. He has amazingly returned 3 kicks for TDs in his last 15 attempts, which have occurred over the past 5 games. He is now tied for 42nd in FBS history (since record keeping began in '76), the South Carolina career leader, and tied for the South Carolina season record in kickoff return TDs.
- This was arguably the worst officiated I think I have ever seen. The refs robbed Ty'Son Williams of a touchdown, gave Missouri a 1st Down when they were clearly short on a 4th Down run, and just generally looked confused the entire game. That crew is going to cause controversy before the end of the season.
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
After every win I give a dozen chicken wings out to the players most responsible for the victory.
Deebo of course had his kickoff return TD, and a superb 25-yard TD run to notch his 5th TD in the first 6 quarters of the season.
Garnet Thor led the team in receiving with 3 catches for 69 yards. One of his receptions was a 39-yarder for a TD. He also participated in the ultra-rare TE Jet Sweep where he trucked the Missouri safety on the goal line for his first career rushing TD.
Had his first career interception during a series of plays in the 2nd Quarter that shifted momentum and gave the Gamecocks a permanent lead. Also punched a sure TD out of the Missouri receiver's hands.
Made a great play on the punt early in the 4th Quarter, throwing the guy blocking him into the returner and forcing a fumble.
Got his hands on two passes, one of which resulted in an interception, and blocked a field attempt. Great showing in his first major action, even though he only had 14 snaps on defense.
In his first major action in garnet & black, led the team in rushing with 14 carries for 78 yards. His long run of 32 yards was a thing of beauty, but poor officiating robbed him of a TD.
Had an interception of a Javon Kinlaw tipped pass in the 4th Quarter to seal the win. Was also active all game in the pass rush and had a TFL.
That's it for Week 2. Watch the full game below.