COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Dylan Thompson passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Carolina to a 41-10 victory over Furman in football action Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Thompson completed 14-of-22 passes, including a 15-yard strike to Shaq Roland and 45-yard connection to Jerell Adams, to key the win for South Carolina (4-3).
Hank McCloud paced Furman (2-5) with the sixth 100-yard rushing performance of his career, highlighted by a 60-yard scoring run in the first half.
The Paladins have dropped five straight but return to Southern Conference play next Saturday when they play host to Samford in a 1:30 p.m. ESPN3 televised game at Paladin.
McCloud's 60-yard scoring run, the longest of his career, midway through the first quarter tied the game at 7-7.
Trailing 14-7, Furman misfired on an opportunity to tie the game after Reggie Thomas sacked Thompson and forced a fumble that was recorded by Paladin defensive end Ira McCune at South Carolina 26. Two plays later, however, McCloud had the ball stripped by USC's Michael Washington at the Gamecock 11 to halt the threat.
The Paladins were stymied again on their next possession after gaining first and goal at the USC 4. Faced with third and goal at the USC 2, the Paladins were flagged for an illegal procedure, and quarterback P.J. Blazejowski was then acked on third down for a loss of nine yards to the USC 16, after which Hunter Townes failed to convert a 33-yard field goal try.
Furman's defense bottled up the Gamecocks on the ensuing possession, forcing a punt that gave the Paladins the ball at the their own 48. The good field position quickly disolved as a personal foul penatly followed by a fumble at the Furman 28 set up South Carolina for a quick score, which came on a Mike Davis 2-yard plunge with 2:32 for a 28-7 lead.
The Paladins used a fumble recovery by Marcus McMorris at the Furman 47 on the opening possession of the second half to cut into the Gamecocks' advantage. Moving 41 yards in eight plays to the Gamecock 12, Townes booted a 29-yard field goal to make it a 28-10 game.
Furman's bid for a second half comeback was vanquished on the Gamecocks' next two possessions, which netted scores. Shon Carson's 1-yard scoring run stretched it to 35-10, and Elliott Fry's 27-yard field goal, set up by a Chris Moody interception and 26-yard return to the Furman 36, upped the lead to 38-10.
South Carolina piled up a 548-302 advantage in total offense, led by Thompson's passing and a ground attack that netted 267 yards, including 111 and 110 yards, respectively, by Mike Davis and David Williams.
Blazejowski completed 10-of-15 passes for 85 yards and rushed for 28 yards for Furman,
The Paladins tallied four sacks in the contest to up their season total to 18 and match last year's tally, which was registered in 14 games.
Cory Magwood was credited with a game high 10 tackles.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information