Freshmen Bentley, Edwards help Gamecock shock Vols

uscfoot-bentleyTaking three turnovers from No. 18/18 Tennessee (5-3, 2-3 SEC), South Carolina (4-4, 2-4 SEC) picked up a 24-21 victory on Saturday evening at Williams-Brice Stadium.

South Carolina claimed an early 7-0 lead when freshman Rico Dowdle capped a 73-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley had a big 16-yard run on fourth down to keep the drive alive, and he followed that with a 21-yard pass to Deebo Samuel, giving the Gamecocks first-and-goal at the 2.

The Volunteers responded with a one-yard run of their own by Jalen Hurd to tie the game. But the next Tennessee drive ended when Gamecock junior Jamarcus King intercepted a pass. Three plays later, South Carolina scored when Bentley hit fellow freshman and Conway product Bryan Edwards with a 17-yard scoring toss to put the Gamecocks up 14-7.

Senior Elliott Fry hit his first field goal try since Oct. 1 with a 28-yarder late in the third quarter. Tennessee’s Evan Berry, however, returned the ensuing kick 100 yards to make it a three-point game.

The Gamecocks took advantage of the second Tennessee turnover of the night, as a Volunteer fumble gave South Carolina the ball at the 50. Four plays later, Bentley hit K.C. Crosby for a 35-yard strike, making it 24-14 for the Gamecocks.

Tennessee made it 24-21 when Joshua Dobbs connected with Juaun Jennings for a six-yard TD pass with 7:03 to play. After forcing a Gamecock punt, the Garnet and Black defense and King picked off its second pass of the night. The Gamecocks got one first down and gave Tennessee back the ball with 35 seconds to play. The Vols advanced into Gamecock territory with two big passes and got to the 40-yard line on Dobbs’ scramble out of bounds, but the game-tying kick fell short, giving South Carolina the win.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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