South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate win by picking hedges
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL
College football is full of its own set of traditions and also includes a lot of randomness and weird happenings throughout the course of a season.
Saturday, both of those things collided in what was a sweet celebration for South Carolina players.
"I don't think I've ever been a part of something like that against the No. 3 team in the country," Rico Dowdle said. "Postgame, it was a great feeling with my teammates and my coaches. It was very enjoyable."
The Gamecocks (3-3, 2-2 SEC) pulled off a gritty upset win over No. 3 Georgia, 20-17 in double overtime, and afterwards took advantage of one of Georgia's calling cards.
Once Rodrigo Blankenship's kick sailed wide, Gamecock players sprinted down to celebrate with the fans who made the trip, but on the way out took a souvenir with them.
They picked pieces of the Bulldogs' hedges surrounding the field, taking pictures with them before heading into the locker room to celebrate.
"I didn't get a souvenir," Dowdle said. "I traded gloves with a guy, I got his gloves. They came in celebrating with cigars and a bunch of hedges. We're going to celebrate the win and enjoy."
Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium is known as "Between the Hedges" and after Saturday there is less greenery around the stadium, instead coming home with a few Gamecocks who plucked the branches.
"I don't have any hedges with me, but I may have to get some before I get on the bus," TJ Brunson said. "This is definitely something I feel like growing up watching the game, this is the type of game you want to play."
The Gamecocks pulled off the improbable upset, jumping out to a 17-10 lead before holding on in overtime in front of a near sellout crowd.
The defense made Georgia's dominant offense look pedestrian the majority of Saturday, holding them to under 200 yards rushing at 4.9 yards per play.
With the upset over the No. 3 team in the country, it's the second highest-ranked team the Gamecocks have beaten in program history and just the sixth time they've beaten a top five team.
Their last one came on the road at Missouri, which was the last time they beat a ranked team on the road. It's Will Muschamp's second win over a ranked opponent in his time at South Carolina.
"I could care less about Will Muschamp," Muschamp said. "I'm really happy for our players, I'm happy for a staff that works its ass off and I'm happy for our fan base so they can enjoy the week. That's really what it's about to me."