South Carolina lost its top cover corner, Chris Lammons, after he threw a punch in the first quarter against Tennessee, and later lost another key defensive back.
Lammons was locked up with Volunteers wide receiver Jauan Jennings downfield on a Josh Dobbs scramble and appeared to swing first at Jennings’ stomach and then at his head.
Gamecocks sports information said since it happened in the first half, there will likely be no punishment carried over into the next game against Missouri.
Lammons’ absence left the Gamecocks with two of the three corners it usually relies on: Jamarcus King and Rashad Fenton. Backup safety/corner Steven Montac saw more snaps in Lammons’ absence.
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In the fourth quarter, safety D.J. Smith was ejected for targeting on a hit on Jennings on a deep pass. The Volunteers scored a short time later to cut its deficit to three points.
Smith will miss the first half of next week’s game against Missouri because of the ejection.
▪ SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was in the press box at Williams-Brice.
▪ Former Gamecocks and current Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper was in the stadium and got an ovation from the crowd during a TV timeout.
▪ Freshman tailback Rico Dowdle made his second start of the season. It was his first with classmate Jake Bentley, who started his second game in a row at quarterback.
▪ Dowdle surpassed the 100-yard mark, making him the seventh runner to get 100 on the Vols defense.
▪ King grabbed his second interception of the season in the second quarter to set up a short field and a Gamecocks touchdown.
▪ At halftime, the South Carolina had held Tennessee’s powerful rushing attack to 51 yards on 26 carries.
▪ South Carolina scored two touchdowns in the first half. They’d scored two touchdowns total in the first halves of their first five SEC games.
▪ Gamecocks fans booed the South Carolina coaching staff’s decision to run out the clock at the end of the second quarter. USC got the ball on its own 24 with 1:49 on the clock. Will Muschamp said protection issues made the staff reluctant to get aggressive in that spot.
▪ USC’s players wore all black uniforms. It was the second time they wore it this season (Georgia), and the third time ever.
▪ Guard Cory Helms, defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth, linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and wide receiver Deebo Samuel were captains.
▪ Attendance was 78,696.