Well, that game was certainly strange. Between a first time starter, redshirt senior QB outplaying a future 1st round draft pick, a seemingly random rain shower that turned into a torrential downpour, multiple headset issues, and a lightning delay that turned a noon kickoff into a 5 hour game, there’s A LOT to unpack here. As usual, I’m going to touch on the 3 things that stuck out to me the most, but y’all make sure to leave your observations in the comments. All of that being said, let’s get started!
Agent Michael Scarn: If Michael Scarnecchia never starts another game for the South Carolina Gamecocks, he will always have this game to remember. Now, that being said, even if Jake Bentley is 100% healthy when it’s time to kickoff against Texas A&M, Michael has absolutely earned the starting job in my book. The guy has been here for 5 years now, was an unheralded recruit that was handpicked by Steve Spurrier, took a medical redshirt in 2016 due to a torn labrum, and through it all, slowly worked his way up the depth chart under two different coaching staffs. He finally got his chance yesterday against the Missouri Tigers and played better than anybody could have asked for. I, along with many others, did not expect much out of our offense with Scarnecchia under center and only expected him to be a game manager. At the end of the day Scarnecchia went 20/35 for 249 yards, 3 TDs and ZERO picks. Those stats, while solid, don’t indicate how well he played yesterday. The receivers had 4 or 5 drops on balls that should have been caught and Scarnecchia made play after play to keep the chains moving. Oh, and as Will Muschamp said in his post game press conference, Scarnecchia did a great job of not only managing the moment, but the ridiculous 3rd quarter weather as well. Oh, and don’t forget about how steady he was on the game winning drive at the end of the game. Again, regardless of Jake Bentley’s health next week, Mike has earned another start next Saturday in my book.
The Veteran and the Youngbuck: I know the South Carolina defense didn’t have their best outing yesterday afternoon, but if you look past the overall team stats, you might be able to see a few bright spots. One of which was the play of Bryson Allen-Williams and Jaycee Horn. Bryson, the 5th year senior linebacker/BUCK, and Jaycee, the freshman cornerback, were the Gamecock defense’s MVPs yesterday, in my opinion. Bryson, better known affectionately as BAW, seemed to just have a nose for the football yesterday and played like his hair was on fire. 6 tackles, 3 for a loss, 1 sack and 2 QB hurries BAW was all over the field. And then there’s Jaycee Horn. The young freshman was targeted often yesterday by Drew Lock and the talented youngster responded. Jaycee finished with 3 tackles and 4 pass breakups. Oh, and let’s not forget Jaycee’s effort on what was originally a 70 yard TD run for Missouri. Jaycee ran the play down from behind, dove at the Mizzou runningback and just tripped him up enough to force him out of bounds at the Gamecock 10 yard line. Seemingly meaningless at the time, this turned what would have been a Missouri TD into zero points as Missouri’s offense proceeded to implode with penalties. Great job, guys. Keep bringing the energy.
The Rise of Parker White: Last year, Parker White caught a lot of grief. While it may have been unfair to expect a walk-on true freshman to perform better than he did, we as fans were spoiled with Elliott Fry from the 2013-16 seasons, so we had come to expect a consistent kicking game. Well, it looks like we have that consistent kicking game back. So far this year, Parker is 8/9 on field goals and perfect on extra points. Oh, and let’s not forget he made his second game winner of his career yesterday with the game on the line. After making the kick, Parker considered going to celebrate with his girlfriend but remembered that Saturday’s are for the boys. What an absolute legend.
Alright guys, again, there’s more to unpack from yesterday’s game than usual. So what did y’all learn from the win over Missouri? Let us know in the comments!