In light of the team being celebrated on the night of a disappointing loss (and because I can't find video of the 2011 USC-Kentucky game), I decided to look back at the game where South Carolina won its first bowl championship ever. Remember kids, I've only been a religious Gamecock fan since 2009, so forgive any ignorance henceforth.
0:01 Immediately, and I mean immediately, we kick into a montage of South Carolina highlights, led by O Fortuna (aka that dramatic piece of music you don’t know the name of or the lyrics to), going into a high tempo guitar riff, followed by...
0:18 Sexy Steve Taneyhill?! Don't mind if I dooooooo! Put the kids to bed, 'cause momma's going out to-niiiight!
0:33 The sexiness keeps coming, as we see Gamecocks doing celebratory dances to "Jungle Boogie", including some sensual booty-shaking from Brandon Bennett and some regrettable disco struts from Cocky.
1:19 Check out the logo for the Carquest Bowl. If there's one place I want to go for auto parts, it's an tiny deserted island in the middle of nowhere.
1:30 We get a recap of the action in other leagues, including a shot of Joe Montana on the Chiefs!
2:06 "It'll be a hard-hitting, knock-em-out affair!" Yeah, you definitely couldn't say that on a football broadcast in 2014.
2:11 Boy, look at that. You can't beat that 90's sheen. I don't even know where the theoretical lighting would be coming from to make those logos so shiny.
3:00 How come this guy wasn't at the reunion?
5:02 Ladies and gentlemen, Brad Scott! Looking as fat and confused as ever, I see.
6:08 Let's take a look at West Virginia's "Fab Four" of rushers, since that's not played out and cliche at all.
6:54 Good lord, the sheer volume of mom jeans at this game is already out of control. Beyond any physical measure, I'd have to say.
Side note: This game is being called by Uncle Verne and the star of The Waterboy himself, Dan Fouts! And also the audio is three seconds ahead of the picture, so I'm dealing with that, too.
8:25 South Carolina wins the toss, and decides to kick. It goes out of bounds. Good start.
9:20 Carolina makes up for the mistake in a hurry, as middle linebacker Hank Campbell forces a fumble from running back Jimmy Gary and recovers it at the 35. There's so many massive shoulderpads in this game, it's a miracle anybody noticed the ball came loose.
11:13 Aw look, a puppy!
Ew, nevermind. It's just some outside linebacker from West Virginia. Gross.
13:42 Touchdown, South Carolina! Taneyhill throws a dart to Boomer Foster in the endzone, and Foster nabs just his second TD of the season. I love it when random guys get touchdowns in big games.
18:38 Rashaan Vanterpool. Now THAT's a name.
20:06 Something I just noticed: West Virginia is wearing THREE Carquest Bowl patches on their jersey. They're all huge, and they're all EXACTLY THE SAME
24:40 Dan Fouts makes a joke, and there is a solid four seconds before Verne laughs. I will never get tired of Verne.
25:31 SERIOUSLY THESE PADS ARE TOO BIG. They look like they have basketballs for shoulders. It's no wonder these kids can't keep their jerseys tucked in.
27:02 A look at the cheerleading uniforms from 1995, if you care for some reason.
29:41 BELLY BELLY BELLY BELLY BELLY BELLY BELLLLLLLLLY!
29:47 Don Nehlen is ashamed of that belly.
Here's a Don Nehlen fact for you: He coached for 28 years, and only had five losing seasons. Also, he's not dead yet. I know you were thinking it.
31:00 Verne has trouble every time he tries to say the last name "Nicklow". He always paused before or stutters, or repeats it. It's pretty great and also very insulting to Darrel Nicklow. Rude.
31:30 A West Virginia defender makes a "dandy" tackle (according to Verne) and strips the ball loose, with ol' Puppy himself recovering it. That's not dandy at all, dammit!
32:27 Aaaaaaand West Virginia fumbles it on the first play from scrimmage, and South Carolina recovers it! This is just getting stupid.
34:45 Mother of god. Carolina avoids ANOTHER lost fumble by virtue of an offsides penalty on West Virginia. This after referees ignored both head coaches calling for a time out. What the ____ is going on in the Carquest Bowl?
52:40 Reed Morton nails a 47-yard field goal, and Verne informs us that Reid was almost electrocuted to death, and it was featured on a television series called 911. When we come back from commercial, Verne is still telling the story. Dan informs us that they had to charge him three times on his parent's deck, and twice more in the ambulance! Wow, great story guys. You're definitely not trying to fill time during a kickoff.
54:46 Hi blimp!
59:40 West Virginia finally get their first points off a Walker run, with a little under ten minutes left to go in the half. Also this was Walker's first touchdown run of the season, curious given he's their leading rusher in yards.
