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South Carolina vs. North Carolina: Game Balls

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Breaking down some positives in a mainly negative game

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the college football season is upon us and game one for the Gamecocks is in the books.

Despite the (painful) loss, there were some positive takeaways from the game versus the Tar Heels.

Offensive Game Ball: Tavien Feaster

Welcome to the family. After a failed marriage with the Clemson Tigers, he made the correct decision to go to Columbia.

Feaster looked dominant for a majority of the game rushing for 72 yards on 13 carries with a respectable average of 5.5 YPC.

He also hauled in two receptions for 11 yards, clearly not being inept in the passing game as well.

One of the likely game plans going into today was to develop the run to avoid becoming one-dimensional on offense, like most of last season.

I mean, hey, it worked for one half.

The running game began to slow down a bit in the second half and it was obvious Muschamp wasn’t trying to abandon it.

In a game where nothing really worked on offense, Feaster was definitely a bright spot.

Defensive Game Ball: Jaycee Horn

Horn gets the defensive game ball for one reason: he forced the Tar Heel’s only turnover of the game.

When UNC was driving late in the third quarter, he came up big with a sack and a forced fumble on QB Sam Howell.

This was supposed to be the metaphorical nail in the coffin as the Gamecocks were up 20-9 and starting a drive at North Carolina’s 42 yard line.

Instead of dealing a final blow, they punt on this drive and don’t even end up scoring for the rest of the game.

Honorable Mentions: Shi Smith and Bryan Edwards

Make no mistake about it, South Carolina’s special teams should have won them the game alone today.

Because of the returning skills of Smith and Edwards, the Gamecocks started a drive in UNC’s territory three times (not counting the fumble).

Out of those three great starts, only one of those possessions ended in points.

Edwards even got us all thinking they had a comeback in them after his fantastic punt return with around two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

If there is anything going right with this team, it’s their special teams.