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Columbia, SC

Gamecocks' Bentley throws 4 TDs in season-opening win

2001 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Jake Bentley threw for four touchdowns, Rico Dowdle scored twice and South Carolina beat Coastal Carolina 49-15 Saturday in a season opener for each team.

The Gamecocks didn't show any sign of their historical pattern of letting smaller opponents hang around. South Carolina scored in the first three minutes, twice in the first 10 and put the game away on its third touchdown with 6:03 to go before halftime.

"I think we were very efficient offensively, obviously, when you're able to stay balanced like that," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. "Defensively, we didn't give up anything big, except for some silly penalties we need to get cleaned up."

South Carolina rolled up 557 yards of offense and six different players scored. Receiver Deebo Samuel, recovered from a broken leg that ended his season after just three games last year, made a one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone.

Dowdle broke 100 yards for the fourth time in his career while Ty'Son Williams rushed 11 times for 82 yards. Samuel caught seven balls and Shi Smith led the Gamecocks with 61 yards receiving.

Coastal Carolina was held to 238 yards.

"I think we played hard against what I think is one of the better teams in the country. I think it took us a while to get used to their speed on both sides of the ball," Coastal coach Joe Moglia said. "They were able to control the line of scrimmage, especially when their offense was on the field."

Top South Carolina defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum injured his left ankle in the third quarter and was taken to the locker room. Muschamp said that it was a sprained ankle and from what he knew Saturday, Wonnum will be fine for the next game.

South Carolina defensive back Nick Harvey was ejected for targeting and will miss the first half of the next game.


South Carolina: The Gamecocks' new up-tempo offense only displayed itself a couple of times, but there was no need to show off everything with so much on the horizon. They needed to take care of an undermanned opponent right away and did so.


South Carolina: The Gamecocks host a crucial game in the SEC East race when they host No. 3 Georgia next Saturday.