Vanderbilt South Carolina Football

South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards (89) runs with the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt, Saturday in Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Ryan Hilinski was 24-for-31 for 235 yards and Bryan Edwards caught a school record 14 passes as South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 24-7 on Saturday night.

CAROLINA FOOTBALL: 2 teams looking for strong finishes

With receiver Shi Smith out injured, Edwards shouldered the offensive load for the Gamecocks (4-5, 3-4 Southeastern).

The senior sealed the win with a 25-yard touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter.

CAROLINA FOOTBALL: South Carolina faces difficult stretch run for bowl game

"He competes every down like it is his last down," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. "I've seen that for four years now."

Edwards led South Carolina with a career best 139 yards receiving and his 14 catches matched four others for the school record — the last being Deebo Samuel in 2016. Edwards' 38-yard punt return late in the third quarter flipped the field a defensive struggle.

CAROLINA FOOTBALL: 'It's time to go to war'

"He was hard to tackle," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. "At times we knew the football was coming to him and we still had a hard time getting him down."

Freshman Deshaun Fenwick got his first action of 2019, running 18 times for 102 yards.

Muschamp said Fenwick came to him to discuss a transfer after he didn't play the first two months of the season.

"He stuck it out," Muschamp said. "He's a great example of a guy who handled adversity and fought it a little bit."

The Commodores (2-6, 1-4) lost starting quarterback Riley Neal to injury after the first drive and, with Mo Hasan not playing, turned to third string Deuce Wallace. The junior was 8-for-17 for 30 yards and two interceptions.

The SEC's third leading rusher, Vanderbilt's Ke'Shawn Vaughn, ran 20 times for 87 yards.

South Carolina held the Commodores to 189 yards — just 112 of them after Vanderbilt scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game. It was the Commodores' worst offensive output since gaining just 77 in a 59-0 loss to Alabama in September 2017.

It's the least yards the Gamecocks have allowed since Florida gained just 183 yards in a crazy 44-11 win over South Carolina in October 2012.

The Gamecocks have won 11 straight over Vanderbilt. South Carolina is the only SEC East team that the Commodores never beat this decade.

The takeaway

Vanderbilt: The Commodores now have to win out to get to a second bowl game in a row. That's a tough task with No. 6 Florida and surging Tennessee remaining on the schedule. It might be even tougher with the injuries. Leading receiver Kalija Limpscomb also did not play Saturday.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks' hopes of making a bowl in each of coach Will Muschamp's four seasons with the program remains. But South Carolina has to find two wins in a finishing stretch with No. 20 Appalachian State, Texas A&M and No. 4 Clemson. The Gamecocks are also struggling with injuries. Smith was out, running back Rico Dowdle missed a second game and tight end Nick Muse left with a knee injury in the first quarter.

Up next

Vanderbilt heads to No. 6 Florida on Saturday.

South Carolina hosts No. 20 Appalachian State on Saturday.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments