Stephon Gilmore has a knack for making big plays and he made one Sunday during Super Bowl.
The former South Carolina standout picked off Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff at the 4-yard line with 4:17 left in the game and the Patriots up 10-3.
New England went on to win the game, 13-3, and win its record-tying sixth Super Bowl title.
“It was clutch,” Gilmore told reporters of his interception after the game. “I knew he was going to force it up there. Our defensive line put a lot of pressure on him and he chucked it up there and I was able to make a play.”
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The interception continues Gilmore’s best season in the NFL. He was an Associated Press All-Pro selection and picked for the Pro Bowl. Pro Football Focus graded the Rock Hill native as the highest among all cornerbacks in the NFL.
Gilmore was part of a Patriots’ defense that helped limit the Rams to 260 yards of offense. He finished the game with five tackles, second most on team, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and interception.
It is the second straight year a former South Carolina player has been on the game-winning Super Bowl team. Alshon Jeffery was on the Eagles last season when they defeated the Patriots. There have been 16 different former Gamecocks to win Super Bowls.
Gilmore winning a title continued the strong run former Gamecocks in big-game moments for Boston sports teams. Former South Carolina standout Steve Pearce was the World Series MVP for the Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr. was MVP of the American League Championship series in Boston’s win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
South Carolina Super Bowl champs:
Robert Brooks (Green Bay, 1997)
Emanuel Cook (Baltimore, 2013)
Steve Courson (Pittsburgh, 1979, 1980)
Brad Edwards (Washington, 1992)
Stephon Gilmore (New England, 2019)
Lemuel Jeanpierre (Seattle, 2014)
Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia, 2018)
Jamar Nesbit (New Orleans, 2010)
Dan Reeves (Dallas, 1972)
Sidney Rice (Seattle, 2014)
George Rogers (Washington, 1988)
Max Runager (San Francisco, 1985)
Jay Saldi (Dallas, 1978)
Duce Staley (Pittsburgh, 2006)
Darian Stewart (Denver, 2016)
Anthony Wright (New York Giants, 2008)