Bentley rallies South Carolina past Ole Miss 48-44
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Jake Bentley passed for two touchdowns and scored the
game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 5:50 left to lift South
Carolina to a 48-44 comeback win over Mississippi on Saturday.
South Carolina (5-3, 4-3) erased a 44-34 deficit in the fourth quarter to
win consecutive games for the first time this season. The Gamecocks
covered 47 and 73 yards in fourth-quarter scoring drives, capped by a
3-yard run from A. J. Turner and Bentley’s decisive score, respectively.
Bentley finished 22-of-32 passing for 363 yards as the Gamecocks had 510
total yards. The South Carolina defense, after giving up eight scores in
10 possessions, closed with four consecutive scoreless series to preserve
“Jake gave a gutsy performance and was really accurate with the ball,”
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “The resiliency and fight of
this football team says a lot about the culture of our program. A lot of
guys stepped up to win this game.”
Ole Miss (5-4, 1-4) rallied from an early 17-3 deficit for a 27-27 tie at
halftime and moved out to a 44-34 fourth-quarter lead. Jordan Ta’amu was
31-of-46 passing for 379 yards as the Rebels had 616 yards of total
offense, including 141 rushing yards on 21 carries from Scottie Phillips.
“We just did not make the plays we needed to make,” Mississippi coach
Matt Luke said. “They did and we didn’t, especially in those final
series. This is tough because our players left it all on the field.”
The first-half shootout opened on a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown by
Deebo Samuel as the Gamecocks raced to an early 14-point lead. By
halftime, Parker White had field goals of 20 and 23 yards, Ty’Son Williams
scored on a 2-yard run and Bryan Edwards pulled in a 75-yard touchdown
pass from Bentley.
Ole Miss countered with a 24-point outburst in the second period,
highlighted by touchdown runs of 1 and 9 yards by Phillips. Luke Logan
added field goals of 25 and 26 yards, while Ta’amu scored on a 17-yard
The Rebels got second-half touchdown runs from Phillips and Isaiah
Woullard on 2 and 1 yards, respectively. Josh Vann had a 5-yard
scoring pass from Bentley late in the third quarter before South
Carolina rallied in the final 12 minutes.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks got a little breathing room in
becoming bowl eligible as home games remain with subdivision
Chattanooga and non-Power Five member Akron. The clutch defensive
finish, which included sacks by Jordan Kinlaw and T.J. Brunson,
was encouraging since ranked opponents No. 11 Florida and No. 2
Clemson remain on the schedule.
Ole Miss: Ta’amu took a physical beating as the game progressed
and it showed in the fourth quarter as he completed only three
passes for 10 yards. When the Rebels are held in check offensively
or at least slowed down, the defense simply can’t compensate
enough for a win. As usual, the receivers were impressive as
Elijah Moore had 129 yards on 11 receptions and A.J. Brown had 115
yards on six catches.
South Carolina finished with 147 yards rushing, but the game’s decisive
effort was a 69-yard run by Mon Denson to the Ole Miss 4-yard line while
trailing 44-41 with seven minutes remaining. Three plays later, Bentley
scored the game-winner. Denson led the Gamecocks with 102 yards on 12
carries. The Gamecocks are 18-3 when rushing for more than 100 yards.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks visit No. 11 Florida on Saturday.
Ole Miss: The Rebels begin a two-game road stretch at No. 20 Texas A&M.