Fourth Quarter Surge Pushes Gamecocks Past Terriers

It wasn’t pretty (and it wasn’t even interesting until the fourth quarter, really) but South Carolina managed to give the outgoing seniors a 24-7 win over Wofford in their final game at Williams-Brice.

Kenny Miles made Senior Day into a career day as the Gamecocks topped the Terriers.

The Cocks looked lackluster on offense from start to finish, save for Kenny Miles, without whom there likely wouldn’t have been any offense today. Miles scored the first TD of the day, which put Carolina up 7-0 to start off the second quarter.

The Terriers responded with a touchdown of their own, courtesy of Eric Breitenstein, their leading rusher.  Unfortunately for Wofford, that was the only score they’d get, though they threatened more than once.

With things all knotted at 7-7, both teams had multiple chances to take a lead, though neither could capitalize until the fourth quarter. The first score came on an Adam Yates field goal less with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game.

On their next possession, the Gamecocks scored again, this time a TD by Ace Sanders. Less than a minute later, Akeem Auguste nabbed an interception and took it all the way to the house to put USC up 24-7 with half of a quarter to go. It was his first career touchdown.

The Carolina defense was without Jadeveon Clowney, who was nursing injuries to his foot and knee, but there were plenty of other guys who stepped up. DJ Swearinger had a great game, as did Devin Taylor, Brison Williams, Auguste, just to name a few. While USC doesn’t see teams who run the option very much, they made their assignments and did a good job of containing Wofford and preventing them from putting up points.

Auguste made his Senior Day memorable by scoring the first touchdown of his career.

It was great to see guys like Miles, Auguste, and Swearinger have big days in their final home game in the garnet and black. It was especially special for Miles, who almost left last year, but decided to return for a fifth year, even though he knew he wouldn’t be a starter. No one could have known that Marcus Lattimore would sustain another season ending injury and Miles would be called upon, but we were extremely lucky to have him here contributing.

QB Connor Shaw looked off this afternoon and struggled under center, especially early on. He also reaggravated his foot sprain, and was limping and gimpy on the field (I’m not sure why he played the entire game minus the final 30 seconds, really). Shaw finished the day 16-of-20 for 122 yards, a TD, and a pick. His Wofford counterpart, James Lawson, went 1-of-2 (remember, all they do is run) for 71 yards.

Miles had 27 carries for 127 yards (a career high) and a touchdown and Ace Sanders had five catches for 35 yards and a TD to lead the Gamecocks. Breitenstein had 28 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown and Jeff Ashley had one reception for 71 yards to lead the Terriers.

Here's video of the alma mater from today. Like it and s... on Twitpic

Spurrier also joined the players for swaying and singing during the alma mater (click image for video).

Turnovers plagued both teams, as Wofford coughed it up three times and USC gave it up twice. They both turned it over in the red zone, too, which made things worse. Each team had the ball for about half of the game, and the Cocks had just two more first downs (18) than the Terriers (16) did, but were outgained in total yardage 330-293.

This is the first time since 1987 that South Carolina has gone undefeated at home and also the first time in a long time that they’ve won seven at home. The senior class leaves as the winningest in school history (they current have 36 wins). A big THANK YOU goes out to each and every one of them for helping get the Gamecocks to where they are now. They had a hand in changing the entire culture and perception of Carolina football, and that’s  pretty special.

With the victory, Steve Spurrier ties Rex Enright’s record for most wins (64) as the Gamecocks’ coach. The HBC said ties are “whatever” and added that setting a new record would be a bigger deal.

USC improves to 9-2 overall and will take on No. 11 Clemson next weekend to close out the regular season.

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