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August 30, 2012

USC-Vanderbilt: Game balls


GamecockCentral.com awards game balls to the deserving players of No. 9 South Carolina's 17-13 win over Vanderbilt. What players or coaches had the biggest plays of the most recent game?


Connor Shaw
He just kept coming back in and getting back up. Of USC's 272 yards of offense, Shaw had 159. The guts he showed to come back in after not being able to feel his arm in the second quarter, and then to keep running and open himself up for more hits, was extraordinary. He's a leader, folks.

Marcus Lattimore
Not 100 percent, but glad to be out there, Lattimore posted his ninth career 100-yard game and scored two touchdowns. He seemed a bit hesitant, probably natural after not playing since October, and Vanderbilt's defense was lining up to pound him. Still, in the fourth quarter, he knew USC would turn to him and he responded.

Justice Cunningham
Cunningham got hit so hard that he could have been seeing the stars in Pageland, his hometown. Yet, he held onto the ball. Biggest play of the game, by a senior who's never been known for catching the ball. Had to have it, got it.

Shaq Wilson
His interception turned the momentum to USC's favor. He ran it back and two plays later, USC was in the end zone. Jordan Rodgers tries to make a lot of something out of a lot of nothing, and Wilson made him pay. He also had eight tackles.

Damiere Byrd
USC had re-taken the lead after 13 unanswered points, but Andre Hal broke on a kickoff return and seemed destined to leap back ahead. Byrd ran after him and made the tackle - that doesn't happen, Vandy is ahead with less than five minutes to play.

Kelcy Quarles
Shuttling in and out of the game, Quarles tied for the team lead with eight tackles and had two for loss, including a sack that squelched a Vanderbilt drive. If he can stay on the field, he's extremely productive.

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