Shaw Leads Gamecocks to 54-3 Victory Over Kentucky
COLUMBIA, S.C. —
Sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw threw for a career-high 311 yards and
four touchdowns to lead No. 18/14 South Carolina to a convincing 54-3
victory over Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
completed 26-of-39 passes and added 42 yards rushing to help the
Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1 SEC) amass 639 yards of total offense, their most
since Oct. 20, 2001 against Vanderbilt (656).
“He was ready to
play,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said of Shaw, who
became the first South Carolina quarterback to throw for four
touchdowns in a game since Blake Mitchell had four against Middle
Tennessee State on Nov. 18, 2006. “Connor has been here for two years.
He practiced well this week. He was sharper in practice than he was
today. We had a lot of good plays called, and he threw them perfectly.”
Carolina racked up 288 yards on the ground led by sophomore running
back Marcus Lattimore, who rushed for 102 yards on 22 carries.
Lattimore has now rushed for 100 yards eight times in his career. Bruce
Ellington added a 61-yard touchdown run. Junior Alshon Jeffery hauled
in six passes for 95 yards and two scores, while sophomore Ace Sanders
added 53 yards receiving and junior Justice Cunningham had 46 yards and
South Carolina’s defense was also dominant on
Saturday, holding the Wildcats (2-4, 0-3) to just 96 yards of offense
(17 passing, 79 rushing) and forcing six turnovers. It marked the
second time this season the Gamecocks have held a SEC opponent below
100 yards, as they accomplished the feat against Vanderbilt (77 yards)
on Sept. 24. The Gamecocks have forced 10 turnovers in their last two
“Today and Vandy were two dominant (games),” Spurrier
said. “We have to carry this on. The defense is playing well after a
rough start. I think we’re hitting our stride now hopefully for the
stretch run as we go.”
Junior D.J. Swearinger, freshman Victor
Hampton, junior Stephon Gilmore and senior C.C. Whitlock each had an
interception to lead the Gamecocks, who have 12 interceptions on the
The defense set the tone early after Kentucky recovered
a South Carolina fumble on the opening kickoff at the Gamecock 26-yard
line, holding the Wildcats to a 28-yard field goal by Craig McIntosh.
then guided the offense down the field to give the Gamecocks a lead
they did not relinquish. Shaw completed a 46-yard pass to Rory Anderson
to set South Carolina up at the Kentucky 20. On the next play, he found
Jeffery for a 20-yard touchdown strike to give the Gamecocks a 7-3
advantage with 9:16 left in the first quarter.
pushed its lead to 13-3 early in the second quarter, as Shaw found
Cunningham for an 11-yard touchdown pass, capping a seven-play, 55-yard
Shaw and Jeffery connected once again for a 24-yard
touchdown pass midway through the second quarter to give the Gamecocks
a 20-3 lead heading into the locker room. The touchdown reception moved
Jeffery into a tie for second place on the Gamecocks’ career receiving
touchdowns list with 19, tying Robert Brooks (1988-91), Jermale Kelly
(1997-2000) and Kenny McKinely (2005-08).
“We wanted to throw it at him,” Spurrier said. “He ran some good routes. He was open a bunch.”
threw for his fourth touchdowns on the afternoon on South Carolina’s
first drive of the third quarter, finding Nick Jones wide-open for a
25-yard scoring strike to give the Gamecocks a 27-3 lead at the 8:46
After Jay Wooten made field goal attempts of 48 and 42
yards to push the Gamecocks’ lead to 33-3, Ellington put an exclamation
point on the win with a 61-yard touchdown run with 10:34 left in the
The Gamecocks added two more scores late in the
contest, as junior D.L. Moore caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from
sophomore Andrew Clifford and freshman Dylan Thompson scored on an
Morgan Newton had 54 yards rushing on 14 carries to
lead the Wildcats but he completed just 4-of-21 passes for 17 yards.
Winston Guy tallied 14 tackles in a solid defensive effort, while Danny
Trevathan contributed 13 stops for Kentucky.