By: Madison Tucker
With or without Connor Shaw, the Gamecocks were not hurt on Saturday against East Carolina. Dylan Thompson (Shaw’s backup) has proven his worth. Thompson passed for 330 yards and had three touchdowns in Saturday’s game, making the fans and coaches alike thankful that that he is a part of the team.
This game against East Carolina truly marked the start of the college football season for many fans, due to the fact it was the first home game of the season. East Carolina and South Carolina have met 17 times now, and the Gamecocks still hold the advantage. Although East Carolina has won the last three meetings on South Carolina’s home field, this week proved that “home field advantage” still means something.
When the game began, fans were hopeful that this week would be a much-needed improvement from how the team played against Vanderbilt in the first game of the season. At the start of the game, Dylan Thompson did not reinforce that hope, but as the clocked ticked on, Thompson proved he could move the ball. Thompson had a 53-yard pass to Damiere Byrd, which set up Marcus Lattimore for his 6-yard run to score the opening touchdown. East Carolina’s Warren Harvey missed a field goal attempt, and the Gamecocks quickly took control. Thompson had a 7-yard pass to Rory Anderson, which led to a touchdown, making it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
With the start of the second quarter, Thompson threw a 30-yard pass to DeAngelo Smith that led to a touchdown. East Carolina then had control of the ball, but a fumble in Gamecock territory a few minutes later stopped another drive. Johnson was also picked off by D.J Swearinger with just over a minute left to play in the second quarter.
As the third quarter started, Thompson needed just three plays to get South Carolina back in the end zone. A 29-yard pass to D.L. Moore brought the score to 28-0 with 13:44 left to play. When East Carolina put Johnson back in the lineup, it proved to be a bad move on their part; Johnson was intercepted immediately by South Carolina’s Jimmy Legree, who then ran 34 yards to score a touchdown, making it 35-0.
ECU finally scored late in the third quarter, when Warren Harvey has a 23-yard field goal, making it 35-3 with just a little over a minute left. But the momentum didn’t last for ECU, as South Carolina’s Ace Sanders threw a 16-yard pass to D.L. Moore for another touchdown. East Carolina tried to redeem itself when Shane Carden put ECU in the end zone with a 34-yard pass to Justin Hardy, bringing the score to 41-10 with 9:04 left in the game. ECU drove down to South Carolina’s 35-yard line, but Johnson threw an interception that gave the Gamecocks control of the ball. Dylan Thompson fumbled the ball, however, but ECU’s Rio Johnson threw yet another interception from ECU’s 34-yard line. When South Carolina got the ball back, Seth Strickland threw a 51-yard pass to Rory Anderson for a touchdown with only 0:44 second left in the. The final score: 48-10.
South Carolina is now 2-0 to start the season. Dylan Thompson will still be the replacement quarterback, unless Coach Spurrier sees that Conner Shaw is ready to go. South Carolina’s next game will be against UAB on Saturday, September 15th at 7:00 pm EST. This again will be another home game for the Gamecocks, and with so much talent on the field it’ll hopefully be another win for the South Carolina Gamecocks.