SEC Digital Network
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 6 South Carolina opened up the 2013 season against North Carolina on Thursday night in front of a raucous crowd at Williams-Bryce Stadium, and it didn’t take long for the Gamecocks to assert their superiority in a 27-10 win that included a length weather delay.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Gamecocks (1-0) struck quickly and with force when quarterback Connor Shaw connected with Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown pass to open up the scoring. After Elliott Fry punched in a field goal on South Carolina’s following possession to extend the lead to 10-0, backup signal-caller Dylan Thompson made the most of his lone passing attempt on the night by finding Kane Whitehurst for a 29-yard score.
In their first three possessions of the season, the Gamecocks amassed 203 yards on 22 plays (9.2 yards per snap) and hung 17 points on the scoreboard. Before the Tar Heels (0-1) had a chance to catch their collective breath, South Carolina had sprinted to 17-0 lead.
UNC quarterback Bryn Renner answered in the form of a 4-yard touchdown pass to Quinshad Davis early in the second quarter, but another Fry field goal made it 20-7 in favor of the Gamecocks at the half.
Gamecocks running back Mike Davis flashed explosive potential in the third quarter with a blazing 75-yard touchdown run, and USC once again owned a 17-point lead when lightning in the Columbia area forced a stoppage in play.
Following a lightning delay that lasted nearly an hour and a half, the two teams finished the last eight minutes and change with no score, and the Gamecocks claimed their first win of the 2013 campaign.
Shaw finished the evening with 149 yards passing to go along with a touchdown pass, while Davis led all ball-calliers with 115 yards on just 12 carries. Roland led the way on the outside with 75 receiving yards and a score on just two receptions, and USC outgained UNC by 199 total yards in the victory.
The Gamecock defense limited Renner to just 194 yards through the air on 43 attempts (3.2 yards per attempt), and the Heels were limited to 105 yards on the ground compared to 222 by South Carolina.
Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks will now turn their focus to next week’s conference showdown with Georgia in Athens.
Passing – Connor Shaw, 11-for-19, 194 yards, TD
Rushing – Mike Davis, 12 car, 115 yards, TD
Receiving – Shaq Roland, 2 rec, 75 yards, TD
Passing – Bryn Renner, 26-for-43, 149 yards, TD
Rushing – Romar Morris, 15 car, 69 yards, TD
Receiving – Quinshad Davis, 4 rec, 39 yards, TD
- South Carolina is now 80-36-4 all-time in 120 season-opening games.
- The Gamecocks have won 14 consecutive season-openers dating back to 2000. The school record is 19 straight, which was set from 1920-1938.
- South Carolina now has a 17-game winning streak against non-conference opponents in the regular season.
- Steve Spurrier is 23-1 in his career in opening games, and he is now 9-0 as head coach in Columbia.