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South Carolina builds big lead, holds on to beat Vandy

Connor Shaw passed for 284 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-29 efficiency, adding 84 yards and a score on the ground as No. 13 South Carolina held on late to down Vanderbilt, 35-25, at Williams- Brice Stadium.

Bruce Ellington posted 111 yards and a score on eight receptions for the Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC), while Brandon Wilds and Nick Jones also posted TD catches for the victorious hosts.

"He did well throwing and running the ball and as a defense you have to watch that," Ellington said of Shaw. "It is hard to play against a quarterback that can throw and run."

Austyn Carta-Samuels was 12-of-22 for 147 yards and an interception, throwing for one touchdown and rushing for another for the Commodores (1-2, 0-2).

Jordan Matthews racked up 106 yards on eight receptions for Vanderbilt, while Wesley Tate caught a 19-yard touchdown pass and gained 71 yards on 10 carries in the setback.

"I don't think we executed and played with passion like we have in the past in the first half," Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin said. "I think we got dominated on the offensive and defensive line in the first half."

Vanderbilt mounted a charge in the fourth quarter, shrinking a 25-point deficit down to 10 within the first minute. Carta-Samuels ran in from the one two plays into the period to make it 35-17,

Kellen Williams then forced the Gamecocks' Shon Carson to fumble during the ensuing kickoff return and the Commodores had the ball on the South Carolina 19. Carta-Samuels found Tate for a score on the next play, and his pass to Steven Scheu for the conversion brought the visitors within 35-25.

The Commodores were forced to punt on their next series, but Darrius Sims recovered a T.J. Gurley fumble at the Gamecocks' 37-yard line. But on 3rd-and- goal from the five, Jimmy Legree picked off Carta-Samuels.

Wilds was then stopped on a 4th-and-1 from the Vandy 34 in the last minute of play, but time ran out on the Commodores, as Matthews' 17-yard catch into South Carolina territory came on the final play of the contest.

South Carolina came out full throttle, taking a 21-0 lead after one quarter on a 12-yard connection from Shaw to Jones, a 4-yard TD run by Mike Davis and Dylan Thompson's 3-yard foray into the end zone.

Shaw found Ellington for a 26-yard strike early in the second quarter, then Vandy answered with a 1-yard run from Jerron Seymour which came one play after a Thompson pass was intercepted by Steven Clarke, who was finally brought down at the one after a 69-yard return.

After Carey Spear booted a 54-yard field goal on the final play of the half, Vanderbilt trailed only 28-10 at the break.

Wilds' 33-yard catch-and-run on the opening series of the third quarter boosted South Carolina's lead to 25 points.

Game Notes

South Carolina has won five straight and 12 of 14 matchups with Vanderbilt since 2000 ... Former South Carolina head coach Warren Giese, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 89, was honored before the contest. Giese led the Gamecocks from 1956-60 ... South Carolina bulldozed its way to 579 yards of total offense, while limiting Vandy to 268.