Gamecocks come back to beat Tennessee
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL
South Carolina needed something to go right as it fights for bowl eligibility during the last half of the season.
They got it Saturday night.
Coming off a bye week, the Gamecocks came back from 11 points down to beat Tennessee 27-24.
Like the majority of their games, the Gamecocks (4-3, 3-3 SEC) fell behind early but would come back in the second half to tie the game and ultimately go up and take the lead on a Parker White field goal with about six minutes to play.
Tennessee would stitch together a potentially game-tying drive but D.J. Wonnum ended all hopes of a Volunteer comeback, sacking Jarrett Guarantano on fourth down to seal the win.
Wonnum, who missed the last five games with an ankle injury, had two sacks Saturday.
South Carolina was able to effectively run the ball in the first half, rushing for 111 yards through the first two quarters and averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
They walked away with just nine points, though, after a costly interception in the first quarter that led to Tennessee's first touchdown of the night and stalling once in the red zone.
The Vols would use screens and outside runs to slash their way to 14 first-half points and came out doing the same thing in the second half, scoring on their first two drives of the half.
The Gamecocks would start their comeback then, using a 73-yard pass from Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards—the longest play of either's career—to set up the game tying score and two-point conversion, a one-yard run and a quarterback scramble.
After forcing a stop, Bentley would engineer a go-ahead drive that ended with a Parker White 25-yard field goal. It could have been more, though, but Shi Smith dropped a surefire touchdown in the end zone.
Bentley would finish going 11-for-16 with 152 yards and a touchdown, throwing one interception.
The Gamecocks strung together their best rushing performance in recent weeks, compiling 236 yards on the ground. Both Ty'Son Williams and Dowdle scored and Dowdle finished with 140 yards, his third 100-yard performance of the season.
Will Muschamp remains undefeated against Tennessee over his coaching career.
Statistical leaders: Passing: Bentley, 152 yards; Rushing: Dowdle, 140 yards; Receiving: Bryan Edwards, 96 yards; Tackles: TJ Brunson, 14
Up next: South Carolina hits the road for a matchup with Ole Miss, which will kick off at noon on the SEC Network.