Gamecock Gamechangers

Seventh-ranked South Carolina was dominant on both sides of the ball in Saturday's 31-10 win over Missouri. We take a look at the five best players and five best plays in the SEC victory.

Players of the Game

5. Bruce Ellington


Special teams was one of the big stories today. Entering the game South Carolina was the only FBS team to not have a chance to return a kickoff. After Missouri kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 late in the first half, Carolina finally got their chance. Ellington didn't disappoint, returning the kick 50 yards to midfield. With the return Carolina was able to go on the offensive and score right before the half to take a 21-3 lead into the locker room. Ellington also ha1d a 17-yard reception.

4. Jadeveon Clowney

For a half, Missouri was able to avoid Jadeveon Clowney. They weren't able to do it for four quarters. Clowney only finished with four tackles, but was able to get to Franklin twice and was credited for 1.5 sacks.

3. Marcus Lattimore

For most of the game Missouri was content to sit back in a two-deep zone. Connor Shaw was content to check down and dump it off to Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore led the team in receptions and yards with seven catches for 60 yards, including a 24-yard catch and run. In the second half it was the familiar story of the opposition getting a steady dose of Lattimore. Lattimore finished with 21 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Lattimore led all players in all-purpose yards with 145 yards.

2. Ace Sanders

Ellington wasn't the only player to make an impact on special teams. Sanders returned six punts for 106 yards, including a 49-yard return in the second quarter to set up Carolina's first touchdown. Sanders also had a 23-yard touchdown reception at the end of the first half.

Player of the Game

Connor Shaw


Who else would it be? Many were surprised when Shaw got the start last week. No one expected Shaw to be named the starter this week with that shoulder injury. Not only did Shaw play, but he was unbelievable. After an incompletion on his first pass, Shaw would complete all of his remaining 20 passes for the game. He ended the game 20-for-21 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 12 carries for 41 yards. He showed why head coach Steve Spurrier has been adamant that Shaw is the starting quarterback. If he can complete his first five passes in next week's game at Kentucky, Shaw will break the NCAA record for consecutive completions.

Plays of the Game

5. Sutton gets Franklin


With Carolina leading 14-0 in the second quarter, it appeared that Missouri's fast-paced offense was finally getting on track. They were in the midst of an 8-play, 77-yard drive. With a first-and-goal from the Carolina three, James Franklin tried to run it in himself. Chaz Sutton met him in the backfield, taking him down for a loss of three yards as Carolina's defense would hold Missouri to a field goal.

4. Shaw to Jones

After the defense had just forced a turnover, Spurrier is known to go for the big play. Carolina would do just that as Shaw found Nick Jones down the sideline. Jones stumbled at the five and tried to dive for the goal line. He came up a yard short and Lattimore would take it in on the next play to give Carolina a 14-0 lead.

3. Shaw flips it to Cunningham

In the midst of four completions to Cunningham in five plays, Shaw scrambled right and was in the process of being tackled from behind for a sack. As Shaw was falling, he flipped the ball left-handed to a wide open Cunningham, who turned it into a big gain.

2. Ellington with a big return

South Carolina had to wait nearly 14 quarters to get their first kickoff return. Bruce Ellington finally got a chance to return a kick and he made it pay off. Ellington took it up the middle, eluded tacklers and nearly broke free. He was finally taken down at the 50-yard line after a 50-yard return.

Play of the game

1. Sanders has highlight return


South Carolina had just failed to score from the one yard line on back-to-back plays to turn it over on downs. After the defense held to a three-and-out, Sanders took the punt just inside Carolina territory. It was nearly a 10-yard return as Sanders ran into Demario Jeffery and nearly lost his balance. He kept his balance and Missouri's Kip Edwards wrapped him up, but was so busy trying to strip the ball that Sanders broke loose. He stopped on a dime, cut to the right and took off towards the corner. He dove for the pylon, but stepped out at the four. Two plays later Lattimore scored from two yards out to give Carolina a 7-0 lead.


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