OLUMBIA, S.C. No. 8/9 South Carolina amassed 501 yards of total offense en route to a 49-6 victory over UAB on Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium, giving head coach Steve Spurrier his 200th career victory as a collegiate head coach.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 3-0 and extend their winning streak to seven games dating back to last season, which ties for the second longest streak in school history. Along with winning his 200th career collegiate game, Spurrier also improved to 46-0 all-time in games against schools outside of BCS automatic qualifier conferences.
For the second straight week, South Carolina gained more than 500 yards of offense, passing for 322 and rushing for 179. The Gamecocks had to mix up quarterbacks after junior Connor Shaw left the game late in the second quarter with an injury. Shaw completed 8-of-14 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. Sophomore Dylan Thompson came in after Shaw's injury and had plenty of success directing the offense, throwing for 177 yards and two scores.
Junior running back Marcus Lattimore rushed for 85 yards on just 12 carries and had one score as he became South Carolina's career leader in touchdowns with 34. He also moved into a tie with George Rogers (1977-80) and Harold Green (1986-89) for first in school history in rushing touchdowns with 31. Freshman Mike Davis contributed 84 yards and a touchdown on just four carries.
Sophomore receiver Bruce Ellington led the receiving corps with five catches for 98 yards, and sophomore Damiere Byrd had a 94-yard touchdown reception. Junior Ace Sanders hauled in four passes for 55 yards and a score, and freshman Shaq Roland added a 30-yard touchdown reception.
Defensively, the Gamecocks were just as impressive as they allowed 267 yards of offense, including just 89 in the second half. Senior linebacker Shaq Wilson tallied a game-high eight tackles. Sophomore Jadeveon Clowney was in the UAB backfield disrupting plays for most of the night, recording seven tackles (3.5 for a loss) and two sacks. Senior D.J. Swearinger added three stops and a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
UAB quarterback Jonathan Perry accounted for most of the Blazers' offense, completing 17-of-34 passes for 219 yards.
The Blazers (0-2) came out strong as Jackie Williams returned the opening kickoff 53 yards to the South Carolina 35. UAB settled for a 33-yard field goal by Ty Long to take a 3-0 lead at the 12:41 mark of the first quarter.
After the Gamecock offense stalled on its first two drives of the game, the Carolina defense provided a spark. On a third and 12 for UAB at the Gamecock 35, Swearinger recovered a Perry fumble in mid-air and raced 65 yards for a touchdown, giving South Carolina a 7-3 lead with 2:17 left in the quarter.
The Gamecock defense came up big again on the ensuing possession, stopping UAB on fourth and 12 from the South Carolina 36. The Gamecocks then went on a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Shaw to Sanders. Adam Yates' extra point gave Carolina a 14-3 lead with 11:15 remaining in the half.
UAB pulled to within 14-6 with a 46-yard field goal by Long with 4:34 on the clock, but South Carolina pushed its lead to 21-6 heading into the locker room, as Lattimore ended a five-play, 37-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:37 left.
South Carolina put the game out of reach early in the third quarter, as Thompson guided the offense down the field on the opening possession of the half. He connected on passes of 11 and 43 yards to Ellington to set the Gamecocks up at the UAB 6 before finishing off the drive himself with a 6-yard touchdown run to push Carolina's lead to 28-6.
After the defense shut down the Blazers on the next two possessions, Thompson completed a 94-yard touchdown pass to Byrd - the fourth longest pass play in school history - at the 7:03 mark of the third quarter to give South Carolina a 35-6 cushion.
The Gamecocks added two more scores in the fourth quarter - a 30-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Roland and a 3-yard touchdown run by Davis - to build the final margin.
South Carolina returns to action next Saturday at home against Missouri. Kickoff has been set for 3:30 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. The contest will be televised nationally on CBS.