The Daily Gamecock

Notebook: Ground game against UGA takes off in second half

Get more with Moore: 

South Carolina will linebacker Skai Moore notched 10 tackles against Georgia this weekend, leading the team, and setting a new career high in his second season out of Cooper City, Florida. Six of Moore’s 10 tackles came against Georgia running back Todd Gurley.  

“He was my assignment sometimes,” Moore said on his coverage of Gurley. “Whenever I had him man-to-man, I went to go make a play. There was no scheme, though.”

Six of Moore’s tackles from Saturday were solo stops.

After three games, Moore leads the Gamecocks with 23 combined tackles, and also has a team-high 16 unassisted tackles. He's second in the SEC in unassisted tackles and tied for fifth with Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera in combined tackles.

Milking the clock:

For the second consecutive game, South Carolina was able to run effectively in the second half while preserving a late lead. Redshirt senior Dylan Thompson attempted only four passes in the second half after passing for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.  

Junior running back Brandon Wilds received 11 of his 14 carries in the second half, and rushed for back-to-back big gains to open up the four quarter, the latter being a 24-yard touchdown run.

“We were trying to run out the clock,” Wilds said of his late runs. “That was a key part of the last couple drives — just running out the clock. Just getting first downs and being able to take a knee at the end of the game, of course.”

Fan turnout: 

Though the start of the game was delayed for nearly 90 minutes, Saturday’s crowd of 84,232 was the fifth-largest crowd ever packed inside of Williams-Brice.  Fans who entered the stadium an hour prior to the original 3:30 p.m. kickoff endured the driving rain and countless warnings to seek shelter. The game eventually kicked off at 5:05 p.m., after multiple lightning strikes in the area extended the delay.

Redshirt senior Nick Jones addressed the support from the fans after South Carolina’s victory, expressing his appreciation for their resilience.

“I’d just like to thank our fans for staying through that whole weather delay,” Jones said. “They’re amazing, and I think we have the best fans in the country. I really appreciate them for that.”

Rain began to fall again in the second half, but fans stuck around for the conclusion of the Gamecocks’ 38-35 win.

Gamecocks in SEC rankings: 

Gurley – T-9th in combined tackles (18)

Moore – 2nd in unassisted tackles (16)

Moore – T-5th in combined tackles (23)

Thompson – 4th in passing yards (903)

Jones – 5th in receiving yards (244)

Looking ahead: 

Next week, the No. 14 Gamecocks travel to Vanderbilt in their first road test of the season. The Commodores (1-2, 0-1 SEC) picked up their first win and first offensive touchdown  — against Massachusetts in a 34-31 come-from-behind victory. The Gamecocks were outscored 25-14 after the first quarter of last year’s game against Vanderbilt, but they ultimately pulled out a 35-25 win in their first conference win of the 2013 season.

While South Carolina is slated to face Vanderbilt next week, Florida must travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on No. 3 Alabama. A win for the Gamecocks paired with a loss by Florida would send South Carolina to the top of the SEC East division in a tie with the Gators.


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