S.Carolina 29, W.Virginia 10
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Collin Mackie kicked a school-record five field goals and the South Carolina defense shut down West Virginia after two early scores en route to a 29-10 victory Thursday night.
West Virginia (4-7) scored on its first two possessions but got no more against the Gamecocks (6-5). South Carolina held the Mountaineers to just four first downs in the second half - and two of those came after the game was decided.
South Carolina scored the first time it had the ball in the third period, taking a 20-10 lead on Rob DeBoer’s 2-yard run with 9:33 left.
Robert Brooks set up the drive up with a 34-yard kickoff return to the South Carolina 48.
The Gamecocks then overcame a 12-yard loss by running back Mike Dingle and the loss of Dingle with a dislocated shoulder. Dingle was injured after catching a pass with 13:25 left, but DeBoer proved an adequate replacement. The freshman gained seven yards on fourth-and-2 at the Mountaineer 33, the first of eight straight carries for DeBoer that ended with the TD.
DeBoer finished with 98 yards, giving him 700 for the season - the second- highest total by a freshman in school history.
Mackie kicked a 36-yard field goal 11 seconds into the final period and then two 27-yarders, the first at 7:26 and the second at 3:40. Mackie had twice previously tied the school record of four set in 1977 by Britt Parrish.
While the victory assured South Carolina of a winning season, there was little assurance the Gamecocks would go to a bowl. The university said Wednesday it wouldn’t change its exam schedules to allow the team to play in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 15.
South Carolina was still holding out hope for a Peach Bowl bid, but the chances of that seem slim since no scout from the Dec. 29 bowl was at the game Thursday night.
The game started as an offensive show, with each team scoring on its first two possessions. That left the game tied 10-10, and Mackie’s 24-yard field goal with 29 seconds to go in the half gave the Gamecocks a 13-10 lead.
But for an interception by tackle Cedric Bembery, the Mountaineers might have been leading at halftime. With the score tied 10-10, West Virginia drove to the Gamecock 2. But after a 5-yard penalty against West Virginia, Bembery picked off Jon Jones’ halfback pass at the goal line, ending the threat with 8:04 left.
West Virginia got things going in the first period, driving to the Gamecock 13 on its first series before Mark Johnson kicked a 30-yard field goal with 9:32 left.
South Carolina countered with a 14-play, 80-yard drive capped by Dingle’s 1-yard run with 6:12 remaining. Dingle carried on all but two plays in the drive, gaining 54 yards.
The Mountaineers regained the lead five seconds into the second period on Jones’ 9-yard run.
The lead was short-lived. South Carolina tied it on Mackie’s 35-yard field goal with 10:20 left.