South Carolina Football: Report card vs. Missouri Tigers

South Carolina football running back Juju McDowell. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football running back Juju McDowell. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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The South Carolina football team needed to have a bounce-back showing against the Missouri Tigers in the “other Columbia” this Saturday. Even if the Gamecocks didn’t win, they needed to put together some positive momentum that could carry over to the rest of the season as they pursued bowl eligibility.

That is not how things went for Carolina in CoMo.

Very little went well for the garnet and black, and more than a few things went very poorly. Missouri was blowing out the Gamecocks at the half, and if it were not for several bad mistakes from Mizzou in the second half, USC would have lost by a larger margin.

Here are the grades for South Carolina football’s loss to the Missouri Tigers:

FANS . C. The game against Missouri was a road game, so this grade comes from the online presence of the fanbase. “Gamecock Twitter” was in rare form as South Carolina really struggled. Calls to “fire everyone” and other hot takes were flying across Al Gore’s internet. It wasn’t the best look for Carolina fans online, but, frankly, a lot of the frustration was justified. All-in-all, the product on the field was so bad that an average grade for the South Carolina football fanbase feels appropriate even considering the strong negativity.. . South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina Gamecocks. COACHING . D-. The Gamecocks, as they have been in every matchup with Eli Drinkwitz, were severely outcoached on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Clayton White, whose days appear numbered with South Carolina football, continued sticking with his awful game plan on defense (including the play-a-safety-at-nickel-and-put-him-in-man-coverage plan), and his unit was miserably bad for most of the game outside of a solid stretch in the 3rd quarter. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains didn’t have his best day, but his offensive line was so bad that he was very limited with what he could do. Special teams coordinator Pete Lembo didn’t see a good performance from his units. Head coach Shane Beamer was too conservative in the second half, opting for field goals when his team needed touchdowns. Offensive line coach Lonnie Teasley stuck with Sidney Fugar for far too long at right tackle before switching things up. On two separate occasions, the Carolina defense wasn’t set and gave up big plays (including one touchdown). It was a bad day for the Gamecock coaching staff..

C-. Special teams continues to be an underperforming unit for the South Carolina football team in 2023. Kai Kroeger had a horrible day but was bailed out by several lucky bounces, making his stats look a lot better than reality. Missouri won the field position battles in kickoff coverage, and Mitch Jeter missed a field goal that he should have never been asked to try (51 yards into a driving wind). Punt returner Eddie Lewis keeps letting punts fall instead of fair catching them, setting Carolina back on multiple possessions on Saturday. Mitch Jeter’s four field goal makes salvage this grade a bit, but the Gamecocks have got to be better on special teams moving forward, especially considering the fact that Pete Lembo is the highest-paid special teams coordinator in the nation.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. SPECIAL TEAMS