As is the case with any program, quality quarterback play is paramount for success.

While South Carolina appears to be more of a run-first team in 2015, signal-caller Connor Mitch has to perform well if the Gamecocks have any chance at winning the SEC East Division.

It was a mixed bag in Mitch's first collegiate start versus North Carolina.

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There were times in which the North Carolina native stepped into his throws and fired strikes down the field. South Carolina was also somewhat effective on third-down opportunities in the opener, going 7-of-15.

However, Mitch was below-average from an accuracy standpoint. He went 9-of-22 for 122 yards. If his first read was covered, the quarterback got "happy feet" and would look to scramble out of the pocket. The efficiency certainly wasn't where Steve Spurrier would want it to be.

With that said, Mitch was effective running the football on zone-read opportunities. He also had a big third-down scramble to extend a drive. Mitch finished with a respectable 44 yards rushing on 10 carries.

It was a gritty performance overall by the inexperienced quarterback. Should he struggle versus an athletic Kentucky defense, it will be interesting to see whether Spurrier opts to insert Perry Orth or even freshman Lorenzo Nunez.