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GAMECOCKFANATICS PLAYERS OF THE GAME: South Carolina vs Alabama

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GAMECOCK FANATICS PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

South Carolina Gamecocks vs Alabama Crimson Tide

 

Final: Alabama (3-0, 1-0) 47 – South Carolina (1-2, 0-1) 23

The South Carolina Gamecocks gave a heartened effort against the 2nd-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, but fell short in a 47-23 season-opening conference loss in Williams-Brice Stadium. Alabama was just too dominating offensively against the Gamecock defense, while the Crimson Tide defense stiffened up just enough in the red zone, holding the Gamecock offense to field goals over touchdowns. It was a game that was not expected by most to go South Carolina’s way, but the Gamecocks still showed they were ready to compete with the Tide. Here’s the Gamecock Fanatics Players for the Game – we’ll start with South Carolina:

 

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OFFENSE

RB Rico Dowdle: Dowdle came into the 2019 season perhaps being passed over as the marquee back for the Gamecocks, with former Clemson back Tavien Feaster being added to the roster as a graduate transfer. But Dowdle had a stellar day against Alabama, rushing 12 times for a game-high 102 yards, including a big 33-yard gain for the largest run play of the game. Dowdle was also productive in the passing game, with 3 receptions in 4 targeted plays, for 21 yards.

Honorable Mention: QB Ryan Hilinski: he stood in against the highly ranked and talented Crimson Tide, for just his 2nd game as a Gamecock, and played solidly, completing 36 passes in 57 attempts for a young career high of 324 yards and 2 touchdowns against 1.

 

DEFENSE

LB Ernest Jones: The Gamecock defense was really slapped around in this game. They really were never able to even contain – much less stop – the Alabama offense all game long. Most Alabama offensive scoring drives were of the 5-6-play variety consisting of huge gains, either on the ground or through the air. Despite this, Jones led the defense with 9 total tackles – 6 solo tackles - and 2 tackles for loss.

Honorable mention: R.J. Roderick: 8 total tackles – 5 solo – 1 tackle for loss, 1 QB sack

 

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OFFENSE

QB Tua Tagovailoa: Pretty easy, Tagovailoa completed 28 for 36 passes for 444 yards and five (5) passing touchdowns. His passes were rarely contested by Gamecock defenders, nor came close to being intercepted.

Honorable Mention: WR Devonta Smith: 8 receptions for 136 yards, and 2 TDs

 

DEFENSE

FS Xavier McKinney: 9 total tackles – 5 solo – with a tackle for loss, and an interception.

Honorable Mention: OLB Anfernee Jennings: 6 total tackles – 5 solo – 2 tackle for loss, 1 QB sack, 1 forced fumble

 

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Will need both next week when we head up to Columbia, Missouri to battle Mizzu.

RB Rico Dowdle: Dowdle came into the 2019 season perhaps being passed over as the marquee back for the Gamecocks, with former Clemson back Tavien Feaster being added to the roster as a graduate transfer. But Dowdle had a stellar day against Alabama, rushing 12 times for a game-high 102 yards, including a big 33-yard gain for the largest run play of the game. Dowdle was also productive in the passing game, with 3 receptions in 4 targeted plays, for 21 yards.

Not bad for a true freshman QB against one of the best defenses in the Power 5. Looking forward to watching him get better every time he hits the field for another game. 

 QB Ryan Hilinski: he stood in against the highly ranked and talented Crimson Tide, for just his 2nd game as a Gamecock, and played solidly, completing 36 passes in 57 attempts for a young career high of 324 yards and 2 touchdowns against 1.

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1 hour ago, FurmanCock said:

Can't knock your picks, but I might have POG to Edwards -- this was the best effort I've seen from him.  He ran hard after his catches.

 

Can't disagree - I started this as the game was still playing out in the 4th Qtr., and at the early point, I had Hilinski and Edwards tied as honorable mentions. As you said, Edwards was a workhorse for the Gamecock passing game in the first 3 quarters - especially the first half - of the game: he seemed blanketed by Bama double teams all game long, and was catching his passes in heavy traffic, and fought hard to gain extra yds after the catch each time.

Late in the 1st half, I was actually worried that we were focusing/relying on Edwards too much in the game, and that he wouldn't have any fuel left for the 2nd half when we really needed him. When I was writing this out to begin with, Edwards at the time was leading the game in receptions, and leading the Gamecocks in receiving yds.

Then Shi Smith came on in the 3rd and 4th Qtrs really hard, and ended up leading the team in receiving yds with fewer catches, and scored a touchdown in the game. So I for a bit replaced Edwards with Smith, because scoring points matters in football games, right?

But then at the end, I asked myself, "so both Edwards and Smith are neck-and-neck really with each other, and I was going to make either a tie with Hilinski for the honorable mention. But really, is either Edwards or Smith as impactful to the game as Hilinski has been, as a true freshman starting in his very first SEC game?" And my mind started to tell me no, so I just chose to leave both Edwards and Smith out of the mentions, but really all those guys - Dowdle, Hilinski, Edwards, and Smith are very close as the top four impact guys on offense. You can't really go too wrong with any of those 4.....

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I really like Ernest Jones, but he was posterized by Najee Harris on his long TD catch and run. First, the pass whistled by his head - if he had been more alert, he could have got his hands up and deflected the ball, which would have forced a punt. Second, he got back into the play (props for that) and just had to shove Harris out of bounds to prevent the TD, but he was not  physical at all and whiffed.

Harris is good, but Jones is at least as big and should have gotten him out. But. like I say, I am a big fan - Jones is smart and already a leader on Defense. He will corect his mistakes.

 

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:25 PM, FurmanCock said:

Can't knock your picks, but I might have POG to Edwards -- this was the best effort I've seen from him.  He ran hard after his catches.

Very good performances, need for Edwards to keep it up will need him this week vs Mizzu.

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