USC’s chance to move ahead in the SEC race and set up a showdown for the lead next week at Missouri flew thru the uprights at Neyland Stadium with Michael Palardy’s 19 yard field goal on the final play of the game. That lifted the Vols to a 23-21 victory and dropped the Gamecocks back in the pack at 3-2 in the league with Georgia and Florida.
Phil Kornblut was in Knoxville for the game and has this video report on what transpired Saturday afternoon:
USC post game notes:
Captains for South Carolina were senior quarterback No. 14 Connor Shaw, senior cornerback No. 15 Jimmy Legree, senior offensive guard No. 67 Ronald Patrick and senior defensive end No. 90 Chaz Sutton.
Attendance at Neyland Stadium was 95,736.
Tennessee defeated South Carolina 23-21 snapping the Gamecocks’ four-game winning streak. South Carolina is 5-2 with a 3-2 record in league play.
The loss snaps Carolina’s three-game winning streak against the Volunteers. Head Coach Steve Spurrier is now 14-9 in 23 all-time meetings versus the Volunteers.
Nine players have started all seven games this year: Junior offensive guard A.J. Cann, junior spur Sharrod Golightly, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree, sophomore linebacker Marcquis Roberts, junior offensive tackle Corey Robinson, senior quarterback Connor Shaw, sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Shell, junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt and senior defensive end Chaz Sutton.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw was 7-for-21 in the air for 161 passing yards. Shaw has totaled 4,934 career passing yards and surpassed both Bobby Fuller (1990-91) and Tommy Suggs (1968-70) for seventh on the all-time list for the Gamecocks.
Shaw’s 76-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd in the second quarter was his longest past of the season. His previous long pass was 65 yards to Shaq Roland vs. North Carolina on August 29, 2013, also a touchdown pass. Byrd has now caught a touchdown pass in three straight games.
Shaw’s interception in the third quarter was his first interception of the season and his first in the last 177 attempts.
Junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game. His previous career high for receiving yards was 98 vs. Kentucky on October 5, 2013. It was also the most receiving yards by a Gamecock player this season. The previous high was 111 receiving yards by Bruce Ellington vs. Vanderbilt on September 14, 2013. It was also the most receiving yards by a Gamecock since Alshon Jeffery’s 148 yards vs. Nebraska at the January 2, 2012 at the Capital One Bowl.
Sophomore tailback Mike Davis recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season carrying 21 times for 137 yards. He tallied his 10th rushing touchdown of the season and moved into a tie for eighth in a single-season. Marcus Lattimore also had 10 rushing touchdowns in 2011. He has at least one rushing touchdown in each game this year. The school record is 17 set in 2010 by Marcus Lattimore. Davis now has 132 carries for 879 yards on the year.
The 100-yard rushing game by Mike Davis and 100-yard receiving game by Damiere Byrd is the first time this season the Gamecocks have had both a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver.
South Carolina sophomore offensive guard Will Sport and freshman wide receiver Pharoh Cooper each made their first career starts.
South Carolina has managed at least one drive of 80 or more yards for a score in each game. South Carolina’s 95-yard scoring drive for the first touchdown of the game was the 17th scoring drive of 75 or more yards and the fourth scoring drive of 90 or more yards.