South Carolina football: Gamecocks fall to Gators

South Carolina receiver Shi Smith (13). Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK
South Carolina receiver Shi Smith (13). Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK /

The South Carolina football team suffered a second straight loss to open the season.

Gamecocks’ Twitter had an absolute field day following the mismanaged football team. The mismanagement extended to both sides of the ball and even reflected on the clock.

Gamecock news outlet, TheSpursUpShow tweeted the following in response to the Gamecocks seven minute offensive drive while down by 14 points after turning the ball over:

For those who haven’t heard yet, the Gamecocks were down by 14 points with eight or so minutes left in the game. The offense did move the ball down the field but at a snail’s pace with no hustle or sense of urgency. Instead, the offense huddled on every play and typically snapped the ball with a second or two left of the play clock. The drive consisted of 18 plays before not converting on a fourth down try in the red zone.

Clock management wasn’t South Carolina football’s only mistake.

The Gamecocks also featured a terrible case of “butterfingers.” South Carolina receivers dropped at least six passes, most coming in the first half. Nick Muse and Xavier Leggette were a few of the receivers who struggled to keep their hands on the ball as they both dropped a pair of throws. This game solidified the fact that Shi Smith is the star receiver for this team and the Gamecocks desperately need someone running routes to step up.

The Gamecocks offense played fairly well for most of the game and the running game was really well established. The Gamecocks run game featured sophomore Kevin Harris, who absolutely blew up the Gators defense. Harris rushed for 100 yards with a rushing touchdown and got 27 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Deshaun Fenwick also had another solid showing tallying over 50 all-purpose yards in the game, but he dropped a pitch in the third quarter which was recovered by the Gator defense. Florida scored five plays later.

After the first half of the game, the Gamecocks offensive line really struggled. Collin Hill was sacked four times throughout the game and in he really struggled to breath at times in the backfield.

Defensively, the Gamecocks were underwhelming. Florida star Kyle Trask threw all over South Carolina with 268 passing yards and a total of four touchdowns. His connection with Heisman candidate Kyle Pitts remained strong throughout the game. Pitts was picking the secondary apart as every defensive matchup seemed like a mismatch. He, and teammate Kadarius Toney, averaged over 14 yards per reception against Muschamp’s defense.

Overall the Gamecocks should have given fans hope. It wasn’t likely that Muschamp’s team was going to upset the stacked Florida but any questions at the running back position were surely answered on Saturday. Collin Hill played well and made good decisions when he got the protection he needed. South Carolina just needs to clean up the poor play in the secondary and eliminate the self-inflicted mistakes.

The Gamecocks are back in action on Saturday when they take on Vanderbilt.