Second ranked Alabama proved to be too big, too fast, too strong and with too much Tua Tagovailoa for USC Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium in defeating the Gamecocks 47-23 in the SEC opener for both teams. There will be talk of some calls, or non-calls, by the SEC officiating crew, but even if all had gone USC’s way, the Gamecocks probably would not have had enough to stick with the ultra-talented Crimson Tide. Tagovailoa and his array of receivers were more than the Gamecocks could handle as he threw for a career tying 5 touchdown passes and a career high 444 yards. His QB rating for the game was 227.2.
Click HERE for my postgame recap from Williams-Brice Stadium.
Key takeaways from the Alabama win:
- Alabama averaged 8.9 yards per play, USC 5.3.
- The Crimson Tide had scoring drives of 65, 96, 70, 65, 75 and 80 yards. In three games the season the Gamecock defense has allowed 12 scoring drives of 60 yards or more.
- The Gamecocks had 31 first downs and ran 86 plays, 22 more than the Crimson Tide. They were 10-22 on conversions t0 8-14 for Alabama.
- Alabama finished with 571 total yards to 459 for USC. 495 of Alabama’s yards were thru the air. The 76 yards rushing, the first time under 100 yards rushing for Alabama since the Arkansas game of 2014.
- Gamecock freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski was 36-57 for 324 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The attempts are the second most in school history and the completions are the third most.
- Bryan Edwards had a career high 9 catches for 79 yards and moved ahead of Sterling Sharpe into third place on the all-time receiving list with 177, 6 back of Alshon Jeffery.
- DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III were practically unstoppable. They combined for 14 catches for 258 yards and 3 scores. Smith had a touchdown catch and run of 42 yards and Ruggs took a pass 81 yards to the end zone.
- Rico Dowdle led the Gamecock ground game with 102 yards on 12 carries.
- Parker White hit on field goals of 44, 28, and a career high 48 yards. He’s 6-7 on the season.
- The USC defense finished with 2 sacks and 6 tackles for loss, Ernest Jones was the top tackler with 9 stops.
- FINAL STATS
Donell Stanley and Bryan Edwards
Ernest Jones and Rico Dowdle