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Smelley leads South Carolina over North Carolina

Oct 14, 2007 - 4:28 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- In his third start, freshman quarterback Chris Smelley tossed three first-half touchdown passes as seventh-ranked South Carolina defeated North Carolina, 21-15, on Saturday in the programs' first meeting in 16 years.

Smelley completed 17-of-26 passes for 172 yards as the Gamecocks (6-1) matched their best start since 2001 and became bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.

Smelley tossed two first-quarter touchdowns to give South Carolina a quick 14-0 lead. His three-yard pass to Dion Lecorn opened the scoring six minutes into the game, and his 30-yard strike to Kenny McKinley capped a quick three-play drive five minutes later.

After Connor Barth's 45-yard field goal put North Carolina on the scoreboard 15 seconds into the second quarter, Smelley fired a 12-yard TD pass to Jared Cook with 15 seconds remaining in the session to give South Carolina a 21-3 lead.

Last week, Smelley completed 17-of-30 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns as the Gamecocks defeated then-No. 8 Kentucky, 38-23.

North Carolina (2-5) put a scare into South Carolina in the fourth quarter.

On the first play of the quarter, Greg Little caught a short pass in the flat, turned back toward the middle of the field and lunged past the goal line for an 18-yard score. The conversion, however, failed and South Carolina held on to a 21-9 lead.

"I see that we are a young team and we just have to close out the games," Little said. "Once we all pull it together the sky is the limit for us."

On their next possession, the Tar Heels converted a 4th-and-2 at their own 36 with 11:10 remaining. Quarterback T.J. Yates found Hakeem Nicks for 27 yards to extend the drive, but a trick play went awry and resulted in an interception.

North Carolina forced a turnover and pushed down to South Carolina's 10 yard line, but this time couldn't convert on fourth down with six minutes remaining.

Yates scored on a quarterback-keeper from three yards out to cut the Tar Heels' deficit to 21-15, but his pass on the conversion attempt sailed wide.

"Sometimes things go one way or the other, we just have to minimize the mistakes and turnovers," said Yates, who finished 22-of-43 for 285 yards, but threw three interceptions. "We have to come out and play fast; we sort of played catch-sup after they got out to a three-touchdown lead. We just have to come out strong and minimize all the mistakes."

South Carolina tried to ice the game, but Ryan Succop's 48-yard field goal attempt hit the upright with 41 seconds remaining.

With no timeouts remaining, the Tar Heels drove to the Gamecocks' 32-yard-line, but two attempts at the end zone were knocked down.

"For this football team I hope they take it as encouragement," North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. "These kids are fighting. They are giving great effort. I have been extraordinarily proud of the way they have prepared every single week to play well."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier improved to 4-0 against North Carolina, with the previous three victories coming while he was at Duke from 1987-89.

Spurrier opted to look at the final result, rather than the second half where North Carolina rallied to make it interesting.

"Yeah, but we won the game, we won the game," Spurrier said.






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  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14 7 0 0 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 3 0 12 15 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, DION LECORN 3 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 6:48. SOUTH CAROLINA
    7-0
    SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, KENNY MCKINLEY 30 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 11:21. SOUTH

    Oct 13 6:52 PM
  • 70
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 6:44 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    T.J. YATES 3 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 15 3:03 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 6:43 PM
  • 48
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots (Close Finish)

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 6:43 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    GREG LITTLE 18 YD PASS FROM T.J. YATES
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 9 14:53 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 6:06 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14 7 0 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 3 0 3 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, DION LECORN 3 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 6:48. SOUTH CAROLINA
    7-0
    SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, KENNY MCKINLEY 30 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KIC

    Oct 13 6:04 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14 7 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 3 3 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, DION LECORN 3 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 6:48. SOUTH CAROLINA
    7-0
    SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, KENNY MCKINLEY 30 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 11:2

    Oct 13 5:06 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH CAROLINA
    JARED COOK 12 YD PASS FROM CHRIS SMELLEY
    (RYAN SUCCOP KICK)
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 21
    NORTH CAROLINA 3 0:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 5:02 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NORTH CAROLINA
    CONNOR BARTH 45 YD
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14
    NORTH CAROLINA 3 13:30 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 4:25 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14 14
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, DION LECORN 3 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KICK), 6:48. SOUTH CAROLINA
    7-0
    SOUTH CAROLINA - TD, KENNY MCKINLEY 30 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS SMELLEY (RYAN SUCCOP
    KIC

    Oct 13 4:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH CAROLINA
    KENNY MCKINLEY 30 YD PASS FROM CHRIS SMELLEY
    (RYAN SUCCOP KICK)
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 14
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 3:39 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 4:13 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH CAROLINA
    DION LECORN 3 YD PASS FROM CHRIS SMELLEY
    (RYAN SUCCOP KICK)
    SOUTH CAROLINA (7) 7
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 8:12 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    South Carolina(7) vs. North CarolinaOct 13 4:00 PM
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