No. 9 Gamecocks Roll Past East Carolina , 48-10
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In his
first career start, sophomore quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for 330
yards and three touchdowns to lead ninth-ranked South Carolina to a
48-10 victory over East Carolina in its home opener on Saturday
afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Thompson, who completed 21-of-37 pass attempts, helped South Carolina
amass 528 yards of total offense, including 397 through the air.
The Gamecocks improve to 2-0 on the year and have won six consecutive
contests dating back to last season. The win also gives head coach
Steve Spurrier the 199th of his collegiate career. The Pirates fall to
1-1 with its second straight loss to South Carolina.
Junior running back Marcus Lattimore led the Gamecock rushing attack
with 40 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He is now tied for the
school record for career touchdowns with 33, matching former Gamecock
greats George Rogers (1977-80) and Harold Green (1986-89). Senior Kenny
Miles added 30 yards on five carries.
South Carolina had 11 different players with at least one or more
receptions. Sophomore Rory Anderson led the way with career highs in
receptions (four), receiving yards (90) and touchdowns (two).
Sophomores Damiere Byrd and Bruce Ellington added 81 and 63 yards,
respectively, while senior D.L. Moore had two receptions for 45 yards
and two touchdowns. Junior DeAngelo Smith also had a 30-yard touchdown
reception, the first of his career.
Defensively, the Gamecocks surrendered 403 yards but they made big
plays for the second consecutive week, forcing five turnovers (four
interceptions, one fumble). South Carolina has now forced 10 turnovers
in its last two meetings with the Pirates.
Quin Smith, T.J. Gurley and Jimmy Legree led the defensive effort with
five tackles apiece. Legree also recorded his first career interception
and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. Seniors D.J. Swearinger and
Shaq Wilson and sophomore Brison Williams also came up with one
ECU starting quarterback Rio Johnson threw for 193 yards but had three
interceptions. Backup Shane Carden completed 12-of-18 passes for 140
yards with one touchdown and one interception, while sophomore receiver
Justin Hardy hauled in eight passes for 111 yards and a touchdown to
lead the Pirates.
The Gamecocks wasted little time putting points on the scoreboard as
they found the end zone less than two minutes into the game. On the
fourth play of the contest, Thompson connected with Byrd for a 53-yard
pass play to the ECU 6. Lattimore took the handoff on the ensuing play
and plowed his way up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown run to give
Carolina the early 7-0 lead.
South Carolina pushed its lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter with a
five-play, 71-yard scoring drive capped off by a 7-yard touchdown pass
from Thompson to Anderson. Ellington and Anderson did a majority of
damage on the drive, tallying 40 and 24 receiving yards, respectively.
Thompson delivered his second touchdown strike of the contest early in
the second quarter, connecting with Smith in the corner of the end zone
from 30 yards out to give the Gamecocks a 21-0 cushion heading into the
The Carolina defense came up big at the end of the half, forcing
turnovers on three of ECU’s final four possessions of the second
The defense kept its momentum going to start the second half, as Wilson
stepped in front of a Carden pass at the ECU 29 for his second
interception of the season. Three plays later Thompson completed a pass
to Moore, who dodged defenders on his way into the end zone for a
29-yard touchdown to give the Gamecocks a 28-0 lead after the extra
point by Adam Yates.
On the ensuing possession, South Carolina took complete control of the
contest when Legree intercepted a Johnson pass at the ECU 34 and raced
into the end zone untouched to push the Gamecocks’ lead to 35-0 with
12:28 left in the third quarter.
A 23-yard field goal by ECU’s Warren Harvey at the 1:44 mark of the third made it a 35-3 ballgame.
The Gamecocks added another touchdown with the help of some trickery,
as receiver Ace Sanders caught a lateral and found Moore wide open for
a 16-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, giving South
Carolina a 41-3 lead.
After ECU scored its first touchdown on a 34-yard pass from Carden to
Hardy, South Carolina capped the scoring with a 51-yard scoring strike
from Seth Strickland to Anderson with less than a minute left in the
The Gamecocks return to action next Saturday as they host UAB at
Williams-Brice Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be
televised on FSN.