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September 14, 2013

Game balls: Vanderbilt

In this feature, Gamecock Central awards game balls to deserving players from tonight's game.

Connor Shaw didn't light up the night, but he showed why he's now 19-4 as a starter - he protects the football and moves the offense. With Dylan Thompson's interception leading to an easy score and another easy score off a Shon Carson fumble gave the visiting Commodores 14 points on drives of 1 and 19 yards, respectively, the steady Shaw looked better than ever by comparison Saturday night. He did not turn the ball over and finished gong 21-for-29 with 284 yards passing and19 rushes for a team-high 84 yards.

Mike Davis showed he's more than just a sensational runner, racking up 67 yards receiving in the first half on three catches to finish the game with 144 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.

Bruce Ellington finally had the receiving game everyone expected him to have as the premiere receiver following the departure of Ace Sanders. Ellington had 108 receiving yards on seven catches by halftime. He had one catch in the second half to finish the game with eight catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Clayton Stadnik has done nothing but come in and be sensational in the place of injured starting center Cody Waldrop. Stadnik, a natural pass protector, pulled his weight Saturday to help a confident South Carolina offensive line dominate the line of scrimmage.

Jimmy Legree didn't single-handedly save the game with his fourth-quarter interception in the end zone to thwart a Vanderbilt threat, but he saved a lot of Gamecock fans a lot of nervousness. Not only did Legree get South Carolina's first and only interception of the year, he also led the team in tackles with 7, including two tackles for a loss.

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