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South Carolina freshman running back Juju McDowell, starting wide receiver Jalen Brooks and starting right tackle Dylan Wonnum were all announced as unavailable just before the Vanderbilt game.
There were different reasons each of the three Gamecock mainstays did not play in the Gamecocks’ 21-20 victory over Vanderbilt, coach Shane Beamer said afterward.
▪ McDowell was an “accountability, team policy issue off the field,” Beamer said. McDowell will be back with the team for next week’s game.
He had been the Gamecocks’ second-leading rusher behind veteran Kevin Harris heading into Saturday’s game. The freshman from Lee County High School (Georgia) ran for 187 yards on 41 carries, contributed another 41 yards on seven receptions and has totaled 191 yards.
In McDowell’s absence, running back ZaQuandre White saw his production increase. White hadn’t recorded a carry since Sept. 18 against Georgia, but he led the Gamecocks with 65 yards on 12 attempts Saturday.
▪ Brooks, one of South Carolina’s three starting wide receivers, missed the game because of a personal issue. “Hopefully he’ll be back with us soon,” Beamer said.
Brooks was the Gamecocks’ second-most productive receiver heading into the Vanderbilt game, totaling 181 yards on 14 receptions and one touchdown.
Wide receiver Xavier Legette, who hadn’t gotten a reception in 2021, stepped up in Brooks’ place and hauled in the game-winning touchdown from quarterback Zeb Noland.
▪ Wonnum’s issue was a back problem that flared up late in the week. Tyshawn Wannamaker stepped up in Wonnum’s role at right tackle.