East Carolina completed its long drive that started near the end of the 1st quarter with a beautfiul 19 yard pass from Davis to Lance Lewis on a fade pattern just across the goalline. Lewis beat Stephon Gilmore on the play. The Pirates lead 14-0 one play into the second quarter.
ECU got another huge break on the ensuing kickoff. Kenny Miles took the pooch kick and fumbled during the return. The Pirates recovered at the Gamecock 24. But the Gamecock defense, with Jadeveon Clowney making several plays, limits ECU to a field goal of 24 yards by Michael Barbour. With 9:45 left in the half, ECU leads 17-0.
Stephen Garcia enters the game at quarterback for the Gamecocks on their next possession and quickly engineers a scoring drive. He capped it with a 32 yard run, the longest of his career. ECU leads 17-7 with 7:42 left in the half.
On the kickoff, the Gamecocks force a fumble and recovered at the ECU 40. They moved quickly to their second touchdown. Part of the drive, a 14 yard run by Bruce Ellington in the Wildcat formation. That set up Marcus Lattimore’s 4 yard scoring run up the middle. With 5:44 left in the half, ECU leads 17-14.
Late in the half the Gamecocks committed their fourth turnover. Stephon Gilmore muffed a punt and ECU recovered at the USC 29. The Pirates made the Gamecocks pay. Davis hit Joe Womack with an eight yard TD pass with :03 left in the half. Womack caught the ball around the two and spun off two Gamecock tacklers to reach the end zone. At the half, ECU leads 24-14.
USC had 175 total yards in the first half. Garcia passed for 47 yards and rushed for 37. Lattimore rushed for 40 yards. Davis was 19-26 for 127 yards and 3 touchdowns for ECU.