OXFORD, MS (WIS) - With both teams putting together more than 1,000 yards of total offense, South Carolina survived a shootout in Oxford with a 48-44 win over Ole Miss.
The Gamecocks got the fast start they wanted on the opening kickoff. Carolina would initially muff the kick, but Deebo Samuel was there to turn what looked to be a tragic mishap into triumph. Samuel returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for the score to make it 7-0 without the offense taking a snap.
Following a 25-yard Ole Miss, the Gamecocks would cash in again on their first offensive drive of the series. Thanks to a 50-yard screen pass to Ty’Son Williams, the Gamecocks found themselves in scoring position. Williams punctuated the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run pushing Carolina ahead 14-3 with 9:12 left in the first.
Ole Miss found their way into the red zone, but a swing pass from Jordan Ta’amu wasn’t caught and ruled a backwards pass and DJ Wonnum would come away with the fumble recovery. However, the Gamecocks would only come away with a 20-yard Parker White field goal to go up 17-3.
The Rebels cut into that lead in the second quarter. An 11-play drive, 75-yard drive ended with a 9-yard touchdown run by Scottie Phillips making it 17-10 with 13:46 left in the half.
After Luke Logan’s second field goal, Carolina fired right back with just one play. Jake Bentley threw his first touchdown pass to Bryan Edwards, who made a one-handed catch with an Ole Miss defender all over him. Edwards would shake off the defender and make his way into the end zone to give USC a 24-13 lead.
Ole Miss responded shortly after the USC touchdown with Ta’amu,. The senior quarterback orchestrates another 75-yard scoring drive that ends with him getting into the end zone on a 17-yard run cutting the deficit down to 24-20 with 6:22 left in the half. The Rebels go on to tie it up after Parker White’s second field goal. A quick 9-play drive that took less than two minutes saw Phillips make it a 27-27 game with his second touchdown of the day.
South Carolina and Ole Miss combined for 749 yards of total offense in the first half alone.
Ole Miss took the lead on their first drive of the second half. The Rebels would drive 61 yards on the series before Luke Logan would record his third field goal of the day. The 31-yard kick would the Rebels 10 unanswered points and a 30-27 lead.
The lead for Ole Miss, however, was short-lived. Carolina responded with a scoring drive of their own that saw Jake Bentley get his 500th career completion on Josh Vann’s first career touchdown as a Gamecock. Carolina went back on top 34-30.
The Rebels picked up even more momentum in the fourth quarter. On fourth down with less than two minutes left in the third, the Gamecocks opted to hand it off to Mon Denson on fourth down, but the Rebels were able to get the stop. Four plays later, Scottie Phillips showed up again for Ole Miss to give his team the lead once again. The Rebels’ put together a 2-yard touchdown run for his third score of the day to make it 37-34. Phillips finished with 21 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns for the Rebels.
Down 44-34 in the fourth, Carolina rallied again scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns from A.J. Turner and Jake Bentley to put the Gamecocks ahead for the final time.
Jake Bentley was also 22-of-32 passing for a career-high 363 yards and two passing touchdowns.
Carolina put up 510 yards of total offense on the day with Bryan Edwards and Ty’Son Williams each coming up with over 100 yards receiving.
Jordan Ta’amu was 31-of-46 passing for 379 yards. Ole Miss finished the day with 616 yards on offense.
The Gamecocks improve to 5-3 overall and will travel to Florida next week.