How the Gator Bowl points were scored: No. 21 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 South Carolina

Michael Wanbaugh
South Bend Tribune

Dec. 30, 2022

Jacksonville, Fla.

Notre Dame7101414— 45
South Carolina21377— 38


► South Carolina 7, Notre Dame 0

Dec 30, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Xavier Legette (17) runs in for a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first quarter in the 2022 Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Score: Xavier Legette 13-yard pass from Spencer Rattler at 11:48 (Mitch Jeter kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:12 elapsed after opening kickoff

Keys to the drive: Spencer Rattler was 3 of 5 on the drive for 60 yards, including a 10-yarder to Nate Adkins and a 24-yarder down the middle to Adkins a play before the score.

► Notre Dame 7, South Carolina 7

Dec 30, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) rushes for a touchdown during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2022 Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Score: Tyler Buchner 15-yard run at 5:54 (Blake Grupe kick)

Drive: Ten plays, 50 yards, 3:37 elapsed after ND fumble recovery

Keys to the drive: The Irish converted three third-down plays, including an 18-yard pass from Buchner to TE Mitchell Evans on third and 15 to the Gamecocks' 27 and Buchner's designed QB draw on third-and-9 for a TD.

► South Carolina 14, Notre Dame 7,

Score: Hunter Rogers 23-yard pass from punter Kai Kroeger on a fake punt at 2:27 (Mitch Jeter kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:27 elapsed after ND kickoff

Keys to the drive: You knew special teams would play a part in this game. The Gamecocks struck first with a fake-field goal score on fourth-and-8. The ball was snapped directly to Kroeger, South Carolina's punter and holder on field goals, who who was able to make the connection. Biggest play of the drive was an 18-yard pass to Nate Adkins from Dakereon Joyner.

► South Carolina 21, Notre Dame 7,

Score: DQ Smith 53-yard interception return at 0:44 (Mitch Jeter kick)

Keys to the drive: Buchner's pass attempted for Braden Lenzy up the middle on first-and-10 from the USC 47 is deflected by Gamecocks' DL Alex Huntley into the hands of Smith who takes the ball up the left sideline for the score. The 28 combined first quarter points scored sets a TaxSlayer Gator Bowl record.


► South Carolina 21, Notre Dame 10,

Score: 37-yard field goal by Grupe at 8:36

Drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 7:08 elapsed after a South Carolina kickoff

Keys to the drive: A pressured Buchner hits Jayden Thomas for 15 yards on thrid-and-12 and he follows it a play later with a 21-yard scramble to the SC 9. Gamecocks force two incompletions and sack Buchner on third down to force the field goal.

► South Carolina 24, Notre Dame 10,

Score: 45-yard field goal by Jeter at 5:18

Drive: 10 plays, 48 yards, 3:18 elapsed after a Notre Dame kickoff

Keys to the drive: Rattler hits Dakereon Joyner up the middle for a 26-yard gain on third-and-5 to the ND 33.

► South Carolina 24, Notre Dame 17

Score: Logan Diggs 75-yard pass from Buchner at 5:06 (Grupe kick)

Drive: 1 play, 75 yards, 0:12 elapsed after a South Carolina kickoff

Keys to the drive: Big and quick answer for the Irish, scoring on its longest offensive play of the season. Diggs snared the short pass and was able to showcase his speed, getting to the edge and outracing the Gamecock secondary down the right sideline.


► Notre Dame 24, South Carolina 24

Score: Buchner 11-yard run at 10:28 (Grupe kick)

Drive: Five plays, 68 yards, 7:08 elapsed after a South Carolina kickoff

Keys to the drive: Buchner accounts for his third touchdown of the game and second on the ground. Irish finally start to establish a run game as Audric Estime rushes three times for 34 yards. Buchner also completes 25-yard strike to Thomas to the Gamecocks' 23.

► South Carolina 31, Notre Dame 24

Score: Legette 42-yard pass from Rattler at 8:31 ( Jeter kick)

Drive: Five plays, 67 yards, 1:48 elapsed after an ND kickoff

Keys to the drive: Legette is able to get a foot down right at the stripe, replay confirms, for his second touchdown of the game. He has seven catches for 78 yards, and the score pushes Rattler over 200 yards passing for the game.

► Notre Dame 31, South Carolina 31

Score: Braden Lenzy 44-yard pass from Buchner at 0:31 (Grupe kick)

Drive: One play, 44 yards 0:08 elapsed after South Carolina kickoff

Keys to the drive: Irish defense forces a needed three-and-out and benefit from a 29-yard SC punt for the good field position. It was Notre Dame's second one-play scoring drive of the game.


► Notre Dame 38, South Carolina 31

Score: Logan Diggs 39-yard run at 12:41 (Grupe kick)

Drive: Seven plays, 73 yards, 2:13 elapsed after a South Carolina punt

Keys to the drive: Notre Dame pulls off a fake punt when up-man Davis Sherwood takes the direct snap and shovels it to a crossing Lenzy who scampers 20 yards on fourth-and-4 from the Irish 33. Notre Dame scores two plays later when Diggs busts up the middle. Diggs would finish with 89 yards on 13 carries.

► Notre Dame 38, South Carolina 38

Score: O'Donnell Fortune 100-yard interception return (Jeter kick)

Key to the Drive: Notre Dame was on the doorstep of going up 14 points when Buchner attempted to hit his TE Evans on a slant pass that Fortune jumped in front of 2-yards deep in the end zone. It was Buchner's third interception of the game — second for a TD — and the pick-six made the it the highest scoring game in Gator Bowl history.

► Notre Dame 45, South Carolina 38

Score: Mitchell Evans 16-yard pass from Buchner at 1:36 (Grupe kick)

Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards, 6:01 elapsed after South Carolina kickoff

Key to the Drive: Notre Dame stuck with its run game, riding Audric Estime and Logan Diggs most of the drive. Evans second career touchdown (first receiving) came on a play-action misdirection. Notre Dame has rushed for 211 yards in the second half compared to 54 in the first.


Referee Michael Cannon, Umpire Ed Feaster, Linesman Bruce Keeling, Line Judge Ryan Gannon, Back Judge Kevin Schwarzel, Field Judge Ryan Gannon; Side Judge Frank Steratore, Center Judge Jason Nickleby.

Game particulars

Kickoff weather: 75 degrees and sunny, winds out of the south at 20 mph.

Attendance: 67,383 (TIAA Bank Field capacity: 62,164)