COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina (8-3, 5-3 SEC) shrugged off a shaky offensive start and took care of the Wofford Terriers (9-2, 7-1 SoCon) at Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina started the game with a leaky drive with two incomplete passes and a sack to QB Jake Bentley that set up Wofford to storm onto the field with their triple-option game plan.
The Terriers quickly answered back with a sustained drive of their own, grinding over seven minutes off the clock after a face mask penalty pushed Wofford past midfield. Wofford was unable to capitalize, though, and cashed in with a field goal.
On the next drive, Bentley's offensive line protection left him with little options as he was sacked for a second time near midfield. The line chaos continued as the Gamecocks then missed a chance to convert a critical 4th down in Terrier territory.
Wofford looked to take advantage of South Carolina's offensive woes, but LB Skai Moore made the Terriers pay with an interception, giving him 14 interceptions to tie a Gamecocks record.
The Gamecocks used the interception wisely with Bentley using his legs to pick up the first South Carolina points of the game at 7-3.
South Carolina's defense finally began to get a handle on the Terriers.
Bentley and the offense returned to the field with 4 minutes to play in the half and proceeded to bleed the clock with a series of runs. However, a pass interference penalty against Wofford on TE Hayden Hurst gave USC prime field position inside the red zone. Bentley tossed a 23-yard strike to WR Bryan Edwards and widened South Carolina's lead 14-3.
The Gamecocks returned to the field to start the second half with a listless defensive performance as the Terriers marched down the field to inside the five-yard line. A series of defensive stops on 2nd and 3rd down appeared to help the Gamecocks, but a critical penalty gifted Wofford a first down at the South Carolina 1-yard line. That first down is immediately turned into a touchdown and the extra point to put the Terriers in back in the game at 14-10.
Bentley knew it was time to answer back.
"Yeah, I felt like we had to score to take back control of the game," Bentley said. "But that is what we want to do on every drive. Which is go out there and score. The guys responded really well after the touchdown by
South Carolina responded with an efficient drive of their own after a 30-yard run by RB AJ Turner put the Gamecocks in Wofford territory. Bentley once again uses his feet to scamper in on a 1-yard touchdown run and a 21-10 lead over the Terriers.
The Gamecocks controlled the rest of the game on offense, scoring with a 27-yard field goal from kicker Parker White and a 2-yard touchdown run by Turner.
South Carolina's defense capped off the game with an interception by Rashad Fenton.
The Gamecocks take on the No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.