1:00:44 Check, please!
1:02:00 We get an interview with West Virginia Matt Taffoni's dad, Joe, who played in the NFL with the New York Giants. He actually tells a couple nice stories and seems like a nice, humble old man. Taffoni was also very close with former South Carolina coach Joe Morrison, as they shared a locker and roomed together, and Taffoni actually made Morrison (who had died six years prior) Matt's godfather.
A bit more about Morrison: he was the first coach to institute black jerseys as options for all USC sports teams. He also was the man who made 2001 the intro theme for the Gamecocks as well. What an impact he had on the University. Crazy how a player on West Virginia could be so closely related.
1:06:26 Taneyhill power! Yeah! This was after Taneyhill ran for 26 yards off a scramble. According to Dan Fouts, Taneyhill said "I'm the leading passer today, and I might be the leading rusher as well." I wonder if he really said all of that.
1:09:05 Pop quiz, hotshot!
Verne then makes a Doak Walker joke. Very timely.
1:12:27 Look out! Flying hunk incoming!
Alright, settle down, Steve. Also, Verne thinks he looks like Jim Everett. That's as good of a reason as any to slip in this bad boy.
1:14:48 I SAID SETTLE DOWN YA HUNKY HAM
1:15:32 My favorite thing about writing these liveblogs is seeing ads or score updates from games that were going on around the same time. For what it's worth, Connecticut made it all the way to the Elite Eight in the Championship Tournament before losing to eventual champion UCLA. UConn would win this particular game against St. John's, 98-78.
1:17:35 Defensive end Stacy Evans gets a sack, and Verne let's us know that Evans has aspirations of being an FBI agent. I sincerely hope he accomplished that dream.
1:18:36 Hard to believe the Gamecocks would go on to defeat one of the greatest punters in NCAA history. The guy's longest punt was 90 YARDS!
Wow, those guys really do have some [sigh] crazy legs. Also I'm officially declaring 1985-87 the Era of the Crazy Legs
Alright, we've hit the half. South Carolina is up 17-7. This liveblog is brought to you by...
1:22:28 What, you've never seen two loving helmets spend an afternoon on the beach together? Friggin' helmetphobe.
1:30:10 West Virginia scores its first of two touchdowns this quarter, but there's no time for that now. EVERYBODY LIMBO!
I don't know what this was going to be a commercial for, but I know that I hate it.
1:32:12 We get to hear the late, great Bob Fulton call some of the game, a nice gesture from CBS to honor Fulton in his last game.
1:39:29 Bob Nehlen is the father-in-law of Jeff Hostetler, then-quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and two-time Super Bowl champion. You know who taught me that? Verne. God bless him.
1:43:50 Wait, they had Toyotathons in the mid-90s? And the ads were just as annoying then as they are now? Yeesh.
1:48:05 Brandon Bennett breaks off a huge run and gets all the way to the five yard line... he fumbles it. On nothing. He was just running, untouched, then fumbles. He recovered it back, but still.
1:50:25 Stanley Pritchett touchdown! Actually, it shouldn't have been, as Pritchett was down before the ball crossed the plane. But this is 1995 and there's no such thing as official review. Thus TOUCHDOWN.
1:55:20 Chris Klick has a couple of tattoos that look like gray blobs. Granted, I'm watching this on 240p because my internet is terrible, but I'm pretty sure they're blobs.
1:57:13 Lovett Purnell catches his second touchdown of the quarter. Once again, I'm 99% positive he was down before the ball crossed into the endzone, and Dan Fouts agrees with me. Screw it, it's the 90s, anything goes.
2:08:59 This incredibly boring fourth quarter is brought to you by some hot 90s babe on a beach. And also Edge shaving cream.
2:12:25 Seriously, knowing that neither of these teams scores in the fourth quarter is a bit of a buzzkill, but I'm trying to do the "good fan" thing and watch the game as it was live, or at least appreciate the moments beyond the big hits, the big scores, and the unintentional humor. It's a bit difficult, but you know what doesn't make it any easier?
2:13:03 I'm really diggin' this lady's vibe. She's got that chic 90s look yet gives off a hippie vibe. But she also owns a python with Klick, her fianceé. I dig it.
2:13:14 Yes, Chris Klick has a head tattoo, but it's not what you think.
...it's even worse.
2:17:33 Naw coach, your kids aren't ugly! Why would you as-
...let me get back to you on that.
2:20:00 AW YEEEEAH LOOK WHO IT IS
It's Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl Champion George "NAH NAH NAH" Rogers! And his hat's on crooked!
Alright, that's it kids. Nothing else very noteworthy happened, but it was nonetheless an incredible game, if only for historical significance. Long live Steve Taneyhunk.