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From the Student Section: South Carolina Upsets the Volunteers

Some observations from the biggest win (thus far) in the Muschamp Era.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Well, how about the Gamecocks’ performance last night? In a game that just might define the South Carolina football season, the Gamecocks came through in the clutch and got a huge victory. Hell, even Coach Muschamp was happy with the overall showing last night. Here are some of the key things from last night’s game.

That’s our quarterback - In the stadium last night, in my section the fans in front of me were (rightfully) worried about how Jake Bentley would perform against the Tennessee defense. However, those fears were quickly erased. After his first touchdown pass last night, the fan turned to me and said “We might have a quarterback!” I immediately responded, “yea, and he’s our quarterback!” Whenever Jake would do something productive (example: the TD pass to KC Crosby) he would then turn to me and say, “that’s our quarterback.” Jake didn’t have a statistically eye-popping game, but I never felt particularly worried about how he would respond when Tennessee made a big play or if he would be overwhelmed by the emotion of the game in a big spot. Jake, despite being a true freshman QB, was the steadying hand for the offense. The future is very bright behind center, guys.

Is the #GoonSquad back and here to stay? - The first two matchups against a Josh Dobbs led Tennessee offense the Volunteers averaged 532 yards per game. Last night, the Vols were held to under 300 total yards and roughly 4.6 yards per play. The Gamecock defense also forced three crucial turnovers and totaled 6 tackles for loss (2 of which were sacks). All in all, I think it was a fantastic defensive performance.

SELL. IT. OUT. - Last night’s atmosphere was absolutely electric. So much so that Muschamp made a blatant point to commend it immediately after the game. While the crowd was phenomenal last night, next week’s game is so important for one big reason. The postseason. This team was left for dead by most media after a 2-4 start, has suddenly found a spark and finds itself at 4-4 with 4 games to go in the regular season. If the Gamecocks can find a way to beat Missouri next week on homecoming, bowl eligibility is very likely. The fans need to do their part, get to the game early, be loud and just as intimidating against Mizzou as they were last night against the Volunteers.

Go Cocks.

*note - what are your observations? Post them in the comments!