Here are the 5 biggest takeaways from South Carolina’s convincing win over in-state FCS foe Furman:

  • The correct offensive recipe leads to success: Against the Paladins, the Gamecocks took a run-first approach and unleashed a trio of ballcarriers on the opposition’s front seven to the tune of 267 yards. With Brandon Wilds on the mend, third-teamer David Williams and specialist Shon Carson combined for 195 yards and a touchdown. Mike Davis played 2.5 quarters, finishing with his third straight 100-yard game. He leads all Gamecocks in touchdowns this season with eight. South Carolina’s success with the run opened a few plays down field for Dylan Thompson who added two touchdown passes to his school-record pace.
  • Tackling an issue, but defense forces mistakes: The SEC’s second-worst defense against the run gave up 208 yards on the ground to an FCS team, but recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass to nearly equal their previous number of takeaways all season (5). The secondary showed positive signs on third down with a couple pass breakups and wasn’t beaten over the top for a big play for the first time this season. In the first start of his career, true freshman Chris Lammons notched five tackles at corner and showed impressive skills in coverage.
  • Dylan Thompson delivers despite shaky line play: The fifth-year senior’s raw quarterback rating of 81.9 (14 of 22, 262 yards , 2 TD) was his highest since South Carolina win over Georgia on Sept. 13, and he did so despite being pressured during multiple dropbacks. The Gamecocks scored on 3 of 4 first-quarter possessions including Thompson’s 14-yard corner route to Shaq Roland on their first drive. One of Thompson’s best throws of the season, he placed it near the back pylon away from the Furman secondary and Roland did the rest.
  • We’ll see a lot more of the Connor Mitch + David Williams combination … next season: Late in the third quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Mitch saw his first action of the season after replacing an ineffective Perry Orth, going 2 for 4 with 19 yards passing a 14-yard rush over the next few possessions. Williams, next year’s starting tailback if Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds leave early, rushed for a career-high 110 yards in his first extended action of the season and made a nice cutback for a 37-yard gain in the second half — one of three carries by the Gamecocks spanning at least 25 yards on Saturday.
  • Elliott Fry continues assault toward Groza award: One of college football’s top kickers nailed both field goal attempts, putting his accuracy rate at 92 percent (12 of 13).