Observations on the loss to South Carolina, 28-33
South Carolina comes up with yet another big play against the Wolverines with a 32 yard TD with 11 second remaining to beat Michigan, 33-28. Michigan scored 28 points in 5 red zones while the Gamecocks converted 7 points in two red zones, but the big plays were the difference as South Carolina got a 32 yard TD to Ellington, a 31 yard TD to Sanders, a 56 yard TD to Byrd plus had a 70 yard pass to Nick Jones that set up a 4 yard TD pass to Sanders and a 64 yard run by Shaw that set up their 5th TD. Every TD was a big play or set up by a big play.
Offense came up with 352 yards on 82 plays, but could only gain 132 on the ground. Michigan had a 29 offensive play advantage with 16 minutes time of possession advantage. The Gamecocks forced 3 fumbles, and Michigan lost one of those plus another turnover with an interception. The Wolverines were 11 of 23 in 3rd and 4th down conversions with 24 first downs. Gardner was 19 of 36 for 214 yards, 3 TD and 2 interceptions (one on the 2 point conversion attempt) plus 3 sacks. Jeremy Gallon had 9 catches for 145 yards and 2 TDs. Denard Robinson carried 22 times for 100 yards, and caught 2 passes for 7 yards; however, he never saw the end zone. Drew Dileo had 3 catches for 22 yards and a TD. D.J. Swearinger led the Gamecocks with 9 tackles, a forced fumble and 2 pass break ups; Shaq Wilson was also in on 9 tackles, but the play of the game that changed momentum was the hit by Jadaveon Clowney on Vincent Smith forcing a fumble that he recovered after a questionable call by the referee giving Michigan a first down after a fake punt 4 yards run by Floyd Simmons.
Defense couldn't stop the Gamecocks when we needed a stop. South Carolina's offense rolled up 426 net yards in 21 minutes of possession on 53 plays, an average of 8 yards per play. They had 17 first downs, and were 4 of 12 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Connor Shaw was 18 of 26 for 224 yards and 2 TDs; Dylan Thompson was 7 of 9 for 117 yards and another 2 TDs. They combined for 25 of 35 for 341 and 4 TDs. Our defensive backfield was torched for 341 and 4 TDs while coming up with only 16 tackles including 2 touchdown saving tackles by Ramon Taylor and Jarrod Wilson with no pass break ups. Ace Sanders had 9 catches for 92 yards. Connor Shaw ran 10 times for 96 yards. Mario Ojemudia forced a fumble that was recovered by Jake Ryan. Defense had a season low of only 46 tackles with 7 tackles for loss including 3 sacks and one forced turnover. The Wolverines uncharacteristically had 4 personal foul penalties by Taylor Lewan, Ricky Barnum, Joe Bolden and Frank Clark.
Special Teams gave up a 63 yard punt return for a TD by Ace Sanders. Brendon Gibbons hit both his field goals, and Matt Wile hit a 52 yarder for 9 points. Matt Wile punted 3 times for a 48 yard average. We ran a successful fake punt and a fake field goal. Adam Yates missed two field goals, and the last one was blocked by Quinton Washington. Michigan missed both 2 point conversion attempts, one on an interception and the other on a poor play call by Coach Borgess with 160 lbs. Vincent Smith attempting to run into the end zone.
Michigan couldn't handle the superior speed and quickness by the Gamecocks who outlasted us in the 4th quarter when the game was on the line, and South Carolina dominated 4th quarter time of possession with the game on the line with 8 and a half minutes.