Sept. 16, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -Cory Boyd tied a school-record with three rushing touchdowns as the Gamecocks barely escaped with a 27-20 win over Wofford on Saturday night.
All Boyd’s scores came in the first half when the Gamecocks led 24-10 and looked like they were finally playing the kind of ball coach Steve Spurrier wanted. Along with Boyd’s production, star receiver Sidney Rice had 110 yards receiving in the half and new quarterback Syvelle Newton looked in control in his first start under center since 2004. Newton replaced the suspended Blake Mitchell in the starting lineup.
But Wofford clamped down in the second half and turned the Gamecocks’ lackadaisical play against them. Justin Franklin’s fourth-quarter interception led to Nick Robinson’s 28-yard field goal that cut things to 27-13. Then the Terriers rushed punter Ryan Succop, forcing to throw the ball away to avoid a safety.
It took one play to stun everyone left at Williams-Brice Stadium as Josh Collier’s 25-yard TD pass to Andy Strickland drew the Terriers to 27-20 with 4:43 left.
Wofford had one last chance, driving to South Carolina’s 10 with :29 to go. On fourth-and-5, the Gamecocks’ Dakota Walker knocked Collier’s pass attempt into the air and linebacker Cody Wells caught it and South Carolina (2-1) escaped a huge embarrassment.
Boyd had scoring runs of 10, 1 and 40 yards in the opening half to tie the school record of TD runs in a game last accomplished by Dondrial Pinkins against Vanderbilt in 2003.
Newton, used by Spurrier as a triple-threat offensive weapon at quarterback; running back; and receiver last season, kept control of things in his first start at quarterback since 2004. Just as importantly – he got the ball to Rice, the Gamecocks unquestioned star who had six 100-yard plus receiving games last year but came into this one with only five catches for 44 yards.
Rice made a stunning, one-handed grab for 45 yards in the first quarter and Boyd followed with his 10-yard TD run.
Rice finished with seven catches for 151 yards.
Wofford, of the Southern Conference, looked overmatched. But the Terriers grew stronger throughout the game, rushing for 290 yards. Kevious Johnson had 129 yards and a touchdown.
The loss dropped the Terriers to 1-9 all-time against Division I-A teams.