The South Carolina football team had a hard fight against the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night, but the team came away with a victory. In a game where the Gamecocks faced a talented defense, redshirt senior ZaQuandre White provided the spark that the team needed again to come out on top.
When the defense executed on fourth down, its stops allowed for the offense to capitalize on short fields. This allowed the Gamecocks to gain yardage that would prove to be essential to achieving victory.
Even before the game started, the Gamecocks were a 7.5 point underdog against Auburn. On paper, the Gamecocks had less yardage than Auburn, which shows how well the Gamecocks capitalized on each drive.
White shined once again, leading the Gamecocks in both receiving and rushing yards this week for the second time this season. It was also the fifth time White has led the team in rushing yards, and the second time he has led the team in receiving yards.
"(White) brings great energy to our team," Beamer said. "The way that he ran the ball and caught the ball is the way that he does in practice every day."
White had a 28-yard touchdown reception from redshirt senior quarterback Jason Brown, in which he won the foot race to the end zone to put the Gamecocks on the scoreboard in the beginning of the second quarter.
White had 99 rushing yards and 69 receiving yards, totaling for 168 of the 306 yards the Gamecock offense put together. Most of his receiving yards came from a 40-yard reception, which set up a touchdown by senior wide receiver Josh Vann with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
"There's only one speed with ZaQuandre. He doesn't turn it on and off," Beamer said.
This Vann touchdown proved to be the go-ahead touchdown where the Gamecocks took the lead and never gave it up.
In White’s longest rush, he had a 33-yard gain within the opening minutes of the fourth quarter for a first-down. Although this drive led to a punt, it gave the defense good field position and forced an Auburn punt.
The Gamecocks are going bowling thanks to the spark that White brought to the game and the execution of the defense.
This underdog victory gives the team another few weeks of practice in preparation for a bowl game in December, something Beamer wasn't sure the team would get before the win.
"I'll be honest with you, I got sad," Beamer said, "Thinking that this team might only have another week and a half together. Thank god that's not the case. I love these kids. I'm just so happy for them."