Gamecock Gamechangers

Though South Carolina lost its star running back, they were able to persevere in the end and escape with a 38-35 win over Tennessee Saturday. We take a look at five player's of the game and the biggest five plays of the game.

5. Bruce Ellington

The last time Carolina had a cancer awareness game, it was against Kentucky last year. Ellington had a big game then. He caught three passes for 22 yards, but had an explosive 61-yard touchdown run to burst onto the college football scene. Saturday against Tennessee he was even better, catching six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 66 yards on three kickoff returns to finish with 167 total yards.

4. Justice Cunningham/Rory Anderson

Spurrier and the other coaches have bragged all season long about the versatility the tight ends give the team. They have not been utilized all that often, but had a break-out game today. Cunningham caught six passes for 108 yards, including an impressive 45-yard reception that was the longest play on the day. Anderson caught three passes for 58 yards, including a huge 26-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal play to give Carolina a 14-7 lead.

3. Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney had perhaps the play of the game late in the fourth quarter with Tennessee driving for a potential game-winning touchdown. On first and ten from the South Carolina 15, Bray dropped back to throw and was blindsided by Clowney. The ball came lose and Shaq Wilson fell on it at the 20 with just over a minute left in the game. Carolina was not able to run off the clock, but was able to keep Tennessee from having enough time to drive down the field again.

2. Connor Shaw

Connor Shaw had two of the worst performances of his career the last two weeks. He responded with one of his best Saturday. Shaw completed 22-of-32 passes, narrowly missing on at least four more passes, for a career-high 356 yards and three scores. He added 33 yards on the ground and an additional touchdown to help lead the offense.

Player of the Game

Marcus Lattimore

It's only fitting that a young man who has embodied what college football is all about to be given the award after suffering a horrific injury in the first half of the game. Lattimore was on his way to a strong performance, rushing for 65 yards on 11 carrries and a touchdown. However, it was his second devastating knee injury in as many years that ended up being the story of the game. If anyone can come back from a knee injury like that, it would be Lattimore.

Plays of the Game

5. Shaw to Cunningham for 45 yards

As both teams fired blow after blow to each other late in the game, Cunningham laid a devastating blow to Tennessee. On a second down play Shaw hit Cunningham on a cross and Cunningham turned it onto another gear and raced down the sidelines inside the Tennessee 10. That would lead to a Carolina field goal and a 38-35 lead.

4. Lattimore takes it to the house

South Carolina made a priority entering the game to get the ball in the hands of Marcus Lattimore. They did, but it was not having much success until midway through the second quarter. Leading 14-7, Lattimore got the carry, went left and there was no one to stop him as he raced 28 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.

3. Ellington races for six

South Carolina was moving down the field on their first possession, mixing in the pass and run. Having just converted a fourth down, Shaw threw a quick pass to Bruce Ellington to pick up some yardage. Once Ellington got the ball in his hands he turned the jets on and sprinted down the left sideline past everybody and into the end zone to give Carolina a 7-0 lead.

2. Busta busts a move

With the game tied at 7-7 in the second quarter, South Carolina was marching again and moved down inside the 10. However, after a false start and a sack, the Gamecocks were looking at a third and goal from the 26. Shaw hit Anderson over the middle at the five, Anderson bounced off two defenders and fell forward into the end zone for the touchdown. It gave Carolina a 14-7 lead instead of having to settle for a field goal try.

Play of the Game

Clowney saves the day

There was very little South Carolina could do late in the game to stop Tennessee. The Vols were moving up and down the field and putting points on the board. Late in the fourth quarter Tennessee was well within field goal position to send it to overtime, but they were going for the win. On first down inside the 20, Tyler Bray dropped back to throw and Clowney beat his man and hammered Bray as he was getting ready to throw. The ball came out before his hand was moving forward and Shaq Wilson fell on the fumble with just 1:08 left in the game. Tennessee would get the ball back, but with just 36 seconds left and most of the field to go, the Vols were unable to get anything going and Victor Hampton sealed the game with an interception.

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