Final grades

South Carolina gets graded in the classroom and on the football field. The feature returns for its second season as we take a look at each aspect of the game. Tonight we look at the results of the 49-6 victory over UAB. Who made the grade and who didn't?


It was clear that Connor Shaw was not the same Connor Shaw that everyone expected. Whether it was due to his shoulder still bothering him or rust from not playing in two weeks, but Shaw did not have a good game. His passes are not always sharp as arm strength is not one of his strengths, but he floated several passes that are normally completions. He finished 8-of-14 for 107 yards and a score with one pick, not bad numbers, but not numbers you would expect against a UAB defense that wasn't very good.

Ironically, Shaw was hit hard on his best pass of the night and was knocked out with the same injury to his shoulder. Dylan Thompson, last week's hero, was a little too amped to begin the second half. His first downfield pass sailed well over the head of Ace Sanders and was intercepted, but a penalty negated the pick. He would miss Damiere Byrd and again overthrow an open Sanders coming across the middle as he got off to a 2-for-6 start before hitting Bruce Ellington down the sidelines for a 26-yard gain. Thompson would finish with an average 5-for-10 performance, but threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns, aided by a 94-yard strike to Byrd. Once Thompson settled in he threw the ball just as he did last week.

Final grade – B+

Running backs

Marcus Lattimore and freshman Mike Davis combined to rush for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the running attack. Lattimore broke the school record for touchdowns in a career on his touchdown run and Davis, likely to be Lattimores successor, scored the first touchdown of his career. Davis also broke off a 50-yard run and Lattimore a 43-yard run. Kenny Miles did not make an impact, carrying five times for just one yard. In all the running backs ran for 188 yards.

Final grade – A

Wide receivers

For the second consecutive week the Carolina wide receivers made a big impact with 12 receptions for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Bruce Ellington, Ace Sanders, Damiere Byrd, and Shaq Roland all had receptions, and all but Ellington scored. Ellington led the way with 98 yards, Byrd had 94, Sanders had 55, and Roland had 30. There were many other times when Shaw and Thompson missed open receivers. Each week the routes are being ran better and crisper. Another great day in the office.

Final grade – A

Tight ends

Rory Anderson did not have the game he had last week with two touchdowns, but Jerell Adams had his first career reception, a 33-yard completion late in the game. There were a lot of two tight end sets, but most of the time the tight ends were used as blockers. An average day for the tight ends.

Final grade – B

Offensive line

For the most part the offensive line struggled opening up holes. Countless times Lattimore was hit in the backfield and had to struggle to get back to the line of scrimmage or gain a few yards. Two of the three sacks were caused from missed assignments. Late in the game Carolina had to go to misdirection plays and reverse fakes to keep the defense honest and allow Lattimore and the other backs some running room. They easily have the most improvement to do this week.

Final grade – C-

Defensive line

The defensive line, and Jadeveon Clowney in particular, was dominant. The defensive line recorded five of the six sacks and nine tackles for loss. Clowney led with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. The rabbit package of Clowney, Aldrick Fordham, Chaz Sutton, and Devin Taylor was effective and something we can expect all year in passing downs. If the defensive line plays that way all season they will be tough to stop.

Final grade – A


Shaq Wilson had another great game, leading the team in tackles with eight, and Quin Smith came off the bench to record five tackles and a sack. Demario Jeffery recorded four tackles, two of which resulted in lost yardage. Reginald Bowens was injured on the first defensive play of the game, but game back to record three tackles. Like the line the linebackers were extremely aggressive and helped shut down the UAB offense later in the game.

Final grade – A


The secondary struggled early on. Some of the blame lies on the line for not getting pressure early in the game, but often the receivers were wide open. Jonathan Perry threw for 132 yards on 9-of-13 passing in the first quarter alone. As the game wore on the defensive front began getting to Perry much more often and the defensive backs were able to defend better as UAB threw for just 108 yards on 11-of-24 passing the remaining three quarters. Still, the secondary has some work to do. The possible return of Akeem Auguste this week could help.

Final grade – C

Special teams

The move of the night may have been the decision to allow Adam Yates to kick off. Landon Ard's kick to begin the game did not even reach the 10 and was returned 53 yards. Yates kicked off seven times with six touchbacks and one kick out of bounds. Tyler Hull had a 51-yard punt, but also shanked one and finished with an average of 37.5 on four kicks.

Carolina did not get to return a kick, but did return two punts. Sanders had a 35-yard return and Victor Hampton had a 12-yard return.

Final grade – B-

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