East Carolina Pirates fall at South Carolina Gamecocks 33-23


At first, it seemed like it might be possible. One field goal, then another. The start of something bigger. However those field goals were actually the first warning signs, as the East Carolina Pirates did not score enough touchdowns against the South Carolina Gamecocks to upset them. The game was close the whole way, but a healthy Mike Davis and a South Carolina defense that bent but never broke kept ECU from making a complete and total comeback once the game had turned. Though Shane Carden found Cam Worthy in the fourth quarter, the gap never got closer than 30-23. A final Gamecock field goal produced the final margin, 33-23.

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Play of the Game

After ECU had put together two drives that ended in field goals, South Carolina tailback was given the ball on a sweep. It was well blocked, including at the wide receiver level, and Davis took the ball thirty-six yards for the score and a 7-6 lead for the Gamecocks. Although ECU would recapture the lead at 13-6, it signaled the resurrection of the South Carolina offense.

Were You There When…

Kicker Elliot Fry of South Carolina chipped in from 20 yards out to seal the game. If Fry had somehow missed that kick, East Carolina would have had a minute or so of game action to attempt to tie the score. Fry didn’t miss it, and the game was just about over.

Sep 6, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Justin Hardy (2) is brought down by South Carolina Gamecocks cornerback Al Harris Jr. (31) at Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina wins 33-23 over East Carolina. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

I Want Him on My Team

Justin Hardy, WR

East Carolina could not have asked for more from Hardy on this afternoon. The ECU receiver found way to get open in the South Carolina secondary and make first downs. He caught 11 balls for a total of 142 yards. Quarterback Shane Carden might have been more key to them winning the game, if that had happened, but Hardy kept the team alive and going.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately East Carolina could not convert possessions into touchdowns. Their defense did a superb job of holding South Carolina to field goals, so it was not that the opportunities were lacking. The Pirates were always in this game and played hard. They also cannot afford to get down about this, because giant killer Virginia Tech is on the horizon. That will be a big game too, perhaps bigger than this one was.

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