Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt in first road game, 48-34 -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt in first road game, 48-34

NASHVILLE, TN (WIS) - The 14th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks played their first road game of the season against Vanderbilt Saturday night, and the Commodores didn't make it easy.

The Gamecocks scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to go on to a 48-34 win.

Vanderbilt didn't take long to get on the scoreboard on the opening kickoff, as Darrius Sims scored on a 91-yard kickoff return. But eventually, the Commodores' defense couldn't stop the Gamecocks.

South Carolina's offense struggled early, forced to punt on the Gamecocks first two possessions.

Vanderbilt found the end zone again, with :54 to go in the first quarter, on an 8-yard touchdown pass that gave the Commodores the 14-0 lead.

South Carolina got on the scoreboard with 12:17 in the second quarter on a 45-yard Elliott Fry field goal, trailing Vanderbilt 14-3. It was the beginning of a 17-point run the Commodores couldn't answer.

The Gamecocks closed Vanderbilt's lead to 14-10 with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Thompson to Damiere Byrd at 5:58 in the second quarter, which survived a replay review.

With :53 to go until halftime, Brison Williams returned an interception 53 yards for the go-ahead score, 17-14 South Carolina.  The Gamecocks held that lead into the half.

In the third quarter, Thompson's 29-yard pass to Shaq Roland extended the Gamecocks lead to 24-14. But on the following kickoff, Sims took the ball 100 yards for a Vanderbilt touchdown to close the Gamecocks' lead to 24-21. It was his second kickoff return for a score.

That was as close as Vanderbilt could get. South Carolina extended its lead with 4:35 in the game on a Thompson 1-yard keeper for a touchdown, making it 41-27. On the following kickoff, South Carolina recovered a Vanderbilt fumble on the Commodores' 25-yard line. The Gamecocks capitalized on that turnover with a 7-yard touchdown run by David Williams to extend the lead to 48-27.

Despite the win, Gamecocks Head Coach Steve Spurrier wasn't pleased.

"It's embarrassing sometimes the way we play," he said after the game. "We do some stupid stuff...Did you see those kickoff returns?"

"We're not a very good team right now, but we're gonna' try," Spurrier said.

Thompson threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran for another score.

Spurrier now has 202 Southeastern Conference wins, breaking a tie with Vince Dooley and putting him second only to Paul "Bear" Bryant (292). Spurrier also got his 20th win all-time against the Commodores.

South Carolina improved to a 3-1 record, 2-1 in the SEC.

Vanderbilt fell to 1-3 overall, 0-2 in the SEC. 

Next Saturday the Gamecocks return to Williams-Brice Stadium to host Missouri. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and ESPN will telecast the game. Vanderbilt travels to Kentucky.

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