The 14th ranked USC football team returned home from a three game road trip and added another win to the tally with a 34-16 takedown of Mississippi State. The victory extends the Gamecocks SEC leading home win streak to 15 games and keeps them in the mix for the SEC East title.
It wasn’t a particularly sharp day for the USC offense. The Gamecocks sputtered during chunks of the game, including an abysmal second quarter where they didn’t net a single first down and totaled only 13 yards. But the defense was more than ready to pick up the slack. The Gamecock defense forced 5 Mississippi State turnovers and the offense turned each one of those into points.
USC only had 12 first downs to Mississippi State’s 23, and the Bulldogs finished with more total offense as well (385 to 307), but the Gamecocks made the most of their opportunities. In addition to capitalizing on all five turnovers, they finished 4-4 in red zone opportunities and they didn’t commit any turnovers. Connor Shaw, who didn’t practice for half of the week because of a stomach virus, only completed 10 passes, but four of them were for touchdowns.
After the game Steve Spurrier praised the team for pulling what he called a good team win. “Mississippi State had a good plan and they got the best of our offense today but it is a team sport,” Spurrier said. “Our special teams played well and our defense played very well and got all of those turnovers that sort of set us up. …We’re a pretty good team and it was neat to see our defense rise up and do some very good playing here today.”
You can listen to more from Steve Spurrier below:
And here are the quarter by quarter recaps along with the final stats:
USC will take next week off and return to action a week from next Saturday at home against Florida. That will be the final SEC game of the season for the Gamecocks. Spurrier said it is “kind of neat” to still be in the hunt for the East title going into their final conference game.