Gamecocks Pick Off 34-16 Win Over Mississippi State
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The
Gamecock defense posted five turnovers to help South Carolina (7-2, 5-2
SEC) claim a 34-16 victory over Mississippi State (4-4, 1-3 SEC) in
front of 82,111 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
three interceptions and two fumble recoveries, South Carolina's defense
topped its four turnovers from the UCF game earlier this year. It
helped the Gamecock offense to score 18 of its points on the day. The
group also tallied six pass breakups and four quarterback hurries while
making seven tackles for loss.
Sophomore tailback Mike Davis
posted another 154 all-purpose yards, including 128 rushing yards, in
the win. It's his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the year, the third
most by a Gamecock in history. He also has over 1,000 rushing yards
this season, compiling the 10th season at South Carolina with that
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw tied a career high with
four touchdowns, throwing for 147 yards in a 10-for-20 outing. He's now
second in passing touchdowns and in wins for a starting quarterback at
South Carolina. He also ties the South Carolina career record for
touchdowns responsible, evening Steve Taneyhill's 64. Sophomore wide
receiver Shaq Roland hauled in two of those TD passes and led the
Gamecocks with 57 receiving yards.
The Gamecocks took advantage
of two interceptions in the first half en route to a 17-7 lead. After
Mississippi State scored on its first drive, with sophomore quarterback
Dak Prescott capping the drive with a 1-yard run, the Gamecocks
answered. A surgical five-play, 71-yard drive ended when Shaw found
Roland for a 14-yard score, tying the game at 7-7.
freshman linebacker Skai Moore made a diving interception of a tipped
MSU pass, the Gamecocks used just three plays to take the lead.
Sophomore tailback Shon Carson set up the score with his 24-yard
scamper on a screen pass, while Shaw hit Roland again for the 43-yard
scoring strike. The Gamecocks made another interception on a tipped
ball in the second quarter when redshirt freshman linebacker T.J.
Holloman corralled the ball that hit the Bulldog offensive tackle and
returned it 12 yards to the MSU 25. The Gamecocks settled for a 44-yard
field goal from freshman Elliott Fry, the longest of his career.
State drew within a touchdown on Evan Sobiesk's first career field
goal, a 38-yarder, late in the second quarter. The Bulldogs held small
advantages in total offense during the first half.
defense started the second half by producing its third turnover of the
game. On the second play of the half, senior defensive end Chaz Sutton
forced the Bulldog quarterback to fumble, and junior spur Sharrod
Golightly returned it 24 yards to the Mississippi State 23. Four plays
later, Shaw hit junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd from six yards out
for the score. The Gamecocks made it 31-10 when Shaw hit sophomore
tight end Jerell Adams with the fade from the four. Davis had the big
play on the drive, breaking away for a 43-yard run before catching a
30-yard pass to set up Adams' score.
The Bulldogs tallied a
touchdown in the fourth when Prescott ran in his second score, this one
an 11-yard carry. The pass on the two-point try failed, keeping the
Gamecocks ahead 34-16. The next-to-last Mississippi State possession
ended when junior cornerback Victor Hampton stripped the ball from the
Bulldog receiver with 2:44 to go.
Mississippi State's Prescott
went 25-for-40 for 209 yards but tossed the three interceptions. He
also led the Bulldogs in rushing with 78 yards and two touchdowns.
had his first two-TD catch day at South Carolina, while Adams caught
his first score of the year. Hampton led the Gamecocks with eight
tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and set a new personal best with
three pass breakups. Moore and Elder both made their first
interceptions of their career.
The win, the 15th-consecutive
victory at home, tied the best streak in history, set from 1978-80.
It's the 38th win in a four-year period, matching the school record set
by last year's senior class.