Here are five takeaways from South Carolina’s Week 2 win over East Carolina:

  • Though vanilla, Steve Spurrier had a good game plan. The Head Ball Coach kept things relatively simple against the Pirates with play selection split evenly — 38 pass, 38 rush — and high percentage throws for Dylan Thompson. South Carolina called more screen passes than usual and made it a point to get the football in the hands of its two best offensive players, Mike David and Shaq Roland, throughout the game.
  • Finding a pass rusher will be a season-long chore. Sitting in a 4-3 look much of the night, it was another quiet outing for the Gamecocks’ front four who let East Carolina running backs slither through arm tackles at the point of attack and gave up 6.3 yards per carry. Quarterback Shane Carden was never sacked, but did throw an interception when flushed out of the pocket late in the third quarter. That’s the extent of the defensive line’s highlights.
  • Less than 100 percent Mike Davis better than most ballcarriers. His 36-yard touchdown run in the first quarter resembled the Davis of old after he broke into the second level and made two defenders miss en route to the end zone. Davis rarely had running room after another so-so performance from the South Carolina offensive line but he still managed his eighth career 100-yard game and scored his first two touchdowns of the season.
  • At times, Dylan Thompson doesn’t look comfortable. South Carolina’s senior quarterback was a second late on several deep throws that were deflected at the point of arrival by the East Carolina secondary and sailed a handful of open passes due to less than ideal form. Thompson was sandwiched between two defenders on a designed draw on the game’s first possession in a 3rd-and-5 situation, a sign the Gamecocks no longer have a reliable running threat under center. He settled down in the second half through the air with a better showing.
  • We’re learning this year’s team will have highs and lows. At this time, the Gamecocks have a first-year starting quarterback, an underachieving offensive line and a defense that struggles against the pass. Those are the facts after two weeks. We’ll know if South Carolina’s a division title contender after next week’s game against Georgia.

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