No. 8 South Carolina 49, UAB 6

No. 8 South Carolina rolled to another victory, despite some

uneven play on offense and ongoing injury problems at

quarterback.

The Gamecocks (3-0) beat UAB 49-6 on Saturday night, rolling up

501 yards and scoring 35 points after starting QB Connor Shaw left

late in the second quarter after taking a brutal hit to his

throwing shoulder at the same spot it was hurt in the season opener

against Vanderbilt.

”This was one of the closest 49-6 games I have ever been

around,” coach Steve Spurrier said.

It was Spurrier’s 200th college coaching win, but he even

shrugged that off. He counts his wins in the NFL and USFL too.

”I have 47 others, so it sort of blends in,” said Spurrier,

who joined Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, Texas’ Mack Brown and

Nevada’s Chris Ault as the only active Division I coaches to reach

that mark.

Spurrier didn’t think his quarterbacks made good throws at times

and his running game didn’t start to click until late when the game

was well decided.

”We were fortunate to get what points we could,” Spurrier

said. ”Seems like we couldn’t get a guy open or hit anybody.”

The Gamecocks starting a stretch of seven straight Southeastern

Conference games, starting with Missouri next week. And it looks

like most of the week will again be filled with questions about who

will start at quarterback. The team said Shaw’s right shoulder was

bruised, but after the game Shaw said he was recovering from a

slight fracture.

Shaw finished the game completing eight of 14 passes for 107

yards, a touchdown and an interception. But his running, usually a

strength, looked tentative. He finished with minus-6 yards rushing

after two sacks and carried the ball on planned runs just three

times for eight yards.

Shaw said after the game that he got shots and painkillers and

the shoulder felt much better. But he said he had no idea if he

could play next week.

Sophomore Dylan Thompson took over at quarterback again. He was

5 for 10 for 177 yards and two touchdowns, including a 95-yard

touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd that put South Carolina up 35-6

midway through the third quarter.

Spurrier said Shaw has played well enough to deserve to start if

he is healthy. But he cracked the door open to a possible QB

rotation.

”If we need to use two quarterbacks at times, Dylan can make

some throws,” Spurrier said.

Along with Shaw, receiver Bruce Ellington left the game early in

the third quarter with a sprained shoulder after a diving 43-yard

catch. Ellington said he should be ready for next week.

Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 12 times for 85 yards. The

all-SEC back hasn’t topped the 100-yard mark in five of his past

seven games. But the junior’s 2-yard TD run in the second quarter

gave him the school’s record for touchdowns at 34 and tied him for

all-time rushing TDs at 31. Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers

held both those marks previously.

”I found out like a week ago,” Lattimore said of the records.

”It’s a big accomplishment.”

Ellington caught five passes for 98 yards before he left with

his injury. Ace Sanders had four receptions for 55 yards and a

touchdown and freshman Shaq Roland caught his first TD pass of his

career, a 30-yard throw from Thompson in the fourth quarter that

put the Gamecocks ahead 42-6.

South Carolina’s defense still hasn’t allowed a touchdown from

the red zone. Jadeveon Clowney had two sacks and two other tackles

for loss. D.J. Swearinger returned a fumble by UAB quarterback

Jonathan Perry 65 yards for South Carolina’s first touchdown. He

also had a leaping interception that was negated by a roughing the

passer penalty.

”It was exciting to see a big play to change the momentum,”

said Lorenzo Ward, who is in his first year as Gamecocks defensive

coordinator.

UAB (0-2) gained 267 yards but didn’t get in the end zone.

Jonathan Perry completed 17 of 34 passes for 219 yards for the

Blazers before he was pulled late in the third quarter. Austin

Brown took over and completed all three of his passes for 21

yards.

Jackie Williams caught five passes for 45 yards for UAB, who

only rushed for 27 yards.

”The really hung in there and competed with one of the top

teams in the country for a long time in the game,” Blazers coach

Garrick McGee said. ”I think there were some things that went on

during the game that got them frustrated. The fact that we couldn’t

run the football gave them more opportunities to score.”

By the end of the blowout, Spurrier was putting in his third and

fourth string quarterbacks. Adam Yates’ miss on a 36-yard field

goal with 3:57 to go in the game kept the Head Ball Coach from

celebrating his 200th win by hanging half-a-hundred on only the

fifth opponent during his eighth season with the Gamecocks.

Spurrier has now won 58 games at South Carolina. He won 122 at

Florida and 20 at Duke.

And this isn’t the first time Spurrier has had to decide about

when to play a couple of quarterbacks. Shaw’s shoulder will get

plenty of attention this week, but Spurrier isn’t going to lose

sleep over it.

”We’ll see how they both feel in practice and go from there,”

Spurrier said. ”I won’t worry about it a lot. We’ll play whoever

we think is the best to go.”