Sept. 1, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In head coach Will Muschamp's first game at South Carolina (1-0, 1-0 SEC), the Gamecocks posted the final 13 points to claim a 13-10 road win in Southeastern Conference play at Vanderbilt (0-1, 0-1 SEC) on Thursday night at Vanderbilt Stadium.
After a 16-yard reception by freshman Bryan Edwards from senior Perry Orth and a 17-yard run by freshman A.J. Turner set him up, senior Elliott Fry stepped up and hit a career-long 55-yard field goal to give South Carolina the lead with 35 seconds remaining in the opener.
South Carolina broke onto the scoreboard midway through the third quarter when Fry hit a 48-yard field goal to cut Vandy's lead to 10-3. Orth connected with sophomore Deebo Samuel for the big play of the drive, as the duo's pass went for 30 yards to get the Gamecocks into Vanderbilt territory.
The Gamecocks tied the contest with 7:30 to go when Samuel swept around the left end and touched the pylon for the eight-yard scoring run. Orth completed five passes to start the drive and ran for a nine-yard gain, while Turner rushed twice for 25 yards, including the 20-yard scamper to set up Samuel's score.
Vanderbilt opened the scoring with a 36-yard field goal from Tommy Openshaw after the Commodores took advantage of a muffed punt by the Gamecocks, setting up the 13-yard scoring drive. That lead grew to 10-0 32 seconds into the second quarter when Khari Blasingam punctuated the 13-play, 67-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
The Gamecocks looked like they would draw within one score as they drove inside Vanderbilt's 20-yard line later in the second quarter. But the Commodores' Oren Burks forced a fumble after a five-yard SC run, and Charles Wright covered it up to give Vandy back the ball.
With less than four minutes remaining in the game, Vanderbilt drove into Gamecock territory and set up a 45-yard field goal from the middle of the field, but the chance hooked left, giving South Carolina the chance to drive the field and claim the win.
Orth's steady hand at quarterback led the comeback efforts, as he went 10-for-15 in the second half for 140 yards
South Carolina's balanced offensive attack led the way, as the Gamecocks recorded 187 passing yards and 121 on the ground, which combined to out-gain the Commodores by 66 yards.
Orth went 11-for-19 overall for 152 yards, and he added eight yards on the ground.
Edwards caught eight passes for 101 yards, leading all players in receiving yards
Turner posted 70 yards in 13 carries in his first career start.
Quoting Head Coach Will Muschamp
You said you were confident in Elliott [Fry] up to 52 yards in camp, what made you confident from 55 [yards] tonight?
South Carolina faces its second road SEC test on Sat., Sept. 10 at Mississippi State. Kickoff at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field is set for 7 p.m. EDT, with the game showing either on ESPN or ESPN2.
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