SC will open the 2019 season back in the same building, facing North Carolina in the Belk College Kickoff game on August 31. SC called a timeout, as much to catch its breath on a drive that had already lasted 12 plays and almost seven minutes as to get organized. "I appreciate our fan base. We sold our allotment of tickets and didn't put on a good show and that's on me, and I apologize to them".
South Carolina's injury-ravaged defense gave up 413 yards to the Cavaliers, most of it to junior quarterback Bryce Perkins.
What could have been a momentum-shifter for the Gamecocks was made meaningless just three plays later as Bentley was picked off by Juan Thornhill, who returned the interception 54 yards to the SC 21.
No fans should expect any Jadeveon Clowney-type hits in this bowl game, but the SC defense will need to come up big, especially against a Virginia quarterback who can both throw and is slippery. On Virginia's second drive of the third quarter, it faced third and seven, a bad situation for Perkins.
The final Saturday afternoon of 2018 proved to be a showcase in Charlotte for the University of Virginia's Bryce Perkins and Olamide Zaccheaus, along with the Cavaliers' defensive unit. Those figures come on the heels of 85 catches for 895 yards and five scores last fall.
Virginia scored 14 points in the second half. On the second, former walk-on linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle shot upfield and left Perkins a wide gap to run for a first down and set up a score.
Sophomore linebacker Jordan Mack says, "Just knowing how much we prepared, and how much we put in, the film, the practice reps, all that, coming into now just feels wonderful".
SC will open the 2019 season in Charlotte against the UNC Tar Heels on August 31st, 2019. RB Jordan Ellis led Cavaliers in rushing with 931 yards with nine TDs. The Gamecocks run the football well despite not having a true superstar at the position.
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Virginia went 2-10 in 2016, Mendenhall and Hall's first season in Charlottesville. They knew what was capable and they knew we weren't going to win unless they played well.
"I wish I had another year, because next year is going to be better than this year", Zaccheaus said. SC chose to go for it on 4th and goal from the 11, and they were shut down. The Gamecocks put up 600 yards of offense in a 56-35 loss to rival Clemson.
UVA's defense, playing with only four defensive linemen (freshman end Aaron Faumui missed the game after being diagnosed with mononucleosis), not only posted a shutout of SC - a team that had only been held to less than 24 points twice all season - it shut down the Gamecocks' vaunted passing game. Expect South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley to be the deciding factor of this game. Delaney's extra point was true to give the Cavaliers a 28-0 lead. That should bolster a secondary that is returning most of its players other than Tim Harris.
"We weren't here for vacation", Zaccheaus said after being named the game's MVP.
Perkins completed 22 of 31 passes for 208 yards and the three scores and added another 81 yards on the ground.
"Disappointed with the performance", Will Muschamp said after the game, via The State. "We came here to get the win, that was the expectation".
"We've worked tirelessly from our last overtime loss (to Virginia Tech) to this one", Mendenhall said.
From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. "Our players embraced a pretty fierce work ethic".