No. 14 South Carolina downs Citadel
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Brandon Wilds carried the ball 20 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns, as the 14th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Citadel Bulldogs, 41-20.
Wilds also caught four passes for 55 yards for the Gamecocks (9-2), who have won nine games for just the fourth time in school history.
Connor Shaw completed 16-of-18 passes for 217 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for South Carolina, which closes out its regular season schedule next weekend against Clemson. Shaw also carried the ball 11 times for 90 yards and a score.
"Might have been the best offensive game since I've been here," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. "We had seven possessions and scored six touchdowns and had that one pick on a first-down play. All the guys played really well."
Despite the victory, the Gamecocks no longer have a chance to win the SEC East Division. Georgia beat Kentucky later Saturday, securing a trip to the SEC Championship Game.
Darien Robinson carried the ball 20 times for 88 yards for the Bulldogs (4-7), who lost their final three games of the season. The Citadel threw just two passes in the contest, completing one.
South Carolina held just a 20-13 lead at the break and had to kick off to start the second half. The Citadel moved the ball to the 35 of the Gamecocks, but lost four yards on 3rd-and-5. The Bulldogs then punted the ball.
A 47-yard run by Wilds set up the home team at the Citadel 25. Ace Sanders followed with a 25-yard TD catch to make it 27-13 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
South Carolina added another touchdown early in the fourth. A 19-yard run by Melvin Ingram on a fake punt kept the offense on the field. Alshon Jeffery then made a one-handed grab in the end zone for a 32-yard score and 34-13 lead.
Rickey Anderson's 12-yard TD run cut the gap to 34-20, but Rory Anderson caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Shaw with 45 seconds to play.
The Gamecocks marched down the field with ease on their first drive of the game. Jeffery got the drive going with catches of 22 and nine yards to move the ball to the Bulldogs' 38. Wilds converted a 3rd-and-4 with his legs and Shaw did the same later in the drive on 3rd-and-1. Wilds then plunged into the end zone from one yard out for a quick 7-0 lead.
Shaw was intercepted by Rock Muhammad on South Carolina's next possession. Robinson ran the ball five straight times, and lost the ball on the last of those carries, but jumped on the ball in the end zone to make it 7-7.
But the Gamecocks responded with an 18-play, 72-yard drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock. Faced with a 4th-and-9 from the Citadel 36, Shaw ran for 10 yards. Shaw added a one-yard run on 4th-and-1 later in the drive, setting up Wilds' three-yard rumble into the end zone for a 14-7 edge with 10 1/2 minutes remaining until the half.
Ryan Sellers made a 32-yard field goal for the Bulldogs to cut the gap to 14-10, but on the third play of the ensuing possession, Shaw sprinted 60 yards into the end zone. Jay Wooten missed the extra point.
Sellers made a 41-yard field goal before the half to make it 20-13.
The Gamecocks hold a commanding 40-7-3 series advantage over the Citadel...South Carolina racked up 473 yards of total offense, compared to 249 for Citadel...Jeffery caught five passes for 81 yards.
11/19 16:42:49 ET