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South Carolina Gamecocks 34, Mississippi St. Bulldogs 16: Neither Team Plays Well, One Team Wins

It was an ugly win for South Carolina, and a loss that could mean ugly things for Mississippi State

Streeter Lecka

This was not one of the crisper games that South Carolina has played this year. The Gamecocks were 1-of-11 on third down, only got 12 first downs the entire game, and were outgained by 78 yards. Connor Shaw was 10-of-20 passing. You could make a decent case that, given the high-stakes win by the Gamecocks in the other Columbia last weekend, this was letdown.

Except, of course, for the result. The Gamecocks twice scored 17 unanswered points against Mississippi State, aided in no small part by five Bulldog turnovers, to cruise to a 34-16 win. Mike Davis ran for 128 yards on just 15 carries, while Shaw threw for four touchdowns despite lackluster numbers overall. A thing of beauty it wasn't, but a win for South Carolina it was.

All of which increases the pressure on Dan Mullen going into the final third of State's season. After games at Texas A&M and against Alabama at home -- both likely to be losses -- the Bulldogs could very well be 4-6. That would leave them needing to win out at Arkansas and against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl in Starkville to go to even the lowest-tier bowl. That might not be enough to save Mullen, and the whole scenario might be moot if the Bulldogs can't start turning the ball over, but for the moment that's all they've got.