victor hampton sc ucf

South Carolina 28, UCF 25: Gamecocks Escape Orlando With A Win, Lose Quarterback

 

 

It was not a magical trip to Orlando, but South Carolina fans will probably take the win.

Running back Mike Davis scored three touchdowns as the Gamecocks came from behind in the second half to defeat Central Florida 28-25. The win did come with a bit of a cost, though, as the Gamecocks lost quarterback Connor Shaw to a shoulder injury in the first quarter. Dylan Thompson came into the game and struggled at first, as the Gamecocks were shut out in the first half.

It was a tale of two halfs, as the Knights scored quickly on their opening drive and appeared to by physically manhandling the Gamecocks. Central Florida actually managed to force four turnovers, but only secured points out of one of those turnovers. Also, the Knights coughed the ball up themselves four times.

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles looked sharp early on, but struggled after the half. Bortles finished the game with 358 yards passing but had three turnovers himself (two interceptions, one fumble lost).

After the opening drive, UCF could not find any consistency. Running back Storm Johnson was shut down much of the game, only tallying 68 yards on 17 carries. South Carolina's defensive front did wonders against the run, although it left room for the UCF wide receivers to run, as two receivers notched over 100 yards for the Knights. Rannell Hall had eight catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and Breshad Perriman had three catches for 109 yards.

Mike Davis came alive in the second half for the Gamecocks, doing most of his damage after intermission. In fact, Davis was the key contributor on the opening drive of the second half that finally put the Gamecocks on the board.

Of course, we would not be doing our duty without showing a fat guy punt return. Late in the first half, after a South Carolina series stalled, UCF partially blocked a Gamecocks punt, and the tipped kick was returned by Knights defensive lineman E.J. Dunston:

 

What's next for South Carolina: The Gamecocks return to Williams-Bryce Stadium to host Kentucky next week before hitting the road for three straight games to finish October.

What's next for UCF: The Knights open on the road at Memphis and then have a bye before a crucial Friday night game at Louisville on October 18.

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