Although the South Carolina Gamecocks are ranked 9th in the country they got all they could handle and more last night versus the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Despite escaping the game with a 17-13 win, ultimately South Carolina lost last night.
The biggest loss South Carolina might have experienced last night was quarterback Connor Shaw.
Shaw was injured at the end of the first half when he took a helmet to the shoulder of his throwing arm.
Head coach Steve Spurrier says Shaw will be sore for a while and only has a bruise on his throwing arm.
However, toward the end of the game Shaw looked very uncomfortable as his throwing arm was slumped by his side like he did not want to move it.
Only time will tell what the true extent of Shaw’s injury is and how that will affect the South Carolina football team.
It may have been because of the injury, but South Carolina seemed content on continuing their game plan from last season which has Shaw throwing very little, while calling lots of plays that has Shaw taking off as a running back.
In last night’s game Shaw was injured at the end of a running play, and last season Shaw endured injury because of his taking off.
I am fine having plays where the quarterback takes the ball and runs with it, however, when it is causing the quarterback to be injured, and when the quarterback has more rushing yards than passing yards, then it is being used too much.
South Carolina is going to have no chance against teams like Georgia or LSU if they do not consistently have a good passing game.
Turnovers, 3rd Downs, and Penalties
Last night South Carolina turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, one on a fumble by running back Marcus Lattimore and one on an interception thrown by Shaw. Luckily the interceptions did not cost South Carolina any points, but South Carolina will pay for turnovers against the bigger players in the SEC.
In addition to their turnovers, South Carolina also did poorly on third downs, only converting three out of 12 attempts.
When it came to penalties South Carolina was penalized six times for 30 yards, with three penalties being for false starts, and three being for delay of game.
Those penalties may not seem like a big deal, but they further show the offense’s need to worker harder and become more disciplined.
South Carolina’s defense played well and had an interception in the first quarter, however they still have room for improvement. South Carolina was burned by a 78-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and the team gave up 214 passing yards and 76 rushing yards.
Additionally, Vanderbilt’s fourth quarter drive was not entirely stopped by South Carolina as there was a missed call by the officiating crew. If Vanderbilt had gotten a few more plays the outcome of the game may have been different.
Lattimore made a great return rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown, however, South Carolina has lots to work on with the other aspects of their offense and with their defense. One thing is for sure, things are not going to get any easier for South Carolina.
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