In a game that the New York Post dubbed a battle of "in-state" rivals, it was South Carolina that came out on top. The Gamecocks immediately seized control of the game when they jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the first drive of the game. On that drive, new starting RB Mike Davis ran twice for 17 yards and then QB Connor Shaw threw a 65 yard bomb to WR Shaq Roland for a TD. After holding UNC to 20 yards on 6 plays on the Heels first drive, the Gamecocks got the ball back and drove it 58 yards but had to settle for a FG when Roland dropped a TD pass. UNC then went three and out and Carolina capped their third drive when back-up QB Dylan Thompson hit a 29 yard TD pass to Kane Whitehurst to put the Gamecocks up 17-0 with four minutes left in the first and Spurrier and his troops would never look back.
Ultimately, it was the Gamecocks scoring on their first three drives that broke the will of the Heels. After the first quarter, the game was played to a 10-10 draw but it was too little too late. The Gamecocks had a great gameplan out of the gate but struggled to find their offensive identity throughout the rest of the game. They were at their best when running the ball right at the Heels but often strayed from that strength. Davis finished with 115 yards on 12 carries including a 75 yard TD run and back-up Brandon Wilds added 64 yards on 12 carries.
Heisman hopeful Jadeveon Clowney struggled to stay on the field throughout the game as he was described as having a "stomach virus" earlier in the week. Overall though, you have to give a game ball to the Gamecocks defense. Whether it was UNC missing Giovani Bernard or just getting outplayed by the Gamecocks defense, the Heels were held to just 293 total yards and that was the difference in the game.