- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It has been an ugly first half of football inside of Williams-Brice Stadium, but South Carolina leads 14-3.
Stat of the half: You could go with the 174 combined offensive yards by both teams or the 10 combined penalties for 100 yards. There are almost more penalty yards than yards of offense. Vanderbilt hasn't done much and is only on the scoreboard because of an interception by Casey Hayward that was returned to South Carolina's 22-yard line. South Carolina had nothing going on offense until a screen pass to Marcus Lattimore went 52 yards for a score before the half, but a couple of big plays have been negated by holding penalties.
Best player of the half: Hayward's two interceptions were nice, but the player(s) of the half is South Carolina's defensive line. Vanderbilt has -4 yards rushing on 16 attempts and South Carolina has five sacks. Vanderbilt quarterback hasn't had much time to breathe in the pocket with all of the pressure he's faced. Vanderbilt's line has been demolished by the Gamecocks. End Melvin Ingram has two of the five sacks. One sack by Jadeveon Clowney resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Gamecocks as well.
Play of the half: South Carolina's offense was doing absolutely nothing until a perfectly called screen play from Stephen Garcia to Lattimore that went for a 52-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the half, putting the Gamecocks up 14-3. That was the longest pass play for the Gamecocks this season. With the way this game has gone, that could be enough for the Gamecocks.
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