After last week’s less-than-impressive game against Florida, the No. 11 Gamecocks bounced back by destroying the Chanticleers on Saturday, 70-10.
This game was a blowout from the beginning, as South Carolina took a 28-0 lead after the first quarter. Shaq Roland caught a beautiful 35-yard pass from Connor Shaw for the first score, Jamari Smith notched his first career TD, and Shaw took a ball into the end zone himself before No. 14 left the game. He was replaced by Dylan Thompson, who came in and immediately found who? Nick Jones! for a 34-yard touchdown.
The Cocks scored twice more in the second quarter, on an 18-yard run by Pharoh Cooper and a 1-yard play by Brandon Wilds, before CCU finally got on the board with a TD of their own, which made the score 42-7 at the half.
The third quarter was all USC, as Thompson scampered nine yards to the house, Cooper, lined up in the wildcat, broke off a fantastic 71-yard scoring run, and Shon Carson found the end zone, putting the home team up 63-7. Wilds tacked on another touchdown before the Chants got one more score of their own, a field goal with under five minutes remaining in the game.
I’m not sure if any starters played past halftime, and even some second stringers had been lifted by the third quarter. The Gamecocks used FIVE different quarterbacks (I didn’t even know we had that many!) and went pretty deep at some of the other skill positions, too. Mike Davis sat out (though he could have played), and defensively, Kelcy Quarles, Jadeveon Clowney (who also could’ve played), and Brison Williams were all on the sidelines, too. One key guy who was on the field: Victor Hampton, who was everywhere and had one of the best games of his career.
A total of eight different USC players scored TDs, and 70 points is the most ever scored by the Cocks under Steve Spurrier and the fifth-highest in school history. With the victory, South Carolina now has 17 straight wins at home, the longest streak in the country, and the HBC also records his 75th win at USC. Shaw improves to 16-0 at home and now has 25 total wins in his career, pushing him past Todd Ellis’ record of 24. After the game, Thompson said that Shaw doesn’t get enough respect and should be in New York in December for the Heisman ceremony.
The Gamecocks tallied 32 first downs compared to Coastal’s 13 and racked up 639 total yards, while the Chanticleers had 294 (and just 72 on the ground). CCU turned the ball over three times while South Carolina didn’t do so at all, and the Gamecocks had the ball for more than 34 minutes.
In his slightly-less-than one quarter of work, Shaw went 8-of-11 for 115 yards and a TD. Thompson had similar numbers and was 8-of-11 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Brendan Nosovitch, Perry Orth, and Austin Hails combined to go 4-of-5 for 32 yards. Chants starter Alex Ross was 15-of-28 for 161 yards, a TD, and an interception. Coastal also used multiple QBs, and they combined to go 3-of-10 for 54 yards.
Smith led USC in rushing with 10 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown and Roland led them in receiving with four catches for 72 yards and a TD. De’Angelo Henderson had 23 yards on six carries and Matt Hazel had 83 yards on six receptions to lead the Chanticleers.
The Cocks improve to 9-2 overall while CCU drops to 10-2 overall. They earned part of the Big South championship though, and will be in the FCS playoffs. They also earned $375,000 for coming to Columbia and getting trounced. South Carolina will finish the regular season against in-state rival No. 7 Clemson next weekend. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.