COLUMBIA, Mo. – South Carolina sophomore running back Mike Davis entered Saturday night’s game at Missouri with a chance to continue running away with the SEC rushing title.
Things didn’t go according to plan. Davis did his damage in the receiver game instead.
Davis, the top rusher in the SEC this season, had easily his worst rushing game of the season. Against Missouri’s talented and deep defensive line, he was held to 51 rushing yards on 19 carries and had two critical fumbles, the second coming on Missouri’s 2-yard line and likely preventing a field goal.
But Davis caught a career-high 10 passes for 99 yards, including a third-down screen pass that set up USC’s touchdown to force overtime. The Gamecocks won in double overtime, 27-24
Davis was held without a touchdown for the first time this season, but he has gone over 100 offensive yards in all eight USC games.
Ellington scored two TDs after injury scare
Junior receiver Bruce Ellington returned from an injury scare in the first half to score two touchdowns, including a clutch 15-yard grab on fourth down to push the game to its second overtime.
Ellington’s first touchdown came on a 6-yard catch from senior quarterback Connor Shaw, giving USC its first lead. The pass was initially called incomplete before being overturned on the field, and then challenged. Replay showed Ellington snuck his left heel into the end zone while he had possession of the football, securing the touchdown before falling out of bounds.
Before halftime, Ellington was slow getting up after a play. Trainers had to help him walk off the field, but he avoided injury and scored the touchdown that sparked USC’s offense to life.
Thompson tossing passes
When Dylan Thompson starts a football game, Spurrier isn’t looking to play it safe with his backup quarterback.
Thompson completed 15-of-27 passes for 222 yards and an interception before being pulled for Shaw in the third quarter. He had 20 passes in the first half, on pace for the second 40-pass game of his career.
With Shaw unable to start Saturday night, some expected few pass plays with a heavy dose of running plays. That hasn’t been the history with Thompson in the game as a starter. Against Clemson last season, Thompson passed 41 times. He passed 32 times earlier this season at Central Florida when Shaw was knocked from the game on the opening possession with a sprained shoulder.