No. 6 South Carolina handles UNC

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Updated: August 29, 2013

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) – Connor Shaw passed for 149 yards and a
touchdown and Mike Davis rushed for 115 yards and a score, as the No. 6 South
Carolina Gamecocks opened the 2013 season with a 27-10 victory over the North
Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Shaw completed 11-of-20 passes and hit Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown on
South Carolina’s third play from scrimmage, while backup Dylan Thompson’s
only throw went for a 29-yard touchdown to Kane Whitehurst.

Davis broke free for a 75-yard touchdown and needed just 12 carries to cross
the 100-yard plateau, as the Gamecocks (1-0), coming off an impressive 11-2
campaign last year, won their 14th consecutive season opener.

North Carolina signal-caller Bryn Renner completed 26-of-43 passes for 194
yards and a touchdown, while Romar Morris carried the ball 15 times for 69
yards for the Tar Heels (0-1), who went 8-4 last season and finished tied for
first place in the ACC, but were ineligible for a bowl game due to NCAA
sanctions.

Shaw’s first pass of the 2013 season produced his team’s first points, as he
found Roland behind the defense for a 65-yard score to make it 7-0 just 79
seconds into the game.

After a UNC punt, Shaw picked up a first down on 3rd-and-5 early in the
Gamecocks’ ensuing march and on 4th-and-2 from the UNC 30, Brandon Wilds
surged up the middle and appeared to be stopped short of the first down, but
kept his legs churning to pick up eight yards and a fresh set of downs.

The drive stalled there however, forcing the Gamecocks to settle for Elliott
Fry’s 39-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

Following a quick three-and-out from the Tar Heels, South Carolina converted a
pair of third downs before Thompson took over under center and found a wide
open Whitehurst in the back right corner of the end zone for a 29-yard TD and
a 17-0 cushion.

The Tar Heels finally got their offense going early in the second, as Renner
converted a 4th-and-2 from the South Carolina 25 with an 11-yard toss to Jack
Tabb for a fresh set of downs.

Renner picked up another first down with an 8-yard completion to Eric Ebron on
3rd-and-8 and two plays later, the North Carolina quarterback hit Quinshad
Davis on a slant route for a 4-yard score to bring the Tar Heels within 17-7.

After an exchange of punts, Fry buried a 26-yard field goal to send South
Carolina into the break with a 20-7 cushion.

The Tar Heels turned the opening possession of the second half into points, as
Renner converted a 4th-and-11 from the South Carolina 30 with a 13-yard strike
to Mark McNeill to keep the trek moving.

Morris broke free for 14 yards down to the Gamecocks’ 6-yard line, but on 3rd-
and-goal from the 2, Renner misfired on a pass, setting up Thomas Moore’s 20-
yard field goal to bring the Heels within 20-10.

South Carolina responded quickly, as Davis broke free down the right sideline
and outran the defense for a 75-yard score on the Gamecocks’ first play from
scrimmage to make it 27-10.

South Carolina’s defense stifled the Tar Heels from there, forcing three
straight punts from the North Carolina offense.

After a lightning strike caused a nearly two-hour delay midway through the
fourth, the Tar Heels had a prime opportunity to trim their deficit, but
Renner was stopped at the goal line on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line,
giving South Carolina the ball and ending UNC’s hopes of a comeback.

Game Notes

It was the 56th all-time meeting between these two programs, with UNC
holding a 34-18-4 advantage … South Carolina’s No. 6 ranking is the highest
preseason ranking in school history … UNC hasn’t won at South Carolina since
Sept. 9, 1983 … Renner has not thrown an interception in his last 134 pass
attempts dating back to last season … Wilds finished with 64 yards on 12
carries for the Gamecocks … Shaw added 43 rushing yards on 12 carries.