Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Samuel's 3 TDs lift South Carolina to 44-31 win

Mercer can't overcome South Carolina's first-half goal Mercer sees season end with loss to South Carolina in NCAA Tournament
Cecilia Poole | 21 November, 2016, 02:00

SC should handle Western Carolina easily in this game.

SC hit a low point the last time the Gamecocks faced a Southern Conference team.

With much anticipation we now know what time the Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers will meet on the gridiron for the Annual Palmetto Bowl.

SC coach Will Muschamp began talking up a bowl bid several weeks ago as his team rallied from a 2-4 start to win three in a row before last week's 20-7 defeat at Florida.

"Their football team has struggled against the run so that has a little to do with it as well, but we did a nice job of getting a hat on a hat", Muschamp said. Nobody points fingers at each other. "I'm incredibly proud to play next to these people". He will go heavy about making a bowl and giving his seniors a strong send off in their last career game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Stat of the game: Western Carolina's Detrez Newsome and South Carolina's Deebo Samuel combined for 434 kickoff return yards, and both had a kickoff return for a touchdown.

"The thing that stands out the most was that they outrebounded us", said Garvin. "It's even bigger for the program moving forward".

The Catamounts pulled within 21-14 on a short drive that ended with Chris Young's 16-yard touchdown run.

SC linebacker Jonathan Walton has one goal on his mind - qualify for a bowl game. We left some opportunities out there... but we came here to win this ball game and our players came here to win. After missing the first four games recovering from hernia surgery, Dowdle has piled up 684 yards rushing and a team-best seven touchdowns in the last six games. The Bulldogs ran for 350 yards on 61 carries, only throwing three passes against the Gamecocks.

SC powered past the Southern Conference Catamounts (2-9) on the strength of a season-high 422 rushing yards. In 2018, it's the Tar Heels again before facing North Carolina State in 2019.

MUSCHAMP TIES: Western Carolina secondary coach Blake Gideon played for Texas when Will Muschamp was the Longhorns defensive coordinator. The Catamounts beat Gardner Webb and VMI in coach Mark Speir's fifth campaign. Sledding might be slightly more hard next Saturday, though, as the Gamecocks finish out the regular-season campaign against Clemson. "I think everybody was thinking about the week after (against rival Clemson) and overlooked the Citadel". "Thirty-three of our players got a scholarship to come to Western Carolina because SC gave us the opportunity to come down here and play". South Carolina, Dowdle 21-226, Turner 17-97, Bentley 5-34, Samuel 5-27, Paulk 3-24, Da.Williams 4-9, Talley 1-5. He had two touchdowns near the goal line, running a patented jet-sweep play.

"We've got to get our sixth win this week, we've got to get bowl eligible", Knott said. It was a certain rebuilding effort that Muschamp and his staff had to undertake. "After about the third day of spring practice", Muschamp said.

SC has won four of its last five behind its young offensive stars.

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