COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gamecock fans stormed the field Saturday night after the team's epic 63-38 beatdown/upset of previously fifth-ranked Tennessee.
Coach Shane Beamer says he's just fine with that.
"It is amazing," he said in his press conference after the game. "Just so happy for our fans that were there tonight. My youngest daughter, Olivia, she told me today that all she wanted was to storm the field. If we can just have a field storming tonight, so we got you one."
Fans have plenty of reason to feel happy enough to run from the stands and hug and even crowd surf with players, as they did. The 63 points the Gamecocks hung on the Vols are believed to the most ever scored against an AP top 5 team by an unranked team in the poll era, which dates back to the 1930s. It's also the most points scored against Tennessee in an SEC game.
As in, ever. Let that sink in. More than Bear Bryant's Alabama teams. Or Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators. Or Nick Saban's Tide squads.
Even Beamer needed to let it sink in. In a video posted on social media by the USC Athletics Department, Beamer could be seen sitting down, rubbing his face, and getting a moment to himself after what his team accomplished.
His quarterback, Spencer Rattler, who'd been up and down all season, turned in a performance for the ages. He threw for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns and looked every bit the blue-chip, can't miss prospect he was projected to be coming out of high school.
Beamer's team, humbled last week against Florida, put up 606 total yards. After failing to score an offensive touchdown last week, Tennessee couldn't stop the Gamecocks from scoring, as USC put up their highest offensive point total against an SEC team since 1995.
The only downside for the Gamecocks for the night? Those hedges that line parts of the field at Williams-Brice are toast, demolished by the fans who came onto the field to celebrate the big win. (USC's staff will have the whole off-season to fix those, however.)
"That was a lot of years of our fan base waiting to get to do that," Beamer said. "I told Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler yesterday in our production meeting, the last time that I was in this stadium and they were in this stadium and we were all here at the same time was 2010 when we beat Alabama and they were number one in the country. It was pretty cool to be a part of it that day and it was really, really special to be a part of it tonight. We have some awesome recruits in that locker room celebrating with us as well. As we continue to build this program and continue to add great players and people to this program, we are going to have a lot of nights like that in Columbia."