Turnovers and Gamecock ground game lead in loss for Florida Atlantic
South Carolina employed a blistering run attack en route to a 38-16 victory over the Owls of Florida Atlantic tonight at Williams-Bryce Stadium.
The Gamecocks rushed for 287 yards, while amassing an impressive 516 yards overall.
It looked to be a long night for FAU early on as the Gamecocks capitalized on their opening drive, using just 1:21 off of the game clock, while marching 77 yards for their first score.
South Carolina burned off 147 yards on the ground in the first quarter alone – mostly off of big plays. Jarvis Giles rushed for 113 yards for the Gamecocks.
Kicker Ross Gornall got it started offensively for Florida Atlantic, putting the Owls on the board with a 37 yard field goal in the first quarter. This was followed by impressive drives of eleven, and eight plays respectively.
The Owls second touch down of the half came on a three yard connection from Rusty Smith to tight-end Jamari Grant. However, Gornall missed the extra point.
FAU trailed 16-17 at the half.
South Carolina would start the second half on a good note as Owl quarterback Rusty Smith scrambled wide and threw a hurried pass to the sidelines that was intercepted in Owl territory by South Carolina defensive back Stephon Gilmore.
The ensuing result was a quick score for the Gamecocks.
Matters then repeated themselves, as another turnover was manifest when Smith was sacked for the second time in three plays – having the ball knocked loose in the process.
The Owls would respond behind a solid drive, mixing the pass and the run, which resulted in a first and goal situation inside the South Carolina five yard line.
However, three consecutive run attempts yielded no results. Schnellenberger would go for it on fourth down, lining up three tight-ends on the strong side. But a Rusty Smith pass sailed just over the head of his intended receiver in the end-zone.
After holding the Gamecocks to a three and out, FAU moved the ball effectively until an Alfred Morris fumble resulted in the third turnover of the night. It would be the last threat on the evening for the Owls.
Morris continues to prove to be a solid offering at tailback for the Owls. He had 79 yards against the Gamecock front four, mostly coming off of up-the-middle play selections.
Rusty Smith was 21-for-31 for 198 yards for Florida Atlantic.
Jason Harmon had 57 yards on four catches.
The Owls once again led in time of possession while taking a lopsided loss.
Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier is now 37-0 against non Bowl Championship Series teams.