Mitchell leads Gamecocks to rout
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Blake Mitchell completed 14-of-21 passes for 147 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions, as the South Carolina Gamecocks remained undefeated after a 38-3 win over the South Carolina State Bulldogs at William-Brice Stadium.
"We've got to get Blake [Mitchell] throwing more on rhythm," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "We've got to evaluate what we're doing. I won't be too hard on Blake, but we've got to get his confidence up."
Cory Boyd rushed for 132 yards on 11 carries for the Gamecocks (3-0), who last week overpowered Georgia on the road 16-12 after opening the season with a 28-14 win over UL-Lafayette. South Carolina won its sixth straight dating back to last season.
Mike Davis had 16 carries for 102 yards, and Kenny McKinley had four receptions for 36 yards. Backup quarterback Tommy Beecher completed 3-of-7 passes for 37 yards with an interception and fumble.
Cleveland McCoy completed 9-of-18 passes for 62 yards for the Bulldogs (1-2), whose season started with a 34-3 loss to Air Force before topping Bethune- Cookman, 24-13. William Ford rushed for 112 yards on 17 carries, and was the team's leading receiver with three catches for 15 yards.
"The biggest problem we had maybe wasn't scoring," South Carolina State coach Oliver Pough said. "We couldn't sustain anything on offense long enough to let our defense come to the sideline to rest some when they came off the field."
Aaron Haire's 36-yard field goal with 12:21 left in the first quarter accounted for SCSU's only points. Markee Hamlin's interception that put the Gamecocks on the 12-yard line set up the score.
South Carolina got going only a minute later when Nathan Pepper returned an interception 19 yards, and a Ryan Succop's 40-yard field goal with 4:46 remaining made it 10-3. Capping a six-play drive down the stretch, Mitchell hooked up with McKinley on a 12-yard touchdown pass for a 17-3 lead.
After a scoreless second quarter, South Carolina went back to work, as Davis caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell midway through the third for a 24-3 margin heading into the fourth.
The Gamecocks needed just two plays to score in the opening minute of the fourth when Boyd scored on a 29-yard run. A six-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Mark Barnes just past the 10-minute mark capped the rout for South Carolina.
Hamlin was named MEAC defensive player of the week for last week...South Carolina netted 424 total yards, compared to just 269 from SCSU, which next plays its home opener against Winston-Salem State...The Gamecocks won their first three contests to open a season for the first time since 2001...The game marked the first-ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks on the gridiron.
09/16 01:40:14 ET