The South Carolina Gamecocks opened the 2015 college football season with a victory, defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels, 17-13, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday night.
In his first career start with the Gamecocks, quarterback Connor Mitch could have had a better outing. The redshirt sophomore was just 9 for 22 passing for 122 yards and a touchdown, but added 10 carries for 41 yards. However, he did leave in the fourth quarter after taking a hard shot from a UNC defender. Pharoh Cooper (3 for 45, TD) and Brandon Wilds (4 for 44) led the way in receiving for South Carolina, with Wilds picking up 51 yards on the ground on 14 carries. But the difference was Shon Carson (4 for 75), who had a big 48-yard TD run to give the Gamecocks the lead for good, 17-13, just over two minutes into the 4th.
For the Tar Heels, Elijah Hood burned USC for 143 yards on just 14 carries (10.2 ypc). Marquise Williams went 19 for 30 for 232 yards, but threw three interceptions, two to Skai Moore in the end zone - including a big one on 4th and goal with less than four minutes to go and his team trailing by four. His top receiver was Bug Howard (6 for 114).
It was an ugly game as both teams choked away good scoring opportunities at various points through the night, despite combining for over 800 yards on offense. The Gamecocks committed eight penalties for 60 yards (including a false start on their first play on offense), while the Tar Heels' six infractions cost them 30 yards.
The Gamecocks open their home schedule and their conference slate at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia next Saturday, September 12, as they take on the Kentucky Wildcats in a SEC East affair. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.