Originally posted on Leftover Hot Dog  |  Last updated 11/20/11

South Carolina beat The Citadel 41-20 at home.

Breaking it down…1st Quarter…The Gamecocks won the toss and elected to take the opening kick.  Connor Shaw came out passing, and Brandon Wilds came out running, and South Carolina ended their streak of not scoring first by punching it in from one yard out on the 10th play of the drive for a 7-0 lead.  The Citadel came out on their first possession and went backwards.  The Gamecocks got the ball back and started moving again before Shaw threw a puzzling interception.  The Citadel took over at the SC 35 yard line and ran their option game to perfection en route to a 5 play, 35 yard TD drive to tie the game at 7.

2nd Quarter…The Gamecocks took over at their own 28 and ground out a long drive.  With more passes mixed in than usual USC converted 2 third downs and 2 fourth downs on an 18 play, 72 yard touchdown drive.  Wilds ran it in from 3 yards out for his second touchdown of the game.  The Citadel would respond with their running game.  They moved the ball to the 14 yard line, but they had to settle for a field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.  South Carolina then scored very quickly.  After a holding penalty on the first play, Kenny Miles ran for 15 yards, and Shaw ran around the right side for 60 yards and a touchdown to extend the lead to 20-10.  The extra point was inexplicably missed.  The Citadel moved the ball surprisingly quickly given their ground attack and got in position for a 41 yard field goal.  They made it to make the score 20-13 going into the half.

3rd Quarter…The Citadel took the opening kickoff and drove the ball into South Carolina territory, but they couldn't get in field goal range and had to punt.  The Gamecocks continued their run-heavy attack, but completed the drive with a pass from Shaw to Ace Sanders for a 25 yard touchdown and a 27-13 lead.  The Citadel was stopped again on their next drive, giving the Gamecocks the opportunity to put the game away.

4th Quarter…The Gamecocks appeared to be stopped without gaining a first down, but Melvin Ingram took the snap from punt formation and ran for 19 yards ad a first down.  Three plays later Shaw found Alshon Jeffery in the endzone for a 32 yard touchdown pass.  Jeffery hauled the pass in with one hand to effectively put the game away 34-13.  The Citadel isn't for quitters, so their offense responded with a 12 play, 58 yard drive to answer and make the score 34-20.  The Citadel then tried an onside kick, but Devin Taylor recovered and returned it to the 38.  The offense continued to move and scored in 6 plays to make the final 41-20.  The Citadel would get the ball back with 0:45 on the clock, but couldn't score.

1 2 3 4 F The Citadel 7 6 0 7 20 South Carolina 7 13 7 14 41

 

Stars of the Game…Connor Shaw…16-18, 217 yd, 3 TD, INT, 11 rushes, 90 ids…Brandon Wilds…20 rushes, 109 yds, 2 TD…Rodney Paulk, 12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble...

What to Take Away from the Game…TCB, taking care of business.  A game against a I-AA team doesn't provide you with an opportunity to accomplish much.  In fact, it pretty much only gives you two options: win like you're supposed to or flush your season by losing.  The Gamecocks took the first option, and that's all you can ask of them.  It's not the kind of game you build your season or resume upon, but the team did what they needed to do and left with a comfortable victory.

This and That…South Carolina improved to 9-2 (6-2)…The Gamecocks converted 6 of 9 third downs.  The three times they didn't convert, they converted on fourth down…USC scored touchdowns on 6 of 7 possessions…Both teams were 3 of 3 in the redone; SC with 3 TD, El Cid with 2 TD and a FG…USC out gained the Citadel 473-249...

Up next…South Carolina plays host to Clemson at 7:45 on Saturday night.

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