January 2, 1995 • Miami, Florida • 50,833 Attendance
The 1994 Gamecocks etched their names forever in the school’s football record books by winning the first bowl game in school history with a stirring 24-21 win over West Virginia at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.
Carolina took advantage of an early West Virginia fumble on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Steve Taneyhill’s two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Boomer Foster with 12:34 remaining in the first quarter staked USC to an early lead that it never relinquished.
The lead grew to 10-0 in the second period when Reed Morton was successful on a 47-yard field goal – the longest in both the Carquest Bowl and Carolina’s bowl history. The Mountaineers then marched 67 yards on five plays, with tailback Robert Walker running it in from 24 yards out to make the score 10-7.
Carolina retaliated with a 66-yard, 13-play drive of its own. Taneyhill, the game’s MVP, avoided the sack and ran four yards for the score, leaping into the end zone with 2:36 to play in the half to give the Gamecocks a 17-7 halftime lead.
West Virginia scored on its first possession of the second half. After a Carolina punt, the Mountaineers began to drive again. On third-and-14 from the USC 29, Gamecock free safety Ben Washington made the defensive play of the day when he picked off Chad Johnston’s pass at the nine and returned it 42 yards. Seven plays later, Stanley Pritchett dove into the end zone and USC led 24-14.
WVU’s Johnston found tight end Lovett Purnell for a second touchdown, and the third quarter concluded with Carolina clinging to a 24-21 lead.
WVU threatened late in the fourth quarter before being held on downs with 3:52 left. While attempting to run out the clock, Carolina’s Stanley Pritchett broke free and was heading in for a score when Aaron Beasley came from behind and stripped the ball. Following a mad scramble, WVU took possession at its own three with 1:14 left. However, two incompletions and a sack were all the Mountaineers could muster.
USC Foster 2-yard pass from Taneyhill (Morton kick); (6 plays, 35 yards, TOP 2:16); 12:34
USC Morton 47-yard field goal (7 plays, 40 yards, TOP 2:07); 12:34
WVU Walker 24-yard run (Baumann kick) (5 plays, 67 yards, TOP 2:44); 9:50
USC Taneyhill 4-yard run (Morton kick) (13 plays, 66 yards, TOP 7:14); 2:36
WVU Purnell 6-yard pass from Johnston (Baumann kick) (4 plays, 45 yards, TOP 2:08); 11:09
USC Pritchett 1-yard run (Morton kick) (7 plays, 49 yards, TOP 3:15); 2:40
WVU Purnell 7-yard pass from Johnston (Baumann kick) (7 plays, 70 yards, TOP 1:56); 0:34
|Net Yards Rushing||148||150|
|Net Yards Passing||227||240|
|Total Offense Yards||375||390|
|Total Offense Plays||77||64|
|Sacks By: No.-Yards||6-23||4-50|
South Carolina Statistics
Passing: Taneyhill 36-26-0-227.
Rushing: Bennett 14-100; Pritchett 13-53; Bridges 2-13; Reddick 1-4; Troop 1-1; Taneyhill 9-(-11); Robinson 1-(-12).
Receiving: Nicklow 7-51; Pritchett 5-56; Bennett 4-16; Reddick 1-20; Owens 2-19; Harris 2-20; Robinson 1-44.