No. 12 Gamecocks lose Shaw, slip by UCF behind Davis' rushing
Sun, 29 Sep 2013 01:16:55 GMT —
ORLANDO, Fla. (WACH/AP) -- South Carolina running back Mike Davis ran for a career-high 167 yards and three touchdowns as No. 12 South Carolina overcame injuries and turnovers to beat UCF 28-25 on Saturday.
Davis took over the game after starting quarterback Connor Shaw went down with a sprained throwing shoulder in the first quarter. Shaw was dragged to the turf and fumbled and immediately came off the field in obvious pain. He spent the remainder of the afternoon wearing a sling and an ice pack.
After rushing for just 17 yards in the first half, head coach Steve Spurrier leaned on Davis in the second half to grind out a win.
Davis churned out 150 yards rushing in the second half even though he said he was a little sick.
"Whatever the coaches call, I am here for," Davis said. "I didn't have any frustrations at all. I believe in our team and we all consider ourselves as brothers so we always believe in each other...We stuck to the same things that we do. If one person goes down, the other person has to step up."
It's very likely Davis will get the call again in the immediate future. Shaw is expected to be out two to three weeks with a sprained shoulder. After Shaw was injured, South Carolina (3-1) also lost second-string tailback Brandon Wilds in the third quarter to an elbow injury.
Steve Spurrier said Wilds could be back in three weeks.
While UCF went in to halftime with a 10-0 lead over the Gamecocks, they were impacted by four turnovers of their own, matching South Carolina's total, leaving the door open for a Gamecock comeback.
"I can't say it got away," Knights coach George O'Leary said. "We have a lot of young kids and we can't sustain on turnovers and short fields...When you have a chance to make plays you have to make them and we didn't make enough plays in the second half."
Knights' quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 358 yards and two touchdown passes, but also had two interceptions and a fumble.
Shaw was replaced at quarterback by junior Dylan Thompson, who completed some early throws but had several potential big-play passes dropped by receivers. He finished the game 15 of 32 for 261 yards and an interception. He also ran for a score.
Both Thompson and the Gamecocks' offense settled down in the third quarter, relying on Davis' rushing to take control of the game.
"Somebody on top is looking out for our team right now because our mental decisions that we were making, we easily could have lost," Spurrier said. "
We're very fortunate, very thankful."
South Carolina now heads back into Southeastern Conference play with three of its next four on the road.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)