COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - University of South Carolina senior quarterback Dylan Thompson did something Saturday against South Alabama he had never done in his career with the Gamecocks: caught a touchdown pass.
But he wasn't the only Gamecock senior who closed out his career at Williams-Brice Stadium with a bang as South Carolina beat South Alabama 37-12. The win makes South Carolina eligible for a bowl bid.
Strong safety Brison Williams had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. He ends the season with four interceptions.
Thompson threw for 237 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for a score in the win. Thompson said he had been begging the coaches to run the play that set up his touchdown catch.
"We've probably ran that play in practice, 150 to 200 times, over the last few years," he said. "When I saw it signaled in, it was everything I could do to keep from going crazy. I knew it would be a touchdown."
Saturday was Senior Day as the Gamecocks hosted South Alabama in the last home game of the season. This was the first time the Gamecocks (6-5, 3-5 SEC) and the Jaguars (6-5, 5-3 Sun Belt Conf.) played each other.
The recently-maligned South Carolina defense now has gone five straight quarters without allowing a touchdown. All South Alabama scores were from field goals.
"Our defense really came to play in the second half -- held them to field goals. Our defense played super," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "Give our defensive kids some credit. They're really turned it around these past few games."
"We're starting to finish," said Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward, who said he made some changes at halftime. "We adjusted some things. We made some changes but we wanted to play better and make our gaps."
Spurrier is pleased the Gamecocks get a chance to play an additional game this season. This is his 24th straight college season with at least six wins.
"It means a whole lot," he said. "To be bowl eligible, after three weeks ago, it's pretty dadgum neat."
"I knew it wasn't going to be easy," Spurrier said. "All those turnovers, it hit us. Fortunately the defense played so well."
Thompson threw one interception and the South Carolina offense fumbled five times, four of them recovered by the Jaguars. Two of those fumbles were from the hands of Mike Davis, who was pulled from the game.