Yes, I was wrong in my game prediction, but I couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised!
Instead of bringing fans back to reality, the Gamecocks just gave them hope that they could keep this little winning streak they created going next week at LSU.
Once again, South Carolina shined in the second half after looking disappointing to start the game.
There are some things that worried me, though, like how South Carolina only scored one touchdown when being forced to drive the length of the field.
Uncharacteristic of this season so far, the defense won the Gamecocks this game, not the offense.
Anyway, let’s dive into these game balls!
Offensive Game Ball: Shi Smith
Picking a winner for this award was tough because there wasn’t just one guy contributing this week.
The drops were still there at times, but Shi Smith continued to be the focal point of the passing game.
Aside from his impressive stat line, catching eight balls for 76 yards and a touchdown, he also drew two pass interference penalties, which extended stalling drives.
In a day where Collin Hill only passed for 144 yards, Smith accounted for more than half of them.
Also, this happened.
SHIning pic.twitter.com/kWOLo2GoPk— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 17, 2020
Shi Smith went UP and got that pic.twitter.com/vGjImvqLCE— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 17, 2020
Whether you love or hate the way this man has been playing, he’s turned into quite the human highlight reel.
Defensive Game Ball: Jaycee Horn
Horn’s day wasn’t perfect, like when he lost the jump ball battle early in the second quarter to Seth Williams on a 44-yard throw, but it was still pretty damn good.
He made things very hard for Bo Nix through the air to the point where he became one dimensional, deciding to tuck it and run more.
Also, he had a whopping four pass deflections.
I didn’t even get to the interceptions yet.
Although he didn’t pick all three, he was the guy that tipped the first one in the air, which was later caught by Jaylin Dickerson.
On a day where the offense couldn’t get anything going to start the game, Horn did a fantastic job of turning the tide of the game.
Whenever it looked like Auburn may have had a shot at taking control, Horn decided to step up and make a play.
His performance even attracted the eyes of Super Bowl champion cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who just so happened to call USC home during his college days.
U want a cover corner go get @jayceehorn_10— The Gilly Lock (@BumpNrunGilm0re) October 17, 2020
Keep up the good work.
Honorable Mentions: The running backs, Kai Kroeger
The spotlight has been on Kevin Harris as of late, but Deshaun Fenwick made a name for himself in this one too.
These two combined to run the ball 37 times (wow) for 151 yards, good for four yards per carry.
Kevin Harris got in the end zone twice too, capping off drives created by Bo Nix picks.
Next, I just wanted to say this was by far Kroeger’s best game in a Gamecock uniform.
Trying to fill Joseph Charlton’s shoes, he did not perform well in the first few games.
Against the Tigers, three of his punts were downed on Auburn’s own 19, 2 and 7 yard lines.
When forcing opponents to set up shop from that far back, good things usually happen, and that was the case in this contest.