This is one of the few games where fans left feeling a sense of happiness (at least with the team) despite taking the loss.
Both sides of the ball didn’t play superbly, but they did play better than Florida as a whole until the fourth quarter, where all hell broke loose.
Whether you agree or disagree with what went down, the refs made calls that undoubtedly affected the result of the game, but that is just something Gamecock fans are (depressingly) used to nowadays.
Throwing the refs aside, here are the standouts from this week’s matchup versus the Gators.
Offensive Game Ball: Tavien Feaster
This man simply could not be stopped.
It was raining for a majority of the game, so USC decided to pound the ball down Florida’s throats, and they ended up having great success a majority of the time.
Although his usage increase had much to do with Rico Dowdle’s early exit, Feaster had 25 carries on the day and took them for 175 yards, good for 7 yards per carry, and one touchdown.
In a game where Ryan Hilinski completed less than 50% of his passes, this kind of performance from Feaster was needed to keep the Cocks competitive.
It felt like almost every time Hilinski dropped back to pass, he either went for a pass within ten yards or overthrown home run balls, but you would expect that from a quarterback who is playing hurt.
Feaster’s touchdown was key in setting the tone in the second half, and it would have meant more if it wasn’t for the missed holding call that had Florida scoring within the next 20 seconds.
Defensive Game Ball: Jammie Robinson
In a game with minimal pressure on the quarterback and only two recorded sacks, with one of them occurring in garbage time, Robinson was the only guy I could give it to.
Don’t get me wrong though, this defense did not play like a defense that gave up 38 points.
That margin was created by penalties that prolonged Florida drives and a turnover that gave them great field position.
Robinson’s pick, though, set up USC’s first score of the second half and was one of the only standout stats on the defensive stat-sheet.
After a couple fairytale-like games on the defensive end, their success had to end somehow, and it came at the hands of a pretty good Florida offensive line, which succeeded in containing Javon Kinlaw.
Honorable Mentions: Will Muschamp
A coach and not a player making the list??
If this game didn’t make the fans believe in him/like him, then there is simply nothing else he can do to win them over (other than winning of course).
The fans were throwing towels onto the field and tensions were building amongst the referees and the team.
In that situation, which was him arguing a missed pick-play call, Muschamp did the one thing a coach that has his team’s back would do: fight for his players, although it sadly resulted in him getting called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
That one example should have put a fire in his team if it didn’t accomplish that and demonstrate how invested he is in the program.
He was done with how his team was getting treated calls-wise and wanted to display his anger to the refs.
This may have been one of the only penalties in recent memory that resulted in a roaring applause from the fans in attendance.
Even though the Gamecocks didn’t go home with another one in the win column, they gave it their all and put on an overall great performance that most realistic fans will take and run with.