After heartbreaking defeats the last two weeks, the Cavaliers played with a chip on their shoulder and shut out an SEC opponent with an incredible display on offense and defense.
Perkins also threw for 208 yards on 31 passes, with three scores and no interceptions.
"Just very thankful", Dungey said, talking through tears.
Virginia has had historical success in this bowl game. This was their first time back in Charlotte since, and the result was the same.
The Cavaliers became the first team to win the bowl three times. Their best win was, 37-35, over Missouri, and they scored 35 points in a loss against Clemson and its tough defense.
After the defense forced a turnover on the first play of the fourth quarter, SC was, if only technically, still alive. The Gamecocks proceeded to play several true freshmen and converted running back A.J. Turner in the second half. In his four seasons at Virginia, the 5-foot-8 Zaccheaus has 239 catches for 2,668 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Throughout the offseason, there was excitement around the SC program and belief that the Gamecocks might be able to challenge Georgia in the SEC East.
South Carolina: South Carolina could just never get it rolling in 2018. Junior cornerback Bryce Hall was outstanding, as was senior safety Juan Thornhill. They won by kicking a field goal in overtime and forcing Perkins, hobbled by an ankle injury, to fumble the ball away.
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Perkins, a dual threat who ran for 112 yards despite an ankle injury against Virginia Tech, expects to be at 100 percent, or close, for the game against the Gamecocks, and has seen on film that that would help him greatly.
Virginia went up 14-0 with 42 seconds left before halftime when Ellis barreled into the end zone from 9-yards out to cap an even more impressive 14-play, 90-yard march.
Cavaliers RB Olamide Zaccheaus leads the team with 721 receiving yards on 60 receptions. It was a 10-yard touchdown pass.
However, the Gamecocks would give it right back when senior strong safety Juan Thornhill picked off Bentley and returned it 54 yards to the SC 21-yard-line on his sixth interception of the season. Virginia's incredible defense, however, came up with another huge stop as the Gamecocks threatened to score.
But Saturday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium, in front of a predominantly pro-Gamecocks crowd, it made good on the second goal.
Virginia was driving well, but turned the ball over to start the fourth quarter. He also ran for 81 yards.
SC sophomore wide receiver Shi Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Virginia 38, but senior cornerback Tim Harris intercepted Bentley to kill any momentum the Gamecocks may have had.