ORLANDO, FL (WIS) - The 12th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) came back from a first half shutout to beat the University of Central Florida 28-25 Saturday in Orlando.
Central Florida (3-1, 0-0) wrapped up a 75-yard opening drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to go on the scoreboard first.
On South Carolina's first drive, Connor Shaw fumbled on the UCF 36-yard line and the Knights recovered. Shaw injured his shoulder on the play and was taken to the locker room. South Carolina officials say he suffered a shoulder strain and he did not play the rest of the game.
South Carolina's defense held the Knights and forced them to punt. Dylan Thompson came in to lead the South Carolina offense, but they failed to find the end zone.
Central Florida made it 10-0 with a 27 yard field goal with 4:26 in the 2nd quarter.
South Carolina's offense couldn't cross the goal line and trailed 10-0 at halftime.
After the Gamecocks' lack of success with the passing game in the first half, South Carolina's first drive of the second half was all running plays, ending with a 53-yard touchdown run by Mike Davis to make it 10-7.
Running back Brandon Wilds left the game in the third quarter with an arm injury after fumbling on the South Carolina 47 yard-line. Wilds is out indefinitely with a right elbow strain. Central Florida recovered the fumble but couldn't capitalize on it.
After the UCF punt, Thompson orchestrated a 97-yard drive and iced the cake with his own 4-yard touchdown run to give the Gamecocks the lead for the first time, 14-10 with 3:58 in the third quarter.
The running game continued to work for the Gamecocks with a 13-yard touchdown run by Mike Davis at 14:02 in the fourth quarter to put South Carolina up 21-10. Four minutes later, Davis scored again from 13 yards out to make it 28-10. Davis rushed 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Central Florida would not allow the second half shutout, scoring on a 73-yard reception with 9:48 to go in the game. Adding the two-point conversion, the Knights closed the gap to 28-18.
With 2:45 in the game and South Carolina knocking on the door again, Davis fumbled on the 3-yard line and Central Florida recovered. Just a few plays later, the Knights were in the end zone again on a 7-yard touchdown catch with 1:54 to go, making it 28-25.
UCF went for the onside kick, but South Carolina recovered it and held on for the win.
Knights' quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 358 yards and two touchdown passes, but had two interceptions and a fumble.
South Carolina next hosts Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
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