By Rixon Lane:
Carolina opens the quarter in Vanderbilt territory, but Garcia is picked off for the third time and the Commodores take over at their own 36.
The Gamecock defense puts Carolina on the board as Jadeveon Clowney sacks quarterback Larry Smith. The ball pops loose and Antonio Allen scoops it up and returns to the Vandy 11, where he fumbles. Melvin Ingram dives on the loose ball in the end zone to give Carolina a 7-3 lead with 11:59 left in the half.
Vanderbilt’s offense gains its first offensive 1st down four minutes into the 2nd quarter. A 4th down conversion, along with a late hit penalty against the Gamecocks, pushes the ball inside the Carolina 30.
Melvin Ingram sacks Smith and makes a tackle in the backfield on consecutive plays to push Vandy out of field goal range, and the Commodores are forced to punt. The Gamecocks take over at their own 20 yard line.
Carolina’s offense continues to sputter, as a snap goes over Bruce Ellington’s head in the Wildcat formation. The quarterback-center exchange is muffed on the next play and Carolina is forced to punt from its own end zone.
Vanderbilt takes over at midfield, but a Larry Smith pass is intercepted by Stephon Gilmore at the Carolina 23. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin challenges the ruling, but the call stands and the Gamecocks retain possession.
Carolina offense is unable to move the ball and a Joey Scribner-Howard punt gives Vanderbilt the ball at their own 32.
The Gamecock defense refuses to yield and Vanderbilt is forced to punt again.
South Carolina’s offense finally shows signs of life, as Garcia finds Lattimore on a screen pass that goes 52 yards for a touchdown. Wooten adds the extra point and Carolina leads 14-3 with thirteen seconds left in the half.
Vanderbilt takes a knee to end the half.
Garcia is 8-17 for 112 yards, with one touchdown and three picks. Carolina’s defense has sacked Larry Smith five times in the first half.