Gamecocks turn turnovers into TDs to beat Bulldogs

The Gamecock defense posted five turnovers to help South Carolina (7-2, 5-2 SEC) claim a 34-16 victory over Mississippi State (4-4, 1-3 SEC) in front of 82,111 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

With three interceptions and two fumble recoveries, South Carolina’s defense topped its four turnovers from the UCF game earlier this year. It helped the Gamecock offense to score 18 of its points on the day. The group also tallied six pass breakups and four quarterback hurries while making seven tackles for loss.

Sophomore tailback Mike Davis posted another 154 all-purpose yards, including 128 rushing yards, in the win. It’s his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the year, the third most by a Gamecock in history. He also has over 1,000 rushing yards this season, compiling the 10th season at South Carolina with that total.

Senior quarterback Connor Shaw tied a career high with four touchdowns, throwing for 147 yards in a 10-for-20 outing. He’s now second in passing touchdowns and in wins for a starting quarterback at South Carolina. He also ties the South Carolina career record for touchdowns responsible, evening Steve Taneyhill’s 64. Sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland hauled in two of those TD passes and led the Gamecocks with 57 receiving yards.

The Gamecocks took advantage of two interceptions in the first half en route to a 17-7 lead. After Mississippi State scored on its first drive, with sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott capping the drive with a 1-yard run, the Gamecocks answered. A surgical five-play, 71-yard drive ended when Shaw found Roland for a 14-yard score, tying the game at 7-7.

After freshman linebacker Skai Moore made a diving interception of a tipped MSU pass, the Gamecocks used just three plays to take the lead. Sophomore tailback Shon Carson set up the score with his 24-yard scamper on a screen pass, while Shaw hit Roland again for the 43-yard scoring strike. The Gamecocks made another interception on a tipped ball in the second quarter when redshirt freshman linebacker T.J. Holloman corralled the ball that hit the Bulldog offensive tackle and returned it 12 yards to the MSU 25. The Gamecocks settled for a 44-yard field goal from freshman Elliott Fry, the longest of his career.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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