South Carolina hosted Furman Saturday night and beat them 38-19.
Breaking it down…After an opening exchange of punts South Carolina’s offense was again sparked by an interception. This week it was C.C. Whitlock who set up the Gamecocks’ offense at the Furman 42. It took just four plays for USC to cover that distance and ended when Tori Gurley hauled in a Stephen Garcia pass from 15 yards out. After a quick 3 and out by Furman, South Carolina’s offense went back to work amassing 74 yards on 11 plays to score a second touchdown. Marcus Lattimore plunged in from the Furman four to extend the Gamecock lead to 14.
Two possessions into the second quarter, Stephen Garcia threw his first interception of the day. Furman could only move the ball 6 yards and had to settle for a field goal. Connor Shaw came into the game and moved the ball into Paladin territory, but ultimately the Gamecocks had to punt. With new found confidence, Furman drove 60 yards on 12 plays before kicking its second field goal of the quarter. After a short kickoff set the Gamecocks up at their own 38, they took six plays to score a touchdown, this one a Brian Maddox 9 yard rush. Furman ran out the clock to leave the score at 21-6 at the half.
Furman received the second half kickoff and quickly went three and out. South Carolina put together another sustained drive covering 72 yards on 11 plays. The drive was capped with Stephen Garcia’s second touchdown pass of the game, this one to D.L. Moore. Furman was again forced to punt, and it looked like the rout was on. An errant Stephen Garcia pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to breathe life back into the Paladin cause. The Gamecocks would drive for a field goal to make the score 31-13 at the end of the third quarter.
In a drive that began in the third quarter Furman moved the the South Carolina 33 before turning the ball over on downs to start the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks were unable to deal a knockout blow and had to punt. Furman picked the right time for a trick play and scored on a 72 yard pass. The ensuing two point conversion failed. South Carolina was again unable to sustain a drive and had to punt the ball back to a momentum-backed Paladin offense. Furman flipped the field on a 43 yard pass, but Stephon Gilmore dashed their hopes of a comeback by returning an interception 80 yards for the sealing score. The touchdown put the game out of reach and ended the scoring from both teams for the night.
Stars of the Game…Marcus Lattimore…19 rushes for 97 yards, TD…Alshon Jeffrey…5 receptions for 97 yards…Tori Gurley…3 receptions for 52 yards, TD…Travarian Robertson…3 tackles for loss…Stephon Gilmore…1 INT, returned for TD, 1 pass broken up…
What to Take Away From This Game…There’s not a lot that can be said about beating Furman. It was expected and would have been disastrous if South Carolina had lost. It’s difficult to say just how good Furman is, and without knowing that it’s almost impossible to say what kind of win this was. We can say that beating Furman comfortably is what we needed from this game, and it’s what we go, so we take the win and move on…
This and That…South Carolina moved to 3-0 (1-0) on the season… The Gamecocks are now ranked #12 in the AP and #15 in the Coaches Poll…Alshon Jeffrey went over 1,000 career receiving yards…Spencer Lanning’s 51 yard field goal was a career long…USC converted 9 of 15 third downs…
Up next…South Carolina goes on the road for the first time this season to play Auburn at 7:45 Saturday night