The 2016 college football season in the SEC got off to a hot start when the South Carolina Gamecocks hosted SEC East rival Vanderbilt Commodores. It was a back-and-forth battle of two offenses that struggled to get much going and it came down to the fourth quarter to decide the winner.
The Gamecocks looked sluggish on the offense, but they used a big surge from senior quarterback Perry Orth. They needed a fourth quarter comeback to win the game and they did so thanks to a late-game field goal.
The Commodores controlled the clock most of the first half, holding the ball with running backs Ralph Webb and Khari Blasingame getting most of the work on offense. Vanderbilt had a 10-0 lead going into halftime after a one-yard scamper by the latter back.
The first half was full of mistakes by the Gamecocks, who played a two-quarterback system with Orth getting the start and true freshman Brandon McIlwain seeing some good playing time. McIlwain led the team in rushing yards in the first half, which is pretty awful considering he only had 29.
The Gamecocks were able to cut into the Commodores’ lead with a field goal in the third quarter, but it wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that they could tie it up. Deebo Samuel scored from eight yards out on his first carry of the night.
After that touchdown, the Commodores were looking to make their way back on the board, but Tommy Openshaw missed a potentially game-winning field goal from 45 yards out. The Gamecocks took advantage as they traveled down the field and set up Elliott Fry for a career-long field goal from 55 yards out, which he connected on to give his team their first lead with under a minute left in the game.
The Gamecocks held on for the big win to move to 1-0 on the year. They were led by Bryan Edwards, who recorded 101 yards on eight receptions. AJ Turner added 70 yards on 13 carries.