South Carolina holds on to edge Troy 23-14
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) (AP) — David Spaulding returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown and Parker White kicked three field goals and South Carolina overcame several mistakes in the second half to hold off Troy 23-14 on Saturday.
White booted a 37-yard field goal in the fourth quarter with just over two minutes left to make it a two-possession lead and Damani Staley intercepted Taylor Powell with less than 30 seconds to play.
The Gamecocks (3-2) got a defensive touchdown for the third time in five games, Spaulding’s return giving them a 17-7 lead at halftime. Yet the Trojans (2-3) wouldn’t go away and South Carolina’s inability to take advantage of its numerous chances to score helped Troy stay in it.
The Gamecocks still haven’t found a solution for their sputtering running game, but quarterback Luke Doty completed 20 of 34 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and one fumble.
The Gamecocks blocked a Troy punt in the third quarter but only got a field goal out of a possession starting at the Trojans’ 23-yard line. Then after an interception by South Carolina’s Jahmar Brown was wiped by a booth review, the nuttiness truly began.
The Gamecocks’ Jaylan Foster sacked Powell on a safety blitz as the Trojans faced a third down, and the ball squirted loose. Staley retrieved it and tried to run, but was tripped.
The ball again tumbled to the turf and Brown picked it up and began running. He easily out-paced the rest of the field for a touchdown, except Brown flipped the ball to the referee a split-second before he crossed the goal line for a touchback.
The Gamecocks held and forced a punt, but Ahmarean Brown muffed the catch. South Carolina again stopped the Trojans, but on the next possession, Troy knocked the ball from Doty’s hand.
Troy: The Trojans are $1.4 million richer from the guaranteed contract agreeing to the game but felt they should have won. The mistakes giving them the advantage were there but the Trojans couldn’t make them count.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks got a win and the knowledge that they were more lucky than good. For a team that wasn’t expected to do much under coach Shane Beamer in his first season, some progress was expected to be shown. The defense has been marvelous but the offense continues to flounder.
Troy: Hosts Georgia Southern on Saturday.
South Carolina: Goes to Tennessee on Saturday.