The South Carolina Gamecocks fell in their home opener against the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday night. The loss marks the fourth year in a row the Gamecocks have fallen to the Wildcats, and drops them to 2-1 on the year.
There were a few big highlights for each team to take away from the game, and a few players stood out in the matchup. Let’s take a look at who earned the game balls for both teams.
Kentucky Game Ball: Benny Snell Jr.
Snell Jr. was a huge strong point for Kentucky on Saturday. It seemed like every time he touched the ball it was a solid gain that helped set up a second and short play. Every time he was tackled, he was fighting for extra yards and falling forward to gain more yardage. He was a workhorse, carrying the ball 32 times for 102 yards and two scores. He was the biggest impact player for the Wildcats, who did not have a ton of big plays or momentum swings that went their way. Snell Jr. looked reliable and durable as he paced the Wildcats’ offense and worked the clock throughout the game.
South Carolina Game Ball: Deebo Samuel
I could’ve went T.J. Brunson here, but it was clear who was South Carolina’s most important and high powered player again; Deebo Samuel. Deebo took the first pass of the game 68 yards for a touchdown, out running defenders across the field and down the sidelines. After that score, the Gamecocks failed to reach the end zone again until midway through the fourth quarter. Samuel only touched the ball four more times other than that. He finished with five catches for 122 yards and a score. He also finished the game with a fractured ankle, knocking him out for five to six weeks. Get well soon, Deebo.
The Gamecocks play at home next week against Louisiana Tech, while the Wildcats go back home and take on the Florida Gators.