Canes come up short against South Carolina

It was a defensive battle in Shreveport Saturday afternoon but it was South Carolina that came out on top. They beat the Canes by the score of 24-21.

Miami's defense got off to a fast start by forcing a three-and-out on South Carolina's first possession. The Canes got the ball on offense and drove down the field to kick an early field goal to make the score 3-0.

Michael Badgley capped off another strong Miami drive in the second quarter with his second field goal of the day. It was a 12-play scoring drive that followed Miami's 11-play scoring drive in the first quarter. Miami's inability to convert those drives into touchdowns would haunt them at the end of the game.

Just when it seemed like Miami's defense was settling in to play a strong game, South Carolina struck with the game's first big play. Dyaln Thompson hit wide receiver Pharoh Cooper over the middle and the talented pass-catcher raced 78 yards for the game's first touchdown. Cooper finished the game with nine catches for 170 yards and a score.

Mike Davis caught a 15-yard touchdown pass later in the second quarter to extend South Carolina's lead to 14-6. Elliott Fry hit a 32-yard field goal late in the second to give the Gamecocks a 17-6 lead going into halftime.

The Hurricanes put together their best drive of the game late in the third quarter when they marched 93 yards on 10 plays. Gus Edwards finished the drive with a three-yeard touchdown run. He finished the game with 25 yards and a score playing behind Duke Johnson, who is now Miami's all-time leading rusher. Johnson finished the game with 132 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving.

Thompson added a short touchdown run in the fourth quarter to extend South Carolina's lead back to 10. The Canes answered, however, as Brad Kaaya hit Phillip Dorsett for a 10-yard touchdown pass with under three minutes left. Kaaya finished the game with 236 yards, one score, and one interception. Dorsett caught five passes for 45 yards on the day.

Miami got the ball back late but a Johnson fumble ended Miami's chances.

The Hurricanes finished the season with a 6-7 record, just its third losing season since 1980. Miami is now just 8-11 in its last 19 games.

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