USC's punter made a touchdown-saving tackle on Ole Miss return man Marshay Green, who had returned Lanning's 50-yard punt 36 yards, at the USC 31 late in the first half. The kicker also made all three of his field goals.
The junior defensive end stripped Jevan Snead of the football on a sack and recovered the ball at the Ole Miss 25, which led to USC's first touchdown midway through the third quarter. Matthews added another sack on an Ole Miss drive in the final two minutes.
The senior linebacker had a pair of sacks to break the school record previously held by Andrew Provence. That upped his career total to 28, which moved him into a tie for eighth in SEC history. Norwood also partially blocked a punt in the fourth quarter.
One fumble and three penalties derailed three potential touchdown drives in the first half for the Gamecocks, who had to settle for a pair of field goals. A sack on USC's first possession in the second half held it to another field goal.
The Gamecocks went three-and-out on five consecutive possessions, the final two in the third quarter and first three in the fourth quarter. The failure to pick up 10 yards kept Ole Miss in the game.