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UVA blanks South Carolina, 28-0, to win 2018 Belk Bowl

Belk BowlBryce Perkins threw three touchdown passes to Olamide Zaccheaus, and the UVA defense pitched a shutout of prolific South Carolina, in a 28-0 ‘Hoos win in the 2018 Belk Bowl.

You have literally never seen Virginia football this good in a bowl appearance.

Augusta Free Press coverage of the 2018 Belk Bowl is presented by Bear Creek. AFP’s coverage is also sponsored by Studio 3•6 on East Market Street in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers (8-5) basically led from the get-go. The first Perkins-to-Zaccheaus TD pass came at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 77-yard drive that put UVA up 7-0.

The pass came on a fourth-and-two from the USC 6. Perkins found Zaccheaus, his third read, in the back of the end zone, for the score.

A backbreaking 14-play, 90-yard drive that ate up more than half of the second quarter, capped by a nine-yard TD run by Jordan Ellis, made it 14-0 going into the break.

Perkins and Zaccheaus hooked up again in the third quarter, finishing an eight-play, 39-yard drive with a 10-yard TD pass that made it a three-score game.

The fourth score, a 12-yard pass, capped the scoring with 6:54 left.

The Virginia D, ranked third in the ACC in scoring defense and total defense, baffled South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley all day.

Bentley, a junior, had thrown for 2,953 yards and 27 TDs on the season coming in, but the ‘Hoos harassed him into a 17-for-40 day in which he threw two interceptions and just 218 yards.

The UVA defense also sacked Bentley twice and registered three additional QB hurries.

South Carolina (7-6) had averaged 32.6 points and 440.6 yards per game in 2018.

The offense generated just 261 yards on Saturday.

The Gamecocks came out with an offensive game plan that stressed getting its ground game going, but, no dice.

USC gained just 43 yards on 19 carries on the ground.

Perkins completed 22 of his 31 pass attempts for 208 yards and the three touchdowns. The junior also ran for 72 yards on 14 carries.

Ellis ran for 106 yards on 26 carries, pushing the senior past the 1,000-yard mark on the season.

Zaccheaus had 100 yards on 12 catches to go with the three touchdowns, finishing out his senior season with 93 catches, 1,058 yards and nine TD receptions.

Story by Chris Graham

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