The Gamecocks finally showed some offensive cohesion after looking disjointed in the first quarter. On the first play of the quarter, facing a second and one from his own 29, Shaw dropped back and hit a streaking Damiere Byrd in stride for a 76 yard touchdown pass and a 7-3 lead. That was Shaw’s 11th touchdown pass of the season and the longest pass play of the season for the Gamecocks.
Tennessee’s offense did some work on the next possession driving 75 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown on a 6 yard pass from Northwestern product Justin Worley to Pig Howard. A third and two face mask call on Jadeveon Clowney kept the drive going with a first and goal at the six. Pass interference on Ahmad Christian also aided the Vols on the drive. Tennessee leads 10-7.
The Vols forced another USC punt and put together another impressive drive hitting the Gamecocks up the middle with strong runs from Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal. Neal capped the drive with a 5 yard run to put the Vols up 17-7 with 6:11 left in the half.
The half ended on a pair of sour notes for the Gamecocks. They put together a late drive that reached the Tennessee 27 but that stalled and Elliott Fry came on to attempt a 45 yard field goal. He was short for his first missed field goal of the season.
On the next play, Jadeveon Clowney hit Neal and appeared to force a fumble which the Gamecocks claimed to recover. But after a conference, the officials ruled Neal was attempting a pass and ruled the play as an incomplete pass.
That’s how the half ended with Tennessee leading 17-7.