COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Here are three things we learned from the Gamecocks' 28-20 win over Florida.
Daquarious Demond Denson wasn't even listed on the depth chart when the Gamecocks took on North Carolina State. In fact, the running back out of LaGrange, Ga., didn't see his first carry until the midway point of the season when South Carolina took on Arkansas. He was primarily a contributor on special teams, but Saturday proved to be Denson's day.
The sophomore rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns to help push the Gamecocks to victory.
"Every time I get out there, I try to take advantage," Denson said. "Even if it's a passing play and I'm not getting the ball. I'm trying to take advantage of every play that I get."
Denson posted career highs in carries and yards against the Gators and the Gamecocks are going to need him to continue to contribute along with A.J. Turner (who also posted a career-high 22 carries for 136 yards) and the rest of the running backs.
"I thought we had some extremely well-blocked plays," said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. "I also thought both of those guys ran extremely hard. We count bull yardage and yards after contact and I think we had a bunch today. I don't know, but I'm very proud of both of those young men."
Jake Bentley didn't have a rushing touchdown before playing Vandy this year. Now, he's got four rushing scores to his credit over the last three weeks.
For Bentley, the ability to take the ball and run it when the defense least expects it has been vital to the Gamecocks' success on offense thanks to a little encouragement from former USC quarterback and current strength and conditioning assistant Corey Jenkins.
"Every week, he goes, 'Man, just pull it!' Kind of just playing with me," Bentley said. "But then I did it and it worked and so, every time I pull one now, he's all excited."
He's not the only one. With Bentley adding new ways to get the Gamecocks on the scoreboard, fans in the stands and watching at home want to see the sophomore quarterback continue to put points on the board.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Bentley is the Gamecocks' fifth-leading rusher this season and he leads the team in rushing touchdowns.
Throughout the game, there were points where the defense would bounce around and dance on the field as the DJ cranked out some music through the stadium speakers.
For the Gamecocks, the defense's dance party served two key purposes as they faced the Gators' offense.
"First of all, it was cold so we had to move," said Gamecocks defensive lineman Taylor Stallworth.
Javon Kinlaw said he got the idea from watching the New York Jets dance on the field before they prepared for the ensuing series. It's an idea that the Gamecocks ran with and it ultimately helped energize the players.
"Every time they turned a song on, I just got them boys hype and we were ready to play," Kinlaw said. "Getting hype like that, it makes it easier to play because, with me when I get hype like that, man, I'm like a chihuahua...trying to get everywhere."
We'll probably see more dancing in the weeks to come from the 300-pound chihuahua, but don't expect to see Muschamp busting a move on the sidelines anytime soon.