Handing out major awards after the Gamecocks’ 19-10 over Vanderbilt.
Best Backstreet Boys cover: Brandon Wilds
Backstreet’s back, all right. And so is Brandon Wilds. After missing three-and-a-half games with a rib injury, the fifth-year senior running back responded with 119 yards on 24 carries. Wilds silenced some of the critics, as he looked every bit like the bruiser he was through the first two games of the season. Much like the Backstreet Boys needed singles like “As long as you love me” to follow up “Backstreet’s Back,” Wilds will need to have more games like the one against Vanderbilt if the Gamecocks want to be successful.
Most likely to need a new jersey: Skai Moore
The dude was everywhere Saturday night. He had 11 tackles, including one sack. Oh, and he had an interception, forced a fumble and and recovered one. So, in other words, another normal night for Skai Moore. At some point, the grass stains and tears have to pile up to a point beyond repair. Going to start an over/under line for jerseys the linebacker will go through the rest of the season: 3.5. Place your hypothetical bets.
Best Greek God impression: Pharoh Cooper
In Greek mythology, there was a Titan named Atlas who was cursed with holding up the world and keeping people safe. Atlas was literally cursed with having the weight of the world on his shoulders. Even if it is a curse, Pharoh is still pretty dang good at it. Cooper has helped carry the Gamecocks this season and he, again, had the game-changing play against Vanderbilt. His 160 yards receiving, capped by a 78-yard touchdown catch and run, marks the fourth time this year he’s gone over the century mark. He’s been one saving grace on offense, and has been supporting the weight of the team on his shoulders pretty well all season.
Most likely to star on Dancing With the Stars: Shawn Elliott
If his postgame locker room celebration is any indication, the interim head coach may have a future as a star or guest judge on some network dancing show. The mosh-pit style Elliott has patented during his time in Columbia would be a fresh start for the formulaic dancing shows. Elliott looked like a metal head during the middle of “Enter Sandman” at a Metallica concert. And he can keep making audition tapes if his team keeps winning.
Best celebration: The Linebackers
Who doesn’t love a good bow after a big play? And after they had four takeaways, there was a lot to bow about. Linebackers combined for 20 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. And after each big play, the corps would gather, led by Skai Moore and Bryson Allen-Williams, take a bow and strike a pose. And sometimes it’d happen in front of the student section and the group couldn’t resist getting the thousands packed into the South end zone involved.
Most likely to fit a square peg into a round hole: Perry Orth
For as bad as Orth played against Georgia, he seems to be coming around as a pretty consistent quarterback the last two weeks. His last two starts (LSU and Vanderbilt), he’s combined to go 31-for-56 for 472 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also averaging a quarterback rating of 136.7. And, he looked accurate and precise against the Commodores. He fit some throws into tight windows or good coverage. One throw that sticks out is a completion to Pharoh Cooper, where Orth rolled out and lobbed a ball in-between two defenders and it landed right in the receiver’s arms. He's looked confident, and, if not for some glaring drops, he could have had more yards.