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Belk Bowl: Perkins, Zaccheaus lead Virginia past South Carolina

By
UPI Staff
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins looks for running room during the Belk Bowl vs. South Carolina on Saturday. Photo courtesy University of Virginia football/Twitter
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins looks for running room during the Belk Bowl vs. South Carolina on Saturday. Photo courtesy University of Virginia football/Twitter

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins threw three touchdown passes and Virginia's defense pitched a shutout as the Cavaliers dominated South Carolina 28-0 in the Belk Bowl.

All three of Perkins' scoring strikes were to Olamide Zaccheaus as Virginia recorded its first bowl victory since 2005.

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The defense of the Cavaliers (8-5) handed the Gamecocks their first shutout since 2006, when they were blanked by Georgia, 18-0.

Perkins completed 22 of 31 passes for 208 yards and the three scores and added another 81 yards on the ground. Zaccheaus was named the game's Most Outstanding Player after hauling in a dozen receptions for 100 yards. Jordan Ellis ran for 106 yards and a touchdown as Virginia dominated time of possession, holding the football for more than 42 minutes.

The Cavaliers built a 14-0 lead by halftime, controlling the football for more than 20 minutes. Perkins hit Zaccheaus in the back of the end zone on a fourth-and-2 play for a 6-yard touchdown and Ellis scored on a a 9-yard scamper.

The second half brought more of the same as Perkins and Zaccheaus connected on pitch-and-catch scores from 10 and 12 yards out, respectively.

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Virginia's 14th-ranked pass defense kept South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley in check. Playing without wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who chose to not play to begin preparing for the NFL draft, Bentley completed only 17 of 39 passes and was intercepted twice.

The Gamecocks (7-6), who entered the game as 5-point favorites, went 2 for 13 on third-down conversions and were 2 o 5 on fourth-down plays.

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