Josh Kendall

Five moments that shaped South Carolina’s 2018 football season

South Carolina finished head coach Will Muschamp’s third season 7-6. Here are the five biggest moments along the way.

Michael Scarnecchia to Kyle Markway

The wildest game of the season ended in the most dramatic way possible as senior backup quarterback Michael Scarnecchia, starting for the injured Jake Bentley, completed a 27-yard pass to tight end Kyle Markway with less than a minute remaining that set up Parker White’s 33-yard, game-winning field goal with :02 remaining in a 37-35 win. Scarnecchia finished the day, which featured a third quarter deluge and fourth quarter lightning delay, 20-of-35 for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Stop and score against Tennessee

After a disappointing 26-23 loss to Texas A&M, the Gamecocks trailed Tennessee by 12 points in the second half, but South Carolina’s defense stopped the Volunteers on fourth-and-7 (when Javon Kinlaw broke up a Jarrett Guarantano pass) with 5:18 to play and then went on a 57-yard drive that ended with White kicking a 25-yard field goal to provide the decisive points in a 27-24 win.

That crazy play against Florida

The Gamecocks were trouncing the Gators 31-14 in the fourth quarter and had Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks on the run after recovering his own fumble on third-and-8 when Franks tossed a desperation pass that bounced off one Gator and was caught for a 9-yard gain by Trevon Grimes. Florida went on to score 21 unanswered points and win the game 35-31.

Deebo’s 44-yard catch against Clemson

It didn’t make any difference in the outcome of the game, but when Samuel caught a long pass on the final drive of the game against the Tigers it did get South Carolina to 600 yards of total offense, a milestone that highlighted night that gave the Gamecocks hope that their first-year offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon was a very good hire and that there is perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel against the Tigers someday.

Kickoff against Virginia

In a game that will haunt Will Muschamp and South Carolina for the next months, the Gamecocks laid an egg against the Cavaliers in the Belk Bowl. South Carolina was never competitive and the offense that had shown so much flash against the Tigers was a virtual no show. It was a bad enough loss to have everyone in garnet and black shaking their heads until Aug. 31, 2019, when the next season begins.