Tennessee had no answer for South Carolina's Pharoh Cooper on Saturday night -- at any of three positions -- but it had the answer in overtime.
The Volunteers overcame a monstrous game by Cooper for a 45-42 overtime road win.
A versatile sophomore, Cooper rushed for a touchdown and passed for another and finally, at his primary position of wide receiver, caught two more in the loss. He also amassed a record-breaking receiving night with 11 catches for 233 yards, capped by his final score, an 85-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Former Minnesota Vikings WR Troy Williamson previously held the school record for receiving yards in a game with 210 against South Florida in 2004.
Despite Cooper's career-best performance, the Gamecocks were unable to get the ball in his hands in overtime. Tennessee sacked Dylan Thompson twice in a row, followed by an incompletion and a missed 58-yard field goal to end the game. Cooper relayed the only possible sentiment via Twitter:
Cooper opened the offensive shootout with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to cap a 78-yard drive. In the second quarter, he tied the score at 14 with a 30-yard touchdown pass to running back Brandon Wilds out of the wildcat formation. In the second half, he staked South Carolina to a two-score lead with touchdown catches of 12 and 85 yards from Thompson, but Tennessee got some late-game heroics from quarterback Josh Dobbs to pull off the victory.
Dobbs completed 22 of 39 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards on 24 carries with three more touchdowns. The Gamecocks' struggling defense surrendered 645 total yards.