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2016 Birmingham Bowl recap and final score: South Carolina falls to USF 46-39 in overtime

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It was an instant classic.

NCAA Football: Birmingham Bowl-South Florida vs South Carolina Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks turned a potential blowout into a game for the ages. But despite scoring 18 unanswered points, they fell to the USF Bulls 46-39 in overtime.

The Bulls came out with guns blazing in the first quarter, opening up a 15-0 lead with 4:26 remaining as the Gamecocks had no answers for dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers. They would eventually get on the board following a USF fumble at the South Carolina 19 yard line, with Jake Bentley hitting Hayden Hurst from 25 yards out - Hurst’s first career touchdown - to make it 15-7. The Gamecocks would gain a semblance of control later, cutting it to 29-21 with 11:55 left in the third, but a USF field goal and a pick six gave the Bulls a 39-21 lead with less than two minutes left in the third.

Then the comeback started.

Elliott Fry’s 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the third quarter made it 39-24. Early in the fourth, a beautiful interception by Bryson Allen-Williams set the Gamecocks up at the own 23 with a minute gone by in the 4th, and nine plays later, this happened.

Following a punt by USF, the Gamecocks drove the ball to the Bulls’ 8, but A.J. Turner fumbled it with 4:19 left. Game over, right? Not quite. After a forced three-and-out, Chris Lammons nearly brought the ensuing punt back for a touchdown but stepped out at the two. Who else would be there to finish the job? A.J. Turner, followed by a successful two-point conversion from Jake Bentley to Hayden Hurst. Tie game with 1:11 left - this game would head to overtime.

The Bulls struck right off the bat with their overtime possession as Flowers hit Elkanah Dillon with a touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to put the Bulls up 46-39. But the Gamecocks couldn’t match the score as Bentley was stripped on 4th and 6 to hand the Bulls the victory.

Bentley, for his part, was outstanding after a slow start. He was 32 for 43, passing for 390 yards and three touchdowns despite two interceptions. Deebo Samuel hauled in a program-record tying fourteen catches for 190 yards and a score, while Hayden Hurst was good for six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, the first of his career.

Game Thread Roll Call

# Commenter # Comments
1 SCsoldier04 136
2 Bulldog Cocky 84
3 Matterhadder 45
4 Carolina65 42
5 Jake1013 19
6 earlmikell 13
7 chuckles302 11
8 CarolinaEmpire 10
9 camelcitycock 5
10 Bubbamitchum 4
11 adzekoski 4
12 Superman 2