The Daily Gamecock

Notebook: Dobbs has record night in first start


Believe it or not, Saturday's loss against Tennessee was the first overtime game ever played at Williams-Brice Stadium.  

It didn't go well.

South Carolina looked like it had sealed the win at a number of points during the end of the game. Redshirt junior Brandon Wilds' 70-yard touchdown dash that put the Gamecocks up 42-28 with 4:52 left in the game was particularly convincing. Sophomore Pharoh Cooper's onside kick recover with less than two minutes remaining looked to be another dagger.  

That didn't work out, and the two teams went to overtime. But, according to Wilds, the offense wasn't flustered by how easily the Volunteers tore apart the South Carolina defense and forced the Gamecocks back onto the field. 

"I thought we was pretty confident going in from the 25-yard line," he said. "But they got the best of us, so there's nothing you can do about that now."

Redshirt senior quarterback Dylan Thompson was sacked on South Carolina's first two offensive plays in overtime, making the game-tying field goal attempt all but impossible for sophomore kicker Elliott Fry.


Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is in his second year at the helm in Knoxville. In the 13 SEC games he's coached, Jones has three wins, and two of them are over South Carolina.  

In 2013 the No. 9 Gamecocks marched into Neyland Stadium and sacrificed a fourth-quarter lead to give the Volunteers their first conference win of the Butch Jones era.  

In this year's installment of the SEC East rivalry, things didn't go much differently. Once again, South Carolina snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the overtime loss.  

"It feels good anytime you win, but I feel great for Vol Nation," Jones said. "You know, we've been on the other side of things, so we're going to enjoy the night."

The Gamecocks have been in the business of giving new coaches signature wins recently. Earlier this year, South Carolina went to Kentucky and handed second-year Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops the second SEC win of his tenure. The first came against a hapless Vanderbilt team.

And the coming out parties don't stop at coaches. The Gamecocks began this season as a punching bag for Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill, while he broke the school record for passing yards in a game in his first career start.  

Volunteers quarterback Joshua Dobbs followed Hill's lead Saturday night, breaking Tennessee's school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 166 on the day in his first career start.  

And according to Dobbs, the Volunteers celebrated accordingly in the locker room.

"It was amazing. To describe it perfectly, it was just a party," he said. "We knew when we got this win, it would set us up to look good for a bowl game."


Saturday's loss to the Volunteers was not only a crushing blow to the team's morale, it also put a massive dent in the Gamecocks' shot at a bowl game this season.

Bowl eligibility comes with six wins, so following the defeat South Carolina must win two out of their last three contests against Florida, South Alabama and Clemson.

The Gators spent Saturday pulling off a stunning upset win over No. 11 Georgia, and the Tigers are currently ranked No. 21 in the country, so the only given left on the schedule looks like the Jaguars of South Alabama.  

Knock on wood.