South Carolina’s solid day on offense can be chalked up as a team effort.
As the Gamecocks piled up 383 yards in a 38-20 victory against Arkansas, a host of contributors stepped forward to help lead the way.
Four players scored offensive touchdowns tight end Jerell Adams, wide receiver Bruce Ellington, quarterback Connor Shaw, and tailback Mike Davis — and kicker Adam Yates added a field goal.
Playing without injured tailback Marcus Lattimore, Davis and Kenny Miles combined to run for 90 of the team’s 104 rushing yards. Shaw completed 14 of 22 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a nifty 10-yard run. He also found seven pass-catchers on the day.
“We were pretty much balanced,” Shaw said. “Kenny and Mike had a good day running the ball, and our receivers did a good job of getting open and catching the ball and make a play after the catch.”
Ellington made the most plays. He caught five passes for 104 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game since being moved to an outside receiving spot.
“They moved me to the outside, and I’m running the same routes,” Ellington said. “I’m just getting open and Connor is doing a great job in passing me the ball.”
His biggest play came with 1:30 left in the first half, when he gathered in a 42-yard touchdown pass to give the Gamecocks a 21-10 halftime lead. Shaw read the blitz, ducked under it and found Ellington tucked into an open spot on the right side.
“It was a good heads-up play by Bruce,” Shaw said.
Shaw also found a wide-open Adams on a 29-yard touchdown pass over the middle for the game’s first score in the opening quarter. With Arkansas struggling defensively and using younger players in the secondary, Shaw made good things happen all day.
It didn’t hurt that the pair of running backs replacing Lattimore took some of the pressure off Shaw. Davis picked up 53 yards on 14 carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for USC’s final score.
“I wouldn’t say it was a lot different because Kenny Miles and Mike Davis did a great job carrying the ball,” Ellington said. “Marcus is a dynamic back, but we’ve got second guys who can come in and make plays, too.”
Miles, who finished with 37 rushing yards and caught three passes for 44 yards, knows the Gamecocks must play better to keep winning.
“I don’t think I did that great. There were a couple of plays that I felt like I could have broke, but I got tripped up,” he said. “I feel like we’ve got a lot of improvement (to make) as a whole.”
On this day, though, it was more than enough.