Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Saturday, September 8, 2012
Carolina cruises with Thompson at helm

By David Helman


Not much opposition for the only other SEC team with a noon kickoff.

South Carolina 48, ECU 10No Connor Shaw, no problem for South Carolina -- at least against the likes of ECU.

Shaw was scratched from the starting lineup after a week of uncertainty following the shoulder injury he suffered against Vanderbilt. His replacement, sophomore Dylan Thompson, went an unimpressive 0-for-3 in spot duty against the Commodores, but he shined against the Pirates.

Thompson connected on 21 of 37 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. The youngster aimed downfield early and often despite it being just his first start, starting with a 53-yard completion to Damiere Byrd on the fourth play of the game to set up a Marcus Lattimore touchdown two plays later. For the afternoon Thompson connected on touchdown strikes of 7, 30 and 29 yards, helping the Gamecocks to a 28-0 lead just after halftime.

When South Carolina cornerback Jimmy Legree intercepted ECU quarterback Rio Johnson and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, it was 35-0 and all but over.

The Gamecocks rolled up 528 yards of total offense, with 397 of those coming through the air against the overmatched Pirates' secondary. South Carolina totaled 131 yards on the ground, but  Lattimore only accounted for 40 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The Gamecocks were undoubtedly trying to limit Lattimore's carries against an overmatched opponent, but those numbers won't cut it for a Heisman hopeful.