The honors keep coming for South Carolina’s Israel Mukuamu, and another Gamecock joined the party.
The sophomore defensive back was named the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, two days after his three-interception game in USC’s 20-17 upset win over Georgia. His teammate Javon Kinlaw was named the league’s defensive lineman of the week off a four-tackle, one-sack day.
Mukaumu on Sunday was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
He had three interceptions against the Bulldogs, including one he returned 53 yards for a touchdown. Mukuamu also had 11 tackles (7 solo) as the Gamecocks improved to 3-3 on the season.
Coming in to Saturday’s game between South Carolina and then-No. 3 Georgia, quarterback Jake Fromm was taking care of the ball better than or as well as anyone in the country — no interceptions in five games and a 77.5% completion rate.
His three interceptions were tied for second most in a game in program history and outnumber the two career interceptions he had going into Saturday.
Kinlaw didn’t have the most robust stats, but he had a large-scale impact, blowing up running plays and collapsing pockets. His work and the attention he drew helped the Gamecocks to three sacks and six tackles for loss. The Bulldogs had only given up one sack and 15 tackles for loss in the first five games.
South Carolina also held the Bulldogs to 4 yards per carry, their lowest output of the year. Neither of UGA’s top two backs reached 5 yards per carry. Kinlaw leads the SEC with five sacks this season.
Georgia was widely considered to have one of the best offensive lines in the country, but the Bulldogs were often stymied by the Gamecocks.