South Carolina defensive end D.J. Wonnum recorded four tackles en route to a 48-22 win against Arkansas at home, earning him SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.
Wonnum is the second Gamecock and first defensive player to be awarded a weekly honor this season.
The true sophomore is already a leader for the Gamecocks' defensive squad. He earned Athlon’s SEC All-Freshman Second Team last season and is currently leading the team with six and a half tackles for loss, according to GamecocksOnline.com. Through six games, he ranks fifth on the team with 28 total tackles, and is tied for the team lead in sacks with two for a loss of 11 combined yards. Wonnum has also recorded two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry this season.
Wonnum led a defensive-heavy performance that held Arkansas to 330 total yards — the lowest yardage for an opponent of the Gamecocks this season. They defense also held the Razorbacks to a season-low 106 rushing yards, which is second-best for the Gamecocks defense this season.
According to Wonnum, this performance sparked a momentum in the defensive unit with the second half of the regular season starting on Saturday.
“When the offense make plays, it sparks us up, we ready to go on the field right now,” Wonnum said.
As the season starts to hit the home stretch, conference play thickens. Of the last six games on the Gamecocks' schedule, four are against conference opponents. Three of them rank in the bottom of the conference in points per game. If South Carolina’s defense can continue riding high, the Gamecocks have the opportunity to earn huge conference wins and a bowl game appearance.
“We just gotta come to play every game,” Wonnum said.