Connor Shaw’s solid outing boosts So. Carolina into top five in polls

Jojo Doria – 4E Sports Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Gamecocks vaulted into No. 3 in the coaches poll thanks to overall effort from the team, including South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw’s solid performance in a Week 6 win at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Shaw threw a pair of TDs and rushed for another in a 35-7 rout of the then-No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs.

On Saturday night, Shaw not only continued his impressive passing but also showcased his running ability in picking up Georgia’s defense early in the contest.

Backed by South Carolina’s robust defense, Shaw easily engineered TD drives on each of their first two possessions as they took control of the contest. The inspired Gamecocks took the opening kickoff and then marched 76 yards to a TD in just five plays before their jam-packed home football arena.

The 21-year-old junior quarterback, who completed 15-of-18 passes for 148 yards and two scores in last weekend’s 38-17 road win at Kentucky, completed 5-of-7 passes for 100 yards in the opening quarter against Georgia.

It included a 42-yard strike to Damiere Byrd on the second play of the tilt that set up South Carolina at the Georgia 30-yard line.

Three plays later Shaw hooked up with Bruce Ellington for a 20-yard TD pass that gave the Gamecocks a 7-0 advantage, with less than three minutes into the game.

Shaw then hit Rory Anderson for a 14-yard scoring strike, giving the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead at the 6.29 mark of the first quarter.

Shaw completed 6-of-10 passes for 162 yards and added 78 yards on 14 carries for South Carolina, which improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. Shaw rushed 14 times for 78 yards and a TD, but most importantly he did not register any turnovers.

It was the 10th straight victory dating back to last season, a new school record for South Carolina.

It moved the Gamecocks from No. 6 to third spot behind Alabama and Oregon, which remained in the first and second positions, respectively, in the recently released USA TODAY Sports coaches poll.

Rounding out the top five are West Virginia (6-0), which moved up to No. 4 after topping then No. 9 Texas with a thrilling 48-45 road triumph, and Florida Kansas State (5-0), which bested in-state rival Kansas to land at No. 5.

Changes in this week’s top-10 include Florida (5-0) jumping five places to No. 6 after throttling then-No. 3 LSU. That loss dropped LSU (3-1) to the eighth position.

Notre Dame (5-0) occupies No. 7 slot while once-beaten Southern California (4-1) and Oklahoma (3-1) are in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

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