USC Gamecocks Football

Thumbs up, thumbs down: South Carolina vs. Tennessee

Gamecocks celebrate win over Tennessee

South Carolina defeated Tennessee 27-24 on Saturday night.
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South Carolina defeated Tennessee 27-24 on Saturday night.

Thumbs up

Rico Dowdle

He got taken out of the starting lineup for the fist time this season. He responded by getting 94 yards before halftime and surpassing 100 on the day.

Deebo’s catch

The Gamecocks were in a tight spot before halftime and Jake Bentley was in a tight spot running from an unblocked pass rusher. He just threw it up and Deebo Samuel came up with the one-handed catch, just landing inside the line.

Jake’s bomb

USC quarterback Jake Bentley might’ve missed a more open Kiel Pollard. But he threw such a strike to Bryan Edwards, it didn’t matter. The rope of a throw produced a 73-yard play to set up a game-tying touchdown.

Fighting back on offense

The Gamecocks found themselves down most of the game, but the offense always did enough to fight back in. USC was down 11 on two junctures and managed to tie things up.

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The offensive start

The Gamecocks were facing a defense that just isn’t that good. They managed three first downs across three of the first four drives, and while the fourth was a long one (68 yards) USC ran out of gas and settled for a field goal.

Third-down defense

South Carolina came into Saturday as one of the top third-down defenses in the country. The Gamecocks allowed conversions on nine of the Vols’ first 13.


The Gamecocks managed to give life to one of Tennessee’s touchdown drives with a few offsides penalties. On a day when Tennessee was moving the ball well, the Gamecocks at moments made it easier.

The second half response on defense

South Carolina got touchdowns on its last drive of the first half and first drive of the second. But the defense couldn’t match, letting the Vols go 75 yards for a touchdown to open the second half and giving up a field goal the second possession (and that was aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct call that created a third and 27).