Dec 30, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Juju McDowell (21) runs for a touchdown as North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Cedric Gray (33) defensive back Tony Grimes (20) defend in the second quarter during the 2021 Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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Jaheim Bell, South Carolina jolt North Carolina in Mayo Bowl

Jaheim Bell caught two touchdown passes and Kevin Harris ran for 182 yards and a score to fuel South Carolina to a 38-21 win over North Carolina in the Mayo Bowl on Thursday at Charlotte, N.C.

It was an ideal way for the Gamecocks (7-6) to finish their season under first-year coach Shane Beamer.

The end of the season was a downer for North Carolina (7-6), much like the beginning. The Tar Heels started the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally.

It likely marked the end of the three-year record-setting college career for North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. It began with a victory against South Carolina to start the 2019 season in the same stadium.

This time, Howell completed 12 of 20 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown.

Harris pulled off his production on 31 carries. Bell caught five passes for 159 yards.

South Carolina completed its first 10 passes on the way to 242 yards through the air to go with 301 rushing yards. Dakereon Joyner was 9-for-9 for 160 yards.

South Carolina held a 32-13 lead midway through the third quarter.

A double-reverse resulted in Howell’s 37-yard touchdown throw to Garrett Walston with 7:24 to play in the third.

North Carolina’s defense came up with a notable stop despite South Carolina’s 11-play, 77-yard march in the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks settled for Parker White’s 22-yard field goal with 7:44 remaining.

The Tar Heels managed only one first down before punting with less than six minutes left. White’s 33-yard field goal capped the scoring.

Bell made two touchdown catches in the first 7 1/2 minutes as the Gamecocks built a 15-0 lead.

The first TD play covered 69 yards, with Joyner, who had been a receiver, throwing the pass. Zeb Noland hooked up with Bell for a 66-yard play on the next score, followed by punter Kai Kroeger’s two-point conversion pass to Nick Muse.

Trailing 18-0, North Carolina got on the board when British Brooks ran 63 yards for a touchdown. That was the longest touchdown run in the Tar Heels’ bowl history.

North Carolina’s Grayson Atkins kicked two field goals in the last six minutes of the first half. But in between, Juju McDowell sprinted 35 yards for a touchdown, helping the Gamecocks record a 25-13 lead at the break.

–Field Level Media

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