South Carolina Football: Report card vs. Jacksonville State

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shane Beamer’s South Carolina football squad had to pick up a win Saturday, and they did. In college football’s first-ever Cock-a-Doodle Duel/Cock Fight/Battle of the Gamecocks, South Carolina defeated Jacksonville State in a far-from-pretty effort that left many fans unsatisfied with what they watched transpire in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Here are the grades for South Carolina football’s win over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks:

I. South Carolina football fans did not show up on Saturday, but can anyone really blame them? The Gamecocks were on a 4-game losing streak, they were playing a Group of 5 opponent, coaching changes that are needed have not yet been made, and it feels like half the roster is injured. Sure, it would have been nice to have 80,000 of the Gamecock Faithful in Willy B, but based on the product that has been put out of the field this season, that was never going to happen. Some didn’t like the boos that rained down in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but the play on the field was abysmal at those moments, and the frustrations of a bad season understandably overflowed. For this game, the fans get an “I” for Incomplete. There will be no fan grade this week. We will see how things go next week when Vanderbilt rolls into town.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. FANS

D. The South Carolina football staff probably had its worst-coached game of the season on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was not as good as the near-500 yards of offense would indicate as huge gains by Xavier Legette and Mario Anderson carried the day between stretches of futility. Defensive coordinator Clayton White…well, that particular story of disappointment has been written numerous times about his unit. Special teams coordinator Pete Lembo and head coach Shane Beamer decided to try a fake punt when almost everyone in the building (including all eleven on Jacksonville State’s defense) was expecting it, and Kai Kroeger decided to throw the ball into double coverage anyway. Several of the decisions to go for it on 4th down or punt were odd, as well. In something that has become a theme this season, the Gamecocks also were not fully set and/or substituted at least twice on Saturday.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. COACHING

South Carolina Gamecocks. SPECIAL TEAMS. C-. Special teams wasn’t bad against Jacksonville State. It also wasn’t good. The normally solid Xavier Legette picked up a kick catch interference penalty, the home Gamecocks lost the punting battle, and Jalon Kilgore had a couple of scary moments returning punts. The fake punt in the first half wasn’t a great call in the moment, and Kai Kroeger threw it into double coverage, giving the ball to JSU near midfield after the incompletion. Mitch Jeter made his one field goal try and did his job well on kickoffs. Legette also had a nice return on his one opportunity..