Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich
RALEIGH, N.C. -- At the end of the half, it’s South Carolina 7, NC State 0 -- the same amount of points the Pack finished with in this game a year ago. Here’s a quick instant replay of the first half:
TURNING POINT: Toney Baker’s fumble. It was his first carry since 2007, the first play of NC State’s opening drive, and it led to South Carolina’s lone touchdown of the half. Baker was immediately benched in favor of Jamelle Eugene, and was given only one more carry in the half. Not exactly the comeback he had been hoping for after spending the past two seasons recovering from a torn ACL.
BEST PLAYER IN THE HALF: South Carolina running back Brian Maddox. He’s been the one constant on the field so far, and has 16 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown. He scored on a 1-yard run at the 9:10 mark in the first quarter. The Gamecocks have been able to effectively run the ball, and that can be attributed to their deep, experienced offensive line that has a combined 73 starts over the past four years.
STAT OF THE HALF: 18:49. That’s South Carolina’s possession time, compared with NC State’s 11:11. They might not be scoring every drive, but the Gamecocks are keeping Russell Wilson off the field and wearing out the Pack’s defense in the process. Their athleticism on defense is dominating NC State, and the Pack's receivers have yet to come through in the clutch.