Gamecocks shut out 28-0 by Virginia in Belk Bowl

Posted December 31, 2018

Zaccheaus was honored as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2018 Belk Bowl.

The over is 5-0 in the Cavaliers' last five bowl games.

SC fell to 7-6 on the season, while Virginia improved to 8-5.

Virginia's win is the second shutout in Belk Bowl history.

Perkins threw three touchdown passes to Olamide Zaccheaus, the game's Most Outstanding Player, and Virginia's 14th-ranked pass defense dominated a SC team that had averaged more than 38 points over its previous five games.

SC has a veteran quarterback with Jake Bentley, but they are going to miss their most explosive player in Deebo Samuel.

South Carolina's defensive focus during its bowl preparation was to contain UVA's Perkins, a dual-threat, and make him beat them with his arm. "They were a great football team".

"They present a lot of issues and they outnumber you because of the quarterback and he creates and extra gap", Muschamp said.

Didn't matter, they controlled the line of scrimmage for the most part and kept South Carolina's potentially explosive passing game on the sidelines. Jordan Ellis had a 9 yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Gamecocks tried to score before the half, but a sack ruined any chance they would have of stealing points before the second quarter came to a close.

"I'm so proud of our football program, the coaches and players, and the progress that we've made in a three-year span", Mendenhall said.

"I wish I had another year, because next year is going to be better than this year", Zaccheaus said. The top receivers for Bentley and the Gamecocks have been Deebo Samuel (5.2 rec/g; 73.5 yds/g; 11 TD), Bryan Edwards (4.3 rec/g; 67.4 yds/g; 7 TD), and Shi Smith (3.5 rec/g; 54.3 yds/g; 4 TD).

Virginia scored first on an impressive 77-yard scoring drive. The Gamecocks were third in the SEC in passing, putting up 277.4 yards per game.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks would finally get some life when Virginia wide receiver Hasise Dubois fumbled and SC recovered.

Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley went 17 of 39 for 218 yards. He finished the day with 12 receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns, just shy of 2002 MVP Wali Lundy's Belk Bowl record of number of touchdowns and points-four and 24 respectively. Bentley has nine completions of 50-plus yards in last six games.

"We just came out here with the mindset that we can't be beat", Perkins said. "Grateful to the bowl committee for giving UVA this opportunity and we hope it's a good game". "He's bigger than me, but his game is something I idolize and try to (emulate) on the field".

Virginia redshirt junior QB Bryce Perkins completed 14-of-29 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns while running for 112 yards in a 34-31 overtime loss to Virginia Tech.