David Cloninger looks at every aspect of South Carolina’s last game and assigns a grade. Go to the head of the class if the grades you assigned the Gamecocks match his.
NO. 12 SOUTH CAROLINA 70, COASTAL CAROLINA 10
Everything worked out perfectly. Steve Spurrier saw his chance, up 21-0 in the first quarter and Coastal Carolina having fumbled the ball away. Connor Shaw had already produced three touchdown drives, so in Dylan Thompson went, with Shaw on standby if it didn’t work. It did work, as Thompson’s first play was a strike to Nick Jones for another TD. Ahead four touchdowns, USC played six quarterbacks during the game, and all performed well. Shaw seemed back to his old self, speed-wise, and Austin Hails even got to come in and complete a pass.
Mike Davis didn’t play but everybody else got to. Simply, when the fourth-string tailback rushes for 100 yards, it’s a great day. Jamari Smith showed some great potential and Brandon Wilds seemed 100 percent for the next game.
Never miss a local story.
Eleven players caught at least one pass, and Shaq Roland continued to show that just by straight talent and upside, he’s the Gamecocks’ best receiver. Jones again connected with his Upstate buddy for a long completion, and guys like Devin Potter, Kwinton Smith and Jody Fuller contributed. A fun day to be an offensive player.
Jerell Adams caught a ball for 8 yards and Busta Anderson just missed on one. Not a terrific day, but not like it was a glaring issue.
Shaw had all the room he needed to throw and the line protected the edges as much as possible when he took off running. Looking ahead to this week, it was a relief not to see Shaw hit the deck.
Without Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles, USC still shut down the Coastal offense. The Gamecocks gave up less than 300 yards despite resting their other starters for most of the second half. Coastal tailback Lorenzo Taliaferro only had 21 yards.
Playing an opponent that was going to run the ball but still managed to hit some passes, USC’s linebackers were constantly shuttling back and forth. There weren’t many problems.
Victor Hampton played another strong game, recording six tackles and intercepting one ball, with a chance at two others. T.J. Gurley picked off another pass. The secondary messed up an assignment on the Chanticleers’ first play, a 25-yard first down, but shored up quickly after.
Tyler Hull barely had to warm up, only being summoned once for a punt. Landon Ard had seven of his 11 kickoffs go for touchbacks, and Elliott Fry was perfect on his PATs. The return game was decent, although Pharoh Cooper continues to make it interesting back there.
OVERALL GRADE: A
Follow on Twitter at @DCTheState