Things were not looking good for the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday. First, starting quarterback Connor Shaw suffered a right shoulder sprain on South Carolina’s first drive of the game. Then, with backup quarterback Dylan Thompson in the game, the Gamecocks failed to score in the first half, and went to the locker room trailing the Central Florida Knights 10-0.
On his way into the locker room, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said that the Gamecocks needed to run the ball more effectively in the second half to have a chance to come from behind.
Enter Mike Davis. South Carolina began the second half by giving Davis the ball repeatedly, and he responded. In fact, Davis rushed for a career-high 167 yards and a career-best three touchdowns as the Gamecocks rallied past UCF, 28-25.
This was a game that easily could have gone the other way. UCF was excited to have an SEC opponent coming into its stadium, and the crowd was electric, especially when the Knights led in the first half. And with Thompson struggling throwing the ball, Spurrier knew that he would be forced to use the running game to win this game. And he did.
South Carolina will need to continue to be able to run the ball, especially if Shaw is out for an extended period of time. Shaw adds the threat of the run from the quarterback position, but Thompson does not. If Thompson is under center, it is a foregone conclusion that Davis is going to get the ball. And if Saturday is any indication, the Gamecocks will be in good hands with Davis.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.