South Carolina wins in route; Clemson next

Chris Dearing, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Eight players scored touchdowns as the No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks routed Football Championship Subdivision member Coastal Carolina 70-10 on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina (9-2) scored on its first six possessions in its first meeting with the smaller in-state foe.
The Gamecocks jumped to a 42-7 lead in the first half on touchdowns by sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland, freshman running back Jamari Smith, senior quarterback Connor Shaw, junior receiver Nick Jones, freshman receiver Pharoh Cooper and sophomore running back Brandon Wilds.
Junior quarterback Dylan Thompson, Cooper, sophomore running back Shon Carson and Wilds added second-half touchdowns for the Gamecocks.
In all, three South Carolina players recorded their first-career touchdowns today -- Smith, Cooper and Carson.
"You need a game like this," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "Usually they come early in the season -- big SEC schools have a game like this. This is where you run up the stats and we very seldom have a game like this."
The victory gives South Carolina a school record 40 wins over the past 10 seasons. The Gamecocks have four consecutive season with at least nine wins -- another school first.
"We've averaged 10 wins and hopefully we can add a few more as we go through the rest of this season," Spurrier said.
It was an opportunity for South Carolina to get everyone playing time a week before playing rival Clemson next Saturday.
Starting quarterback Shaw played less than a quarter, and starting running back Mike Davis, All-SEC defensive tackle candidate Kelcy Quarles and All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney never saw the field. Davis and Clowney are battling nagging injuries and should be available next week. Quarles sat out with concussion symptoms and his status for next week is still unclear.
Coastal Carolina (10-2) had scored in every quarter of the season coming into the contest, but the Chanticleers were shut out 28-0 in the first quarter.
Shaw connected with Roland on the first drive for a 35-yard scoring pass. Seldom-used Smith, who had four carries for five yards on the season, scored his first career touchdown on the next series on a 3-yard run.
Shaw scored on a quarterback sneak on the next series, and Thompson connected with Jones on a 34-yard scoring strike after the Gamecocks' defense stopped Coastal Carolina on a fourth-and-1.
Shaw played three series with all of them resulting in touchdowns.
With the victory, Shaw becomes the all-time winningest starting quarterback in school history with 25 wins.
"Obviously, it's pretty special to me," Shaw said of the honor. "Just the way we did it today too, our whole offense did great and it was really fun to watch. It was good nobody got hurt so it was an overall good day for us."
The Chanticleers finally got on the board with a 1-yard scoring pass from sophomore quarterback Alex Ross to senior running back Lorenzo Taliaferro.
The news wasn't all bad for Coastal Carolina. Earlier in the day, Liberty knocked off Charleston Southern 56-14 to give the Chanticleers the Big South's automatic berth into the NCAA FCS playoffs.
"What happened with Charleston Southern and Liberty was fortuitous for us because we get the automatic bid for the league but we were going to be going to the playoffs anyway," Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia said. "What happened over there has nothing to do with what happened over here. What happens today stings and that doesn't take it that away. What will take way some of the sting is if we're successful next week."
Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross said he found out about the Liberty win at halftime and he took away a bit of the sting of the 60-point blowout loss.
"I heard about it after halftime," Ross said. "It feels good knowing we're conference champions and will get an automatic bid to the playoffs. We will put this game behind us and focus on this week."
NOTES: South Carolina and No. 7 Clemson will meet next week with the highest combined ranking they have had in the series. ... The 70 points by South Carolina is the most they have scored under coach Steve Spurrier in his nine seasons. The previous high was 69 against Troy in 2010. ... South Carolina extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 17 games. The Gamecocks' last loss came to Auburn in 2011. They are 33-3 in their past 36 home games.

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