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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.