The true freshman made his first career sack in the first quarter and followed that up by recording a safety on UCF’s next drive. He finished with four tackles and added a quarterback hurry. He likely also earned himself more playing time moving forward.
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Steve Spurrier wasn’t sure moving Skai Moore to Will linebacker and Holloman to Mike was the right move for the Gamecocks, but the change paid off on Saturday. Holloman played the best game of his career, finishing with six tackles, two interceptions and two quarterback hurries. Moore also played well, finishing second on the team in tackles with nine. He added two pass break-ups.
The walk-on tight end from Cardinal Newman caught his first career touchdown in the third quarter to push South Carolina’s lead to 22-14. On a play designed for Pharoh Cooper, Lorenzo Nunez found an open August over the middle near the goal line. Nunez said he figured August would be open on the play because he always is in practice. August also had an eight-yard catch in the first quarter.
The true freshman did just about everything you could have hoped for in his first career start. He didn’t turn the ball over, rushed for 123 yards and impressed Steve Spurrier with his passing ability. Spurrier called his young quarterback a “gamer” after he completed 12 of 22 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
With Brandon Wilds out, the running game was pretty much all Nunez until USC’s final drive. Williams averaged only 2.3 yards per carry on 14 totes. Take out a 15-yard run on Carolina’s final possession and Williams average drops to 1.3. He also whiffed on a linebacker blitz that resulted in UCF’s only sack of the afternoon.
The group combined for seven receptions with four of those coming from Cooper. Even Cooper was unable to haul in a pass in the first half that he probably should have caught in the end zone. Also, Shamier Jeffery stopped running on a slant in the third quarter that almost led to an interception. As a whole, the unit continues to struggle with getting separation and making tough catches.
The first half
It was ugly on both sides of the ball, as well as special teams. The closer the offense got to the end zone, the more it struggled. The defense continued to have problems stopping slants, allowing freshman quarterback Bo Schneider to complete eight of 13 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Elliott Fry missed a field goal and Pharoh Cooper muffed, which led to UCF’s first score. It all added up to the Knights leading 14-8 at the half a week after losing at home to Furman.
South Carolina students were upset in the first half, and rightfully so, but there are better ways to voice your displeasure than by throwing towels onto the field. After UCF scored to take a 14-5 lead in the second quarter, many students left. Several of the ones who stayed hurled towels into the end zone in frustration. It was a very bad look for what is normally a very good student section.