Beamer secures mayo bath & Gamecocks bowl win

South Carolina downed North Carolina on Thursday, 38-21, at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.
Duke's Mayo Bowl
Duke's Mayo Bowl(WIS)
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 1:11 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 4:26 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Gamecocks quarterback shuffle spurs on a bowl victory.

Dakereon Joyner, Carolina’s on-again, off-again quarterback throughout his four-year Gamecock career, steps up at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Behind his strong effort throwing dimes and running over Tar Heels, Carolina secured its first bowl victory of the Shane Beamer era. South Carolina downed North Carolina on Thursday, 38-21.

Beamer celebrated by taking the victor’s mayo bath! He was covered in 4.5 gallons of mayonnaise, all for charity. $10,000 will go to the Gamecocks charity of choice.

The victory earned the Gamecocks their first winning season since 2018, where they also finished 7-6 overall. But unlike in ‘18, the Gamecocks dominated their bowl game matchup in Charlotte.

Joyner split snaps under center with Zeb Noland. Joyner was more effective using his wheels and arm. He completed all nine pass attempts for 160 yards and a touchdown. Joyner added 64 more yards on the ground. He was the player of the game.

If we’re allowed a co-MVP, it was Kevin Harris. He ran over North Carolina from start to finish. He rushed for 182 yards on 31 carries for one touchdown. Harris looked like the running back Gamecock fans saw in 2020. He used great vision and a quick burst to blast through the line and used his power to carry defenders extra yards.

North Carolina failed to set the alarm for the morning kick in the Queen City at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. But the Gamecocks rang the bell early to put UNC on notice.

The Tar Heels failed to set the alarm for the morning kick from Charlotte at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. But the Gamecocks rang the bell early to put UNC on notice.

On Carolina’s third play offensively, Dakereon Joyner uncorked a deep ball while falling on his back foot to Jaheim Bell. He hauled in the pass for the opening score on a 69-yard connection.

Joyner, who typically plays wideout, showcased his arm that grabbed everyone’s attention during his high school days at Fort Dorchester. It was his first pass in two seasons and his first career touchdown pass at Carolina. Carolina targeted Bell on the second drive.

This time it was Zeb Noland under center, and he delivered a dart to the Gamecock sophomore tight end. The 66-yard touchdown catch put South Carolina up 13-0 with 7:45 to go in the first.

Then instead of settling for the extra point, coach Shane Beamer uses a bit of trickery with his formation. Holder Kai Kroeger takes the snap like a quarterback and quickly flips it to Nick Muse for a successful two-point try. Gamecocks go up 15-0.

The Gamecocks stay aggressive and end up in field goal range on their third drive of the game. Parker White connected on a 30-yard field goal to become the program’s all-time leading scorer with 360 career points. He broke Elliott Fry’s record.

The Tar Heels find the scoring zone early in the second quarter. British Brooks found a huge lane to run. He ripped off a 63-yard touchdown run in an attempt to change the complexion of the first half.

After forcing their first punt, UNC used a pair of big-time throws from Sam Howell to march to Carolina’s 13-yard line in four plays. A couple of plays later, Howell’s dancing around in the pocket cost the Tar Heels valuable real estate. Zacch Pickens and Jordan Strachan teamed up to drop Howell for a 10-yard loss. UNC settled for a 40-yard field to make it a one-score game in Charlotte, 18-10, with 5:44 to play in the 2nd quarter.

Carolina quickly answered with its tailbacks running at will. Kevin Harris ripped off his longest run of the half of 17 yards to UNC’s 47. Then three plays later, JuJu McDowell scampered 35 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. Gamecocks went up 25-10 with 2:27 to play in the first half.

Carolina closed out the opening half in control leading 25-13. The Gamecocks racked up 312 total yards. Joyner and Noland were a combined six-for-six passing for 162 yards and two scores.

Gamecock junior wideout Ahmarean Brown entered the bowl game with seven catches on the season. Season stats did not dictate Brown’s role in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. On Carolina’s first drive of the second half, the Gamecocks connected with Brown twice for a pair of 20-plus yard catches. His second haul landed Carolina on the Tar Heels five-yard line. Harris would punch it in two plays later to give the Gamecocks a 32-13 advantage.

UNC needed misdirection to answer the Gamecock score. A reverse flea-flicker back to quarterback Sam Howell gave him an open target down the field. With a flick of the wrist, Howell hit Garrett Walston in stride for the 37-yard touchdown pass. UNC converted on a two-point try to close the gap, 32-21, with 7:24 to play in the 3rd quarter.

The Gamecock offense in the second half was effective at ball control and securing points. Carolina had only four drives in the entire half. The Gamecocks ran 40 plays combined, scoring 13 points while burning off more than 22 minutes of the game clock.

The final three points came off the boot of White to tie the school record for most field goals made.

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