COLUMBIA, S.C. (University of South Carolina) - Scoring 10 touchdowns and posting 639 yards on offense, No. 12/11 South Carolina (9-2) cruised to a 70-10 victory over Coastal Carolina (10-2) in front of 81,411 fans on Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
For only the fifth time in program history, South Carolina compiled 70 or more points. The last time the Gamecocks did that was 1995 against Kent State, a 77-14 win on Oct. 7. The 60-point margin of victory tied for ninth in the annals with a 1902 contest against N.C.M.A. South Carolina fell 27 yards shy of matching the program record for total offense and two first downs from matching a mark set twice. Both the 639 yards of total offense and 32 first downs tied the most for the Gamecocks under head coach Steve Spurrier as well as the 70 yards and 352 rushing yards.
The Gamecocks posted 28 points in the first quarter for the first time since 2010 and held a 42-7 lead at the half. Jamari Smith, Connor Shaw and Brandon Wilds all scored rushing touchdowns, while Shaq Roland, Nick Jones and Pharoh Cooper all caught TD passes, the last two from Dylan Thompson. For Cooper and Smith, it ranks as their first career touchdowns. South Carolina compiled 348 yards and 19 first downs in the first half, compared to 202 and nine for the Chanticleers.
Coastal scored its only touchdown in the first half when Alex Ross scrambled and found Lorenzo Taliaferro for a one-yard touchdown pass. The Chanticleers fumbled in the first quarter to set up Shaw's score and threw an interception that Gamecock junior cornerback Victor Hampton grabbed in the end zone on the penultimate play of the first half. A failed fourth-down try by Coastal in the first quarter led to the first of Thompson's two TD passes, as he hit Jones for the 34-yard score.
South Carolina did more of the same in the second half, getting touchdown runs from Thompson, Cooper, Shon Carson and Wilds. Cooper's was a 71-yard dash from the Wildcat, while Carson's ranked as his first collegiate touchdown.
Smith, a freshman who rejoined the offense during the season after a shift to defense in the first week of fall practice, posted 103 yards on 10 carries to lead the Gamecocks' 335 rushing-yard attack. Wilds scored twice for the second time in his career. Both Shaw and Thompson went 8-for-11 on the day, with Thompson holding advantages in both yards (140-115) and scores (2-1). Shaw broke the school record for wins by a starting quarterback with 25, surpassing Todd Ellis's record.
Cooper had 168 all-purpose yards, rushing for 81, returning kicks for 47 and receiving for 42. He scored one touchdown rushing and one receiving. Roland's four catches set a new career high, while his 72 yards came three yards shy of his best.
Defensively, freshman T.J. Holloman tied his career high with seven tackles and added his first career sack. In addition to his interception, Hampton broke up three passes, tying his career best. Freshman Darius English had a personal-best six tackles, tied with Hampton for second on the team. Freshman Kelsey Griffin also set a career high with five tackles. Sophomore T.J. Gurley had an interception, his first at South Carolina.
Ross went 15-for-25 with a touchdown pass and one interception for Coastal, while Matt Hazel caught six passes for 83 yards.
South Carolina closes the regular season on Sat., Nov. 30 against archrival Clemson, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
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