Gamecocks fall in Belk Bowl to UVA

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Zaccheaus and running back Jordan Ellis had big final games for U.Va. (8-5) and the defense stifled the normally-high scoring Gamecocks (7-6), twice stopping them on fourth down and shutting them out for the first three quarters. Last season, UVA was satisfied with making a bowl game for the first time since 2011.

The improvement of junior quarterback Jake Bentley down the stretch has had a lot to do with the offensive improvement. With AP Photos.South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley threw for almost 3,000 yards and had 27 touchdowns, including 510 yards and one score against No. 2 Clemson this season. The win snapped their two-game losing streak. "That's what we've been working on here and I think we have a good game plan".

The team will be without senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who has made a decision to skip the game to prepare for the National Football League draft and to not risk getting injured. His 27 touchdowns this season are second-most in a season by a Gamecocks quarterback, and two touchdowns against Virginia would give him a share of the all-time record.

That means several other receivers will have to step up.

USC's other juniors facing National Football League decisions - wide receiver Bryan Edwards and offensive lineman Donell Stanley - echoed Bentley on Saturday in saying that they will take some time before announcing their choices.

A year ago, Virginia's Joe Reed returned the opening kickoff in the Military Bowl for a touchdown, staking the Cavaliers to a 7-0 lead after just 12 seconds.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Reagan Roberson bulldozed through one tackler and dove into the end zone on an 11-yard catch-and-run in overtime, lifting Nevada over Arkansas State in the Arizona Bowl. That could be a troubling sign for next season for the Gamecocks, who had come into the game as five-point favorites.

The Gamecocks are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. He also ran for 81 yards.

"We just have to go back to work and remember this feeling", Bentley said.

Dowdle has 117 rushing attempts on the season for 638 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 13 receptions out of the backfield for 127 yards and a score. He also had three touchdowns. SC is also the more physical team here and that should help.

Virginia: Bronco Mendenhall's defense limited what the Gamecocks could muster on offense with a series of blitzes and strong coverage in the secondary.

South Carolina's leading receiver is WR Deebo Samuel with 39 receptions. He threw for 27 TDs this season with 12 interceptions.

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