Did you cringe when you read that name? C’mon, just a little? If you were in the stands at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 22, 1997, you cringed a lot.
A severe knee injury to Anthony Wright in the second quarter of the Tennessee game had left Penn as the starter for the Florida and Clemson games. He was over-matched against UT and UF, but for some unknown reason I remember having hope going into the Clemson game.
I felt my hope was justified after we jumped out to a 14-3 lead and were driving. Then, inexplicably since we were shoving it right down the Tigers’ throats, Brad Scott went to his bag of tricks. We fumbled, Clemson recovered, subsequently scored, and all momentum was lost.
Trailing 26-14 midway through the third quarter, the cringe-worthy moment arrived. Penn dropped back and fired towards a receiver running a 10-yard out route near the sideline. Clemson’s Antoine Edwards saw it all the way, picked off the lollipop, and it was game over.
For all intents and purposes that was the end for Vic Penn at South Carolina. He was branded as too small and with too weak an arm to succeed in the SEC. He transferred to Central Florida where he wound up having a fairly decent career.
I’ll tell you this, we sure could’ve used him in ’99.