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Tennessee-South Carolina: unit bell curve

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The Top of the Curve

Receivers. Robert Meachem had yet another 100+ yard game.  Bret Smith had only 23 yards and only caught four passes, but two of them were touchdowns.  Injured Jayson Swain surprised everyone, including himself, by not only playing but by contributing 45 yards, including a key third down conversion.

Quarterback.  Ainge in Orange went 21 of 29 for 254 yards and two touchdowns.  He regained composure he lost in the third quarter to spark the team to yet another come from behind victory.

The Middle of the Curve

Secondary.  Jonathan Wade had four tackles, including one for a loss, one interception, and two pass break ups.  Wade caused the first interception that Marvin Mitchell returned for a touchdown early in the game.  Antwan Stewart also broke up a pass.  It wasn't a terribly flashy performance, but the unit was tight and on their toes all game.

Special Teams.  A mixed bag here.  Britton Colquitt had five punts for 221 yards.  That's only an average of 44.2 per punt, but three of the five were inside the 20 yard line.  He also had one 57-yarder that hit the ground at the one yard line and bounced 90 degrees to the right, going out of bounds at the one.  The punt return unit continues to show improvement and consistency, as Jonathan Hefney broke another long one, this time for 65 yards at a key point in the game.  Robert Meachem did fumble a punt return, and there was a penalty cost the team a turnover.

Linebackers.  Marvin Mitchell picked a ball jarred loose by Jonathan Wade out of the air and ran it in for a touchdown to get the game off to a good start.  Ryan Karl tipped a pass that Wade ended up intercepting.  Jerod Mayo had nine total tackles, including one for a loss.  Mitchell added eight tackles and one quarterback hurry.

Coaching.  Spurrier is still giving coach Chavis fits.  See, e.g., the Worst Recurring Nightmare below.  David Cutcliffe continues to get credit for reviving Ainge, but has yet to get the running game going.

The Bottom of the Curve

Running backs.  See the immediately preceding item.  Arian Foster had a mere 28 yards, and Montario Hardesty had only 25 yards.  The team totaled only 71 yards on the ground, and 25 of those came from receiver Bret Smith.

Defensive line.  Could not contain Gamecock QB Syvelle Newton.  No sacks and only two tackles for a loss.

Offensive line.  Still no running game, but protection seemed to be fine.  Three penalties -- two false starts and one hold -- hurt, but in the grand scheme of things, appears to be an improvement over last year.

Agree?  Disagree?