USC Gamecocks Football

South Carolina-Missouri report card: USC needed a solid grade, didn’t get it

The South Carolina football team took a bad loss 34-14 to the Missouri Tigers. After the game, it’s time to grade the Gamecocks.


It’s hard to tell how elbow issues were affecting Ryan Hilinski, but he flat-out struggled. He connected on only four of his first 15 passes. He had 166 yards, hit only 43 percent of his passes. Dakereon Joyner showed a few flashes, though an early stint was a struggle. Getting back into the game earns a little credit.

Grade: D-

Running backs

There wasn’t a lot of work for Tavien Feaster and Rico Dowdle, but on 14 total carries, three produced 5 or more yards and there was a fumble.

Grade: F

Wide receivers

Bryan Edwards’ 75-yard touchdown lifts this group up in a mighty way. Chavis Dawkins produced a little more than usual and a lot of guys got involved. One big issue was some plays left out on the field, not easy plays, but ones that could bolster a struggling QB.

Grade: C-

Tight end

Kyle Markway was a godsend for USC, making a few diving catches. Nick Muse had one nice gain. Generally the blocking in the running game wasn’t great all day.

Grade: B-

Offensive line

Hilinski was harried often. Joyner’s only early dropback ended with him getting hammered. The run game was not great, as mentioned. All told, a big drop-off from a solid Alabama game.

Grade: F

Defensive line

They got pinned a couple times on some counter runs, but generally the play here was pretty decent. Kelly Bryant got sacked twice and hurried a few other times. They also anchored a really difficult goal line stand.

Grade: B


This group had some trouble tackling, which produced a few of the Tigers’ 14 chunk plays. Granted, they also were key to a solid defensive performance.

Grade: C-

Defensive backs

Some of those missed tackle issues also cropped up here, and some drops helped prevent some coverage issues from hurting them. The shoe-throwing penalty late in the game also didn’t help.

Grade: C-

Special teams

Punter Joseph Charlton was a weapon, to be sure. Parker White missed his only kick, one a bit out of his range. Missouri prevented any returns, and had one very good return.

Grade: B-


The tackling issues remain, and even though there were many causes for the offensive problems, they were very glaring. Overall, things just didn’t go smoothly in a must-win game.

Grade: D


The team fought back in for a moment, and there’s some credit deserved there. But in a game the team needed to have, the performance was simply uneven, and downright poor in some spots.

Grade: D

West Coast raised. Midwest educated. Southern football indoctrinated. Covers most everything Gamecocks, primarily football.
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