Nashville, TN (WLTX) - Will Muschamp had a lot of pressure to win his first game as the Gamecocks new head coach, and he didn’t disappoint. The Gamecocks defeated the Commodores 13-10 with a career record 55-yard field goal by Elliot Fry in the final minutes of the game.
The Gamecocks have now won the last eight meetings against Vanderbilt, this time being lead to the victory by senior quarterback Perry Orth on the final drive.
It didn't start as well, as Vanderbilt got out to a 10-0 lead at halftime, and the USC offense struggled. Muschamp told a sideline reporter before the second half that the two critical turnovers in the first half hurt them; but the Gamecock’s offense came back in ready to turn the game around.
In the third quarter, receiver Bryan Edwards had a catch for a gain of 16 yards, picking up the momentum for the Gamecocks. On the next play, Deebo Samuel had another big grab, which lead to the Gamecocks 1st score of the season a 48-yard field goal by Elliot Fry. Gamecocks trailed 10-3.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, Bryan Edwards had a spectacular catch for 33-yard gain making it the biggest catch of the night for the Gamecocks. The drive did not result in a score.
Orth continued to push forward and led the Gamecocks down the field with the help of his freshman teammates A.J. Turner and Bryan Edwards, capped by an 8-yard rushing touchdown by Deebo Samuel. It was the first touchdown of the season for the Gamecocks, tying up the game 10-10 with 7 minutes left.
Both of Vanderbilt’s running backs responded with leading the Commodores down the field into field goal range. The Commodores missed a 44-yard attempt, giving the Gamecocks an opportunity to come back.
With 35 seconds left in the game, Elliot Fry completed the 55-yard field goal to bring home the Gamecocks first win of the season.
Even though South Carolina’s defense started to show fatigue in the second half, Muschamp said before kick off that the first game is all about making adjustments and to expect the unexpected.
The Gamecocks will have to make major adjustments in both their offense and defense in order to improve and put another win in the books by beating Mississippi State at their away game on September 10th.