COLUMBIA — On a record-setting day of offense for South Carolina, it was only fitting that Connor Shaw was at the helm.
Shaw delivered a brief but virtuoso performance Saturday against Coastal Carolina as the No. 12 Gamecocks blasted the Chanticleers, 70-10, at Williams-Brice Stadium.
In becoming South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback, Shaw threw for one touchdown and ran for another. The Gamecocks (9-2) set a record for most points scored in the Steve Spurrier era, and they matched the most yards of offense under Spurrier with 639 total yards.
“Obviously, it’s pretty special to me,” said Shaw, who improved to 25-5 as a starter. “Just the way we did it today, too, our whole offense did really great and it was fun to watch.”
Shaw only led three drives before giving way to Dylan Thompson, but all three resulted in South Carolina touchdowns.
The first score was vintage Shaw as he took the snap in shotgun formation, then it looked like he was going to run. But he snapped off a throw on the run to a wide open Shaq Roland for a 35-yard touchdown, and the rout was on.
Shaw did more running and passing on the Gamecocks’ second score, which was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Jamari Smith. Then, after recovering a Coastal Carolina fumble, South Carolina made short work of a short field. Shaw scored on a sneak from the goal line to put the Gamecocks up 21-0.
Shaw finished with 139 yards passing (8 of 11) and 39 rushing yards.
“We scored about every time and messed up once and our defense played very well, so we kept getting the ball back,” Spurrier said.
Shaw yielded to Thompson, and the backup threw touchdown passes to Nick Jones and Pharoh Cooper. Brandon Wilds added a rushing touchdown as the Gamecocks led 42-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, South Carolina continued to score without much trouble as Thompson (9 yards), Cooper (71) and Shon Carson (1) all rushed for touchdowns. Wilds added a touchdown in the fourth as the Gamecocks scored the fifth-most points in program history.
With defensive stars Kelcy Quarles and Jadeveon Clowney sitting out because of injuries, South Carolina didn’t need them in their first ever-meeting with the Football Championship Subdivision school.
The day wasn’t a total loss for Coastal Carolina. Thanks to Charleston Southern’s win over Liberty, the Chanticleers (10-2) won the Big South Conference’s automatic bid into the FCS playoffs.
Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia pulled most of his starters after the game got out of hand early.
“They beat us today and I think that we all understand what we needed to do to have a shot in the fourth quarter, and we were not able to get that done and they played very well,” Moglia said.
Shaw eclipsed the record he shared with Todd Ellis for most victories as starting quarterback. With 25 wins, Shaw has at least two more games to play in his career. If Missouri loses one of its final two Southeastern Conference games, the Gamecocks would play in the SEC title game Dec. 7.
The victory also extended South Carolina’s record home winning streak to 17 games. Next up is Clemson, and the Gamecocks will look to extend their winning streak against the Tigers to five games.
“We have Clemson coming in, and we have the chance to continue our winning streak at home,” cornerback Victor Hampton said. “We definitely don’t want to give that up, so we don’t want to lose this game against Clemson.”