I'm not sure this past Saturday transpired like anybody expected, and I'm positive that if you told me the Gamecock defense was going to be pushed around like a chew toy, I would have laughed in your face. Unfortunately that did happen, but not all is, or was, lost. There were still some great moments to be had and reasons to get excited for the Gamecock faithful. We'll start by looking at the "hot" category.
- Mike Davis. Mike Davis came into this game wanting to "show all of [his] emotions". What manifested was a 149 yard outing, on 16 attempts with a long of 75 and a touchdown. That's 9.1 yards a cary, which beats Georgia's Todd Gurley by 5 or so yards a touch. The 75 yard run does inflate that stat a bit, but either way it's in the record books. Also, could the 75 yard scamper come at a better time?
- Connor Shaw. The senior quarterback performed quite well considering the circumstances. Completing 16 of 25 passes for 228 yards and throwing 2 touchdowns usually shows a Win for the Gamecocks, but tonight it was not meant to be. However - you've got to be happy with the poise and attitude Shaw displayed.
- Nick Jones! A special "thanks" and "congratulations" to Nick Jones who gashed freshmen Branden Langly all evening. It was fantastic to see him show out, in a big way. Shout out to Shaq Roland who hauled in a leaping catch tonight - his physical skills are there, but he needs to get out of his own way.
- The entire offense! 454 yards and 21 first downs is a pretty impressive stat line. The offense was clicking on all cylinders tonight.
- Clayton Stadnik. The backup center was brought in tonight and exceeded expectations, even with his high snaps. Physically though, Stadnik held strong and proved to be a solid secondary option.
- The entire defense. Something is definitely off with the South Carolina defense and the staff needs to figure it out ASAP. Coming into the season this unit was supposed to be one of the best, and while I was able to explain away the issues with the UNC game, it is awfully hard to forgive what happened in Athens.
- Young line backers. Pretty self explanatory. The guys fought hard, but were often out of position and gave Gurley and Co. tons of running room. Getting gashed sucks, and those guys have to step it up if we're going to be highly successful.
- Running a speed option on the .03 yard line. Yup. That happened. (I'm not second guessing the coaches, but...well yeah I guess I am).
- Little mistakes kill. Football is the ultimate game of inches and the Gamecocks just made too many little errors...From a missed PAT, to a dropped ball in the end zone - the ball didnt seem to bounce our way too much tonight, but you've got to be ready for it not to.
- The Sun. Can we please play a night game where the sun/heat isn't a factor?