After letting this game soak in, and reveling in the completion of an 11-2 season, which saw South Carolina beat all of its SEC East opponents, destroy its in-state rivals and win an important bowl game against a historically significant opponent, I have come to this professional, scientific conclusion.
It is a great, great time to be a South Carolina Gamecock.
Breaking News: It's just beginning.
With Alshon Jeffery being ejected (wrongfully, I might add) from the game, after shoving a player who actually punched him multiple times, you just knew that South Carolina was going to falter, right?
The game was close. At that point, it was 13-16, South Carolina. With no Marcus Lattimore, no Stephen Garcia, and now no Alshon Jeffery, there was no way they could close this game out, right?
Wrong. This is the NEW Carolina, and the NEW mindset is "win freaking anyway".
Who needs Marcus Lattimore when you have runners with the heart of Kenny Miles and Brandon Wilds?
Who needs Stephen Garcia when you have Connor Shaw, the ESPN player of the game, calmly running the show?
Who needs Alshon Jeffery (but seriously, one more year please) when you have Ace "Mighty Mite" Sanders stepping up to the plate?
Who needs an offense when you have a defense the likes of which the Gamecocks have never had? A defense that played one of its most impressive games of the season under new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward?
Stephon Gilmore and the rest of the defensive backs played lights out for most of the game. The team had six sacks.
My favorite Gamecock moment of all time came late in the game. Melvin Ingram sacked Taylor Martinez. On second down, Jadeveon Clowney sacked Martinez. Then, on third, Devin Taylor sacked him. The three most important defensive linemen the team has ever had make three consecutive sacks in order.
It was amazing.
I sign off with this every article, every piece, and I mean it today now more than ever.
With every ounce of me, I swear...
It's great to be a GAMECOCK!