We don’t know how freshman running back Rico Dowdle feels about one of the greatest rushing performances in USC history because freshmen aren’t allowed to talk with the media, but I imagine the resident of western North Carolina feels pretty good about running around and thru the Western Carolina defense for 226 yards, the sixth highest rushing total in USC history.
Dowdle’s showing will help the Gamecock fans who showed up for Senior Day at Williams-Brice Stadium forget how the defense and the kickoff coverage team had some very bad moments against a bad team from the Southern Conference.
USC won 44-31 in a game that featured an offensive explosion by the Gamecocks and kickoff returns for touchdowns by both sides.
USC finished with a season’s high 588 yards, their most since rolling up 625 yards against Tennessee in 2014, including 422 rushing yards. And Deebo Samuel had a 100 yard kickoff return. But the Gamecocks allowed a 93 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the third kickoff return for a touchdown they’ve given up this season, and their defense yielded 236 yards on the ground and a season’s high in points.
But the bottom line for a team that was 2-4 at mid-season is they have won four of their last five games to reach the magical six win mark of bowl eligibility. It might be Shreveport for the Gamecocks next month, but for a team that was home for the holidays last season, it will feel like Pasadena.
Will Muschamp press conference opening comments
Muschamp on gaining bowl eligibility
Muschamp discusses play of defense and performance of Rico Dowdle
Muschamp on Clemson’s Deshaun Watson & getting Jake Bentley ready for Death Valley
Hayden Hurst & Jonathan Walton on bowl eligibility and the win
Mason Zandi & TJ Holloman on earning a bowl trip and looking ahead to Clemson