South Carolina is walking away from Nashville with a 38-27 bounce-back win over Vanderbilt after a few key players stepped up and contributed.
Up to this point, the Gamecocks had issues effectively incorporating some of last year's constant contributors to the offense. After concerns grew over junior tight end Jaheim Bell's snap count, the utility player was finally a focal point in the Gamecocks' offense during its Nov. 5 game.
"I didn't try to focus on when I was going to get involved," Bell said. "I just tried to focus on knowing my keys to the game and just being successful."
Bell finished the game with 27 receiving yards and a team-high 56 rushing yards on 16 attempts. He converted multiple third downs throughout the game despite failing to reach the end zone.
Fifth-year wide receiver Josh Vann also found his stride, catching his first touchdown of the season. Vann paired the score with a season-high 3 receptions.
Redshirt junior quarterback Spencer Rattler also played a solid game of his own. Passing for 186 yards and three touchdowns, it was just the third game the signal caller went without an interception this season.
"I felt like the game plan, how we prepared this week was great. All these plays were something that all of us were good at," Rattler said. "Going into the game, we wanted to get done what we wanted to get done. I just found those guys and they ran great routes and got open, I just had to get the ball to them."
This was also the first game Rattler threw for a touchdown in nearly a month. He last threw a touchdown against Kentucky on Oct. 8.
Head Coach Shane Beamer said the plan all week was to get the ball in the hands of the team's playmakers.
"Jaheim was a running back all week this week for us," Beamer said. "It started with getting the ball in his hands and letting him carry it. And then (Christian Beal-Smith) got banged up a little, but was able to come back and then (Juju McDowell) as well. Being able to run the ball with those three guys and also get involved the perimeter with those other guys as well."
South Carolina put up 31 points in the first half, but cooled off with just one touchdown in the second half.
The defense forced four turnovers and a turnover on downs to hold the Commodores in check most of the game. However, the overall lack of discipline kept it close. The Gamecocks had 12 penalties for 115 yards.
"There's a lot to clean up, I mean God almighty, 12 penalties. We came into this game one of the least penalized teams in the SEC," Beamer said. "I think Vanderbilt was the second-fewest penalized and we had four more than they did ... And then to have 12, that's not good. We've got to be a lot better from that standpoint."
The win lifted the Gamecocks to 6-3 and clinched bowl eligibility for Beamer's second year.
South Carolina will head to Gainesville to take on Florida next Saturday. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. and can be viewed on SEC Network.