COLUMBIA - South Carolina ran the football with a modicum of success in the first quarter of its 34-10 football loss to No. 3 Clemson on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
The Gamecocks ran for 51 yards on nine carries and trailed just 7-0 as they were having success running the ball up the middle against the Tigers' stout defensive front.
That was about as good as it got for USC though. They only had 57 yards on 16 carries at the end of the first half, trailing 20-0 as they never really stayed with the run.
Carolina's leading rusher, A.J. Turner, only played in the first two offensive series of the game. He had a rush for seven yards and caught two passes for three yards on the first series. He ran for three yards on the first play of the second series. On the next play, South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley threw an interception to Clemson cornerback Ryan Carter, who returned it 12 yards for the first points of the game.
Turner didn't return after that, finishing with two rushes for 10 yards and two receptions for three yards. Turner's absence left the door open for Ty'Son Williams, who responded with a solid contest.
Williams, the former Crestwood High School standout, finished the game with ?? yards on 1? Carries. He also caught two passes for 13 yards.
BENTLEY STRUGGLES AGAIN
A change of venue and a year of experience did not change Bentley's fortunes against the Clemson defense.
After completing just 7 of 17 passes for 41 yards with one interception in the Tigers' 56-7 demolition of the Gamecocks in Death Valley last year in just his sixth collegiate game, Bentley was 10 for 23 for ?? yards with one interception on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium with a full season of starts under his belt.
The Gamecocks had Bentley throwing a number of short passes in the early going, hitting on his first three. He then threw an incompletion and followed it with the pick-six to Carter.
Bentley was 5-for-7 for 15 yards after one quarter and was 8-for-15 for 42 yards at halftime. He was 10-for-23 for 49 yards after three quarters. His longest completion was a 13-yarder to Williams.
USC punter Joseph Charlton had a great night punting the ball, averaging 52.6 yards on seven punts. However, his net average wasn't nearly as good as three of the punts made it into the end zone for touchdowns, taking 20 yards off of each punt.
The frustrating part for Carolina fans was that on two of the three punts it appeared USC had a chance to down the ball inside the Clemson 5-yard line, but the ball made it into the end zone.