Gamecocks beat Bulldogs, 41-20

Citadel running back Darien Robinson, right, is wrapped up by South Carolina linebacker Rodney Paulk, left, as he dives through the line of scrimmage during the first half the game in Columbia Saturday.

Brett Flashnick

South Carolina sputtered early but pulled away to beat The Citadel 41-20 on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Gamecocks led 20-13 at halftime, despite out-gaining the Bulldogs 354-174. USC went up 27-13 with 4:30 left in the third quarter, on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to Ace Sanders. USC made it 34-13 with 11:07 left in the game, on a 32-yard pass from Shaw to Alshon Jeffery, who made a pretty, one-handed grab on a jump ball on the side of the end zone.

In the previous three games, Jeffery had zero touchdown catches and no more than three catches and 19 yards in any one game. Shaw had thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns in the past two games, a loss at Arkansas and a win against Florida. In the past four games, he had two touchdown passes and five picks.

Now, the 14th-ranked Gamecocks (9-2) can turn their attention to next Saturday's 7:45 p.m. home game against Clemson, which entered Saturday ranked No. 7. USC will try to win 10 games in a season for just the second time ever. The Gamecocks on Saturday reached the nine-win mark for just the fourth time in school history.

The Citadel finished its season with a 4-7 record.