Game superlatives: Recognizing outstanding players against UCF

Okay, South Carolina fans, you can rest easy again knowing the Gamecocks didn’t blow a chance to get back on the right track against arguably the worst team in the power-five conferences (arguably in college football) although, it was touch-and-go for about 30 minutes.

Yes, it was Central Florida, but the Gamecocks did some pretty good things to help regain some of their confidence that disappeared the two weeks prior.

Here, in a new piece I’ll call Game Superlatives, I’ll give out made-up awards to players who stood out against the Knights.

Best person to help you move: T.J. Holloman

He’s not going to drop anything, much less the dresser your mom gave you when you moved out. Holloman had two interceptions, including one he plucked off of the ground. He was everywhere on the field, right where coaches needed him to be. On his second interception of the day, he was in the exact right spot to pick off Knight quarterback Bo Schneider. So you know he’ll be there right at 10 a.m. when the moving trucks get there.

Most Likely to leave burn marks on the field: Drew Williams

In honor of the St. Louis Rams almost burning up their field Sunday after a pyrotechnic display, I decided that the Gamecocks needed a burner on their team. Williams, the long snapper, made a hustle play in the early stages of the game, downing a Sean Kelly punt at the 2-yard line. Williams had the burners on, out hustling some of the skill-position players on the field. The downed punt set up a Boosie Whitlow-T.J. Holloman safety that put the Gamecocks up 5-0 at the time.

Most likely to leave the other team gasping: Pharoh Cooper

No shock here, but he’s pretty fast. So fast even UCF defensive lineman Jamiyus Pittman called the near-superhero “the real deal.” Cooper gassed the entire Knight defense on a busted wide receiver pass, cutting it back across the field and slicing through the secondary like their legs were made of pudding for a 29-yard touchdown run. Pittman said he had a good angle on Cooper but once the junior wide out’s feet started moving, it was a lost cause.  He also outran two defensive backs on a post route where he leaped over both for a 30-yard touchdown. So yeah, he’s quick and other teams know it, too.

Most likely to be recognized on campus/ best overall: Lorenzo Nunez

Going into the season, I’m sure students referred to Nunez as “That guy behind Connor Mitch on the depth chart,” and not as their starter. That kind of changed when Nunez put up 307 total yards of offense and paved the way for three touchdowns in the second half. He became the first true freshman to win at Carolina in over two decades, and I’m sure he’ll be getting a little more than a few “selfie” requests from students this week. He, along with Holloman had the two best games on the team, and without them it could have been a long day for the Gamecocks.