COLUMBIA — South Carolina figured it would be tough to replace Marcus Lattimore, who opted for the NFL Draft after his junior season and two severe knee injuries during his career.
But sophomore Mike Davis has filled in nicely, winning the starting job in the preseason camp and then backing it up in his first three games.
In Saturday night’s win against Vanderbilt, Davis rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a 38-yard pass that was a key play in South Carolina’s second scoring drive.
Davis rushed for a 75-yard touchdown in the season opener against North Carolina, and against Georgia he ripped off a 75-yard gain that didn’t make it to the end zone. He rushed for more than 100 yards in each of those games.
CAREER NIGHT: Receiver Bruce Ellington had another big game, catching eight passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.
After catching just one pass in each of the first two games this season, the speedy junior figured big in the game plan against Vanderbilt. He produced with several big plays, including a 26-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shaw.
Saturday night’s performance surpassed his previous highs of seven catches and 104 yards, both set in 2012.
GIESE DIES: Former University of South Carolina football coach Warren Giese died Thursday, according to the school. He was 89.
Giese amassed a 28-21-1 record coaching the Gamecocks from 1956-60. His best year came in 1958, when South Carolina posted a 7-3 record and finished No. 13 in the nation.
A moment of silence was observed before Saturday night’s game for Giese and his family.
HOME COOKING: South Carolina improved its home winning streak at Williams-Brice Stadium to 13 with the victory. It is tied with Georgia for the second-longest active streak, behind Michigan’s 17.
The best home winning streak in school history occurred from 1978-80 when the George Rogers-led Gamecocks won 15 in a row. This year’s team could match the record with wins over Kentucky (Oct. 5) and Mississippi State (Nov. 2).
The potential record-breaker would come Nov. 16 against Florida.