Five key plays

2012-11-18T00:20:00Z 2012-11-18T00:21:59Z Five key playsBy CHRIS WELLBAUM, The Times and Democrat
November 18, 2012 12:20 am  • 

South Carolina defeated Wofford 24-7 on Saturday. Five of the key plays from the game.

The Gamecocks go for it on fourth down

This game should not have come down to the little things, yet it did. With a scoreless first quarter winding down, Steve Spurrier wasn't messing around. He decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Wofford 9-yard-line. He didn't get fancy, calling a simple quarterback sneak. Connor Shaw converted, and three plays later, Kenny Miles scored the Gamecocks' lone first-half touchdown.

Mike Davis fumbles

Mike Davis had a strong game, but his fumble midway through the second quarter kept the Terriers in the game far longer than anyone expected. The Gamecocks put together a good drive, having started at their own 20 and reaching the Wofford 22. The drive looked even more promising when Davis took the shotgun draw handoff and rumbled up the middle for almost 20 yards.

However, he carried the ball a little too loosely, and Stephon Shelton was able to reach in from behind and punch the ball free. Blake Wylie recover the fumble for Wofford and returned it 16 yards, eliminating an almost certain score for the Gamecocks. It was the second of two Gamecock turnovers in Terrier territory in the first half, but certainly more damaging since it occurred inside the 5-yard-line.

Jake Miles rescues Wofford

Deep in Gamecock territory, Donovan Johnson got the carry for the Terriers and picked up 10 yards. But Aldrick Fordham got a hand on the football and knocked it loose and he dragged Johnson to the ground.

Had USC recovered, it would have had great field position. Instead, tackle Jake Miles fell on the ball for Wofford. Following the recovery, the Terriers went on another 11 plays and 75 yards to score a touchdown and tie the game at 7. That score would last into the fourth quarter.

D.J. Swearinger makes a big play without committing a penalty

Wofford was driving for the go-ahead points when D.J. Swearinger made a huge play. Octavius Harden took a pitch to the left and was met by Swearinger. Swearinger laid the wood and as he twisted Harden to the ground, the ball popped free. Brison Williams swooped in for the recovery. Not only did the turnover keep Wofford off the board, but USC drove the field for a go-ahead field goal from Adam Yates.

The Gamecocks finally stuff the Terriers

A fourth-quarter play should not have mattered this much, but it did. Clinging to a 10-7 lead, the Gamecocks needed a stop. The Terriers were facing fourth-and-1, but hadn't been stopped in that situation all game. Quin Smith and Devin Taylor plugged the middle, and dropped Eric Breitenstein for no gain.

The Gamecocks took over and scored a touchdown to go up 10, basically putting the game out of reach despite the resilient Terriers' best efforts.

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