Sept. 4, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dondrial Pinkins ran for a touchdown and threw for another to lead South Carolina to a 31-6 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, the 14th straight time the Commodores have lost their Southeastern Conference opener.
South Carolina, trying to rebound from an embarrassing 63-17 blowout loss at home to Clemson to end last season, took control from the opening kick and scored on three straight possessions.
The Gamecocks held the ball for nearly 38 minutes and rolled up 453 yards total offense. They held Vandy to 306 yards and forced four turnovers, including one returned 98 yards for a TD.
Vanderbilt went three-and-out on its first two possessions and didn’t get a first down until the second quarter.
Pinkins was 11-of-18 for 168 yards passing and rushed 17 times for 77 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run that put South Carolina up 7-0. He threw a touchdown pass to Brian Brownlee on fourth-and-goal at the 1 on the next possession to make it 14-0.
It was a disappointing season opener for Vanderbilt, which returned 21 starters and was hoping for a strong start in its quest to snap a streak of 21 consecutive losing seasons.
But Vanderbilt, which hasn’t won a season opener since 1997, was never in sync and was outgained 167-3 in total offense in the first quarter alone.
Vanderbilt finally scored in the second quarter when Kwane Doster ran in from 4 yards out and made it 17-6.
But that would be it against South Carolina, which hasn’t opened the season against an SEC opponent since a 1995 loss to Georgia.