COLUMBIA — Two yards downfield, South Carolina running back Mike Davis knew he crossed the milestone.
Maybe some tailbacks wouldn’t keep count in their head. Davis was different. He tallied his yardage, tracking it like an internal odometer. With 128 yards on 15 carries Saturday in a 34-16 win against Mississippi State, the sophomore crossed the 1,000-yard mark this season.
He didn’t have to be reminded afterward.
“I was aware of it at the Missouri game,” Davis said. “Going over a thousand yards, it means a lot. I’m proud of myself, and I am glad I was able to be the eighth person (to do that at USC). It’s a great feeling.”
Davis crossed 1,000 yards on a 43-yard carry in the third quarter. It was his fifth run of at least 40 yards this season.
The sophomore knew he was close to the milestone. Did he know he had it on that carry?
“Yep,” Davis said, bluntly.
Davis has now rushed for 100 yards in seven of USC’s nine games. In every game, he’s had more than 115 yards from scrimmage.
Now, Davis closes in on his predecessor. Former USC running back Marcus Lattimore had 1,197 rushing yards as a freshman, the most he ever had in any season. With at least four games left this season — including a bowl game — Davis is just 139 yards shy of tying Lattimore’s best.
“Yeah, I would love to surpass it, but I didn’t target that,” Davis said. “I didn’t even know I was close to it, but I guess, since you just brought it to my attention, of course I’m going to go at it.”
Shaw ties career record
The legend of Connor Shaw continues to grow every week.
USC coach Steve Spurrier admitted his quarterback didn’t have his best game Saturday. Shaw only completed 10 passes. However, four of them were for TDs — tying a career high.
“It was good to have four touchdowns on the day,” Shaw said. “I think we were 4 for 4 in the red zone. I just tried to distribute the ball to our players, and they made plays for us today.”
Shaw’s fourth touchdown Saturday was the 50th of his career. Shaw is second among USC quarterbacks in career touchdown passes, behind only Steve Taneyhill (62).
Picking off Prescott
South Carolina intercepted Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott three times Saturday. Each came from a freshman: safety Chaz Elder and linebackers Skai Moore and T.J. Holloman.
For Elder and Moore, it was their first career interception. Holloman had an interception prior to Saturday.
The interceptions were part of five MSU turnovers. USC had none.
“It means a lot to us, because in practice we’ve been preaching that we need to make a lot of turnovers and make a lot of plays,” Moore said. “So for us to come out there today and do that — it was a big thing. I think it contributed to the win a lot.”
Spurrier improved to 8-2 all-time against Mississippi State. … The Gamecocks have now won seven straight games against the Bulldogs. The last time MSU won in the series was 1999. … Shaw is now 23-5 as a starting quarterback. He is one win away from Todd Ellis’ 24, which is a program record.