COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - A solid offense, but a much better defense helped the South Carolina Gamecocks defeat the East Carolina Pirates.
A disruptive Jadeveon Clowney and a strong defensive line forced the Pirates to set sail with a 10-48 loss.
Picks and interceptions were some of the key elements to the victory over East Carolina, but you can't get the wheels moving without a good driver, and Dylan Thompson proved to Gamecock fans that his license is valid.
East Carolina gained 403 yards. But the Pirates turned the ball over five times, including four interceptions and a fumble in just 16 plays.
High expectations were on one of the nation's top running backs, Marcus Lattimore, to help carry ninth ranked South Carolina to a win in a non-conference contest against East Carolina, as Thompson replaced injured quarterback, Connor Shaw.
An early completion by Thompson set the pace of Saturday's game as the Gamecocks hit the field fired up and ready to take it to the zone.
After two incomplete passes, Thompson seemed confident at the starting QB spot with a connection to Damiere Byrd early in the game for 53 yards, helping set up Lattimore for his 33rd touchdown, tying the school record.
By the end of the 1st quarter, Gamecocks lead 14-0 with Thompson 7 of 11 passing for 200 yards with a touchdown.
Second quarter began with Thompson showing off his running skills, not quite Connor Shaw speed, but enough speed to get a 1st down. Mid second quarter Thompson threw a 30-yard touchdown to DeAngelo Smith stretching South Carolina's lead 21-0.
With just over a minute into the second half, Shaq Wilson would get his fifth pick of his career, while Thompson connected with D.L. Moore for a touchdown.
Thompson completed 21 of 37 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns
The rejuvenated passing game allowed Spurrier to use star running back Marcus Lattimore sparingly. He gained 40 yards on 13 carries to help South Carolina defeat East Carolina 48-10.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 2-0 on the season.