Thursday, May 24, 2018
Colleges

South Carolina Gamecocks rally past UCF Knights

ORLANDO — After UCF's upset victory at Penn State two weeks ago, the Knights entered their matchup with No. 12 South Carolina confident they could compete with a ranked SEC heavyweight.

For a half the Knights proved they were ready. And then they spent the final 30 minutes showing why they aren't quite there yet.

UCF had four turnovers, two leading to Gamecocks scores, and a late rally came up short in a 28-25 loss Saturday.

"If you turn the ball over like we did, it's going to be harder to stay in games," Knights coach George O'Leary said. "I can't say it got away. … We have a lot of young kids and we can't sustain on turnovers and short fields. When you have a chance to make plays you have to make them, and we didn't make enough plays in the second half."

Gamecocks' running back Mike Davis ran 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns. He picked up the slack for an offense that played the final three quarters without starting quarterback Connor Shaw, who left with a sprained right shoulder during his first offensive series. He is expected to be out 2-3 weeks.

The Knights (3-1) were sharp early but failed to convert all but one of South Carolina's miscues into points.

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 358 yards and two touchdown passes, but he had two interceptions and a fumble.

"For the first half, we were the better team," UCF linebacker Terrance Plummer said. "But they made plays in the second half, and we didn't make plays until it was too late."

Shaw was replaced by Dylan Thompson, and the Gamecocks were shut out for a half for the first time since 2010 as the Knights led 10-0.

The Gamecocks (3-1) turned to Davis in the second half, when he had 150 of his yards, including a 13-yard TD run for a 28-10 lead.

"We just started running, running and throwing a few here and there," coach Steve Spurrier said. "We had to try something different. … I like winning better than passing yards."

Still, UCF, playing in front of its first sellout crowd since 2011, closed to 28-18 with 10:13 to play on Bortles' 73-yard touchdown pass to Rannell Hall and subsequent 2-point conversion.

With less than four minutes to play, the Knights fell on a fumble inside their own 5 and drove 95 yards in three plays, capped by a 7-yard Bortles-to-Hall TD pass.

South Carolina fell on the onside kick and ran out the clock.

Comments
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Published: 05/22/18
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Published: 05/21/18
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18