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(Saturday, September 8th)
Final Score: (9) South Carolina 48, East Carolina 10
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - No Connor Shaw, no problem.
The South Carolina junior quarterback sat with a bruised right shoulder and backup Dylan Thompson threw for 330 yards with three touchdowns to lead the ninth-ranked Gamecocks to a 48-10 rout of East Carolina.
Thompson completed 21-of-37 passes and was not intercepted in place of Shaw, who was hurt in last week's season-opener against Vanderbilt. Third- string senior Seth Strickland also threw a touchdown pass, as did wide receiver Ace Sanders in the lopsided victory.
"My job as the backup is to always be ready," Thompson said. "All week I just had my mind focused on it's my week to show what I can do. We got off to a great start."
Marcus Lattimore ran for 40 yards and the opening touchdown of the contest for the Gamecocks (2-0). South Carolina racked up 528 yards of total offense.
Rio Johnson and Shane Carden combined for 333 yards through the air for East Carolina (1-1), which was coming off a 35-13 win over Appalachian State to open the season. Johnson finished with 193 yards, but was picked off three times.
"It is very hard to lose a game like this, but this doesn't change our goal of winning our conference," Carden said. "We just have to be ready to go next week."
South Carolina opened the scoring just over a minute into the contest, as a 53-yard pass from Thompson to Damiere Byrd set up Lattimore's 6-yard touchdown run.
After Warren Harvey missed a 46-yard field goal try for East Carolina, the Gamecocks quickly marched 71 yards the other way. Four plays of at least 12 yards each set up Thompson's 7-yard TD pass to Rory Anderson for a 14-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the first quarter.
Thompson hit DeAngelo Smith with a 30-yard scoring strike just over two minutes into the second quarter before East Carolina's next possession ended with a Brison Williams interception of Johnson inside the South Carolina 10.
ECU's Jabril Solomon fumbled inside South Carolina territory a few minutes later to thwart another drive and Johnson was picked off by D.J. Swearinger with just over a minute to play in the half.
Carden started the second half under center for East Carolina and he was picked off by Shaq Wilson on his first pass attempt. Thompson then needed three plays to put the Gamecocks back in the end zone, throwing a 29-yard TD pass to D.L. Moore for a 28-0 cushion.
Johnson was back in the lineup for ECU's next series and he was intercepted immediately by Jimmy Legree, who raced 34 yards the other way for a score.
The Pirates finally got on the board late in the third on a 23-yard Harvey field goal, but the Gamecocks used a gadget play early in the fourth to add to their lead as Sanders hit Moore with a 16-yard scoring strike to make it 41-3.
Carden put ECU into the end zone a few minutes later with a 34-yard pass to Justin Hardy, who finished the contest with eight catches for 111 yards.
Thompson fumbled away South Carolina's next possession, but Strickland finished the rout with a 51-yard TD strike to Anderson in the final minute.
Anderson had four catches for 90 yards in the victory ... East Carolina has now lost 12 straight games when scoring 20 points or fewer ... South Carolina leads the all-time series, 12-5, including a 56-37 win last year in Charlotte ... South Carolina hosts UAB next Saturday ... East Carolina will open Conference USA play next Saturday at Southern Miss.
09/08 19:52:06 ET
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