The “get right” games are now over for USC with their win over South Carolina State Thursday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. Five days after a 56-20 victory over Charlotte in which they rolled up over 500 yards, the Gamecocks overcame a stumble here and sputter there to put away their FCS opponents from Orangeburg 50-10. This is the first time since 1995 the Gamecocks have scored at least 50 points in consecutive games.
The Gamecocks went into this two-game stretch to close out a three-game homestand looking to build confidence on offense against inferior opponents. Mission accomplished. Spencer Rattler found his passing touch, and the Gamecocks found their running game in Marshawn Lloyd. The challenge for them now is to create some of that same offensive success against SEC opponents.
Thursday night against the Bulldogs, Rattler stood calmly in the pocket and completed 21-27 for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was picked off twice, but neither was his fault. Twice Xavier Legette had the ball bound off his hands and to a Bulldog defender. In the last two games, Rattler has completed 38 of 50 passes for 399 yards. Rattler also rushed for 31 yards and a score.
Lloyd, who rushed for a career high 169 yards against Charlotte, ran for 80 yards against State with a touchdown run and a touchdown reception. Juice Wells led the receivers with seven catches for 38 yards with a long of 23.
The USC special teams also had moments. USC a form of the swinging gate formation on the extra point after their first touchdown, defensive tackle Tonka Hemingway lined up in the Wildcat and bulled his way into the end zone. The Gamecocks also blocked a punt, though Josh Vann muffed the attempted scoop of the ball and State recovered.
What offense State could generate came on the ground. Quarterback Tyrece Nix, who led the Bulldogs only touchdown drive, rushed for 95 yards and a score. Nix and Corey Fields managed to complete just 7 of 18 passes for 75 yards. Shaq Davis caught three of the completions for 62 yards.
The Gamecocks are 3-2 and play at Kentucky October 8th. The Bulldogs are 1-3 and will host FAMU a week from Saturday.