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South Carolina 34, Mississippi State 16

The SportsXchange

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Connor Shaw tied a career-high with four touchdown passes to lead No. 14 South Carolina to a 34-16 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday in a Southeastern Conference game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Shaw threw touchdown passes of 14, 43, six and four yards. It was the second time in Shaw's career that he threw for four touchdowns, the other coming when against Kentucky on Oct. 8, 2011.

The Gamecocks extended their home winning streak to 15 games, which tied a school record and is second-best active streak in the nation behind Michigan's 19-game home streak. It was the seventh straight victory in the series with the Bulldogs.

The victory also kept the Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2) in the running for the SEC East title.

Mississippi State's four-game winning streak against SEC East opponents came to an end. Coach Dan Mullen had a 9-3 record against teams from the SEC East before the turnover bug cost the Bulldogs dearly against the Gamecocks.

South Carolina forced five turnovers, three interceptions by Dak Prescott and a fumble. The Gamecocks turned the miscues into 20 points and took control with a 17-point third quarter.

Leading by seven at the half, the Gamecocks scored on its first three second half possessions.

Sharrod Golightly returned Prescott's fumble 24 yards to give South Carolina possession at the Mississippi State 23-yard line. Four plays later, Shaw connected with Damiere Byrd for a touchdown on a six-yard slant route.

Mike Davis, who became the eight running back in school history to go over 1,000 yards in a season with his 121-yard performance, had a 43 yard-run and 30-ard reception to set up Shaw's final scoring pass of the day, a four-yarder to Jerell Adams.

Chaz Elder set up the final score with an interception, before Elliott Fry connected on a 37-yard field goal for the Gamecocks.

Mississippi State (4-4, 1-3) led briefly, 7-0, on a one-yard touchdown run by Prescott in the first quarter. The Bulldogs forced a three-and-out on South Carolina's first series and covered 60 yards in nine plays to take the early lead.

The Gamecocks roared back by scoring on three of four possessions. Davis ran for 32 yards on the first scoring drive before Shaw connected with Shaq Roland on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Skai Moore set up South Carolina's next score when he intercepted Prescott's pass at the Mississippi State 46-yard-line. Three plays later, Shaw found Roland again on a 43-yard scoring strike.

South Carolina forced its second turnover on the next Bulldogs possession when T.J. Holloman picked off Prescott's pass and returned it 12 yards to the Mississippi State 25-yard line.

The Gamecocks were unable to move the ball and settled for a career-long 44-yard field by Fry.

Evan Sobiesk finished off the first half scoring with a 38-yard field goal with 4:11 remaining in the half.

NOTES: Connor Shaw's performance comes a week after the senior came off the bench to lead the Gamecocks to a 27-24 double overtime victory over then-No. 5 Missouri. South Carolina trailed, 17-0, when Shaw entered the game in the second half and he led them to 17 fourth-quarter points to force overtime. He was not expected to play in that game after he sustained an injured left knee the week before in a loss at Tennessee. Shaw didn't practice until Wednesday this week, as he battled a virus that kept him away from the team facility for three days. He finished 10-of-20 for 147 yards. ... Shaq Roland recorded his first two touchdowns since the season-opener against North Carolina. A former Mr. Football in South Carolina, Roland had a three-game suspension earlier this season for a violation of team rules. He had only one catch since his return, and nine for the season, but was a targeted early by Shaw. ... Dak Prescott came in tied for third in the SEC with 10 touchdowns and he added two more on runs of one and 11 yards. The sophomore leads conference quarterbacks in touchdown runs.
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