ATHENS, Ga. — Melvin Ingram, a 276-pound senior defensive end, scored two touchdowns to help No. 12 South Carolina beat Georgia 45-42 and take the upper hand in the SEC East.
Looking like the running back he was in high school, Ingram went 68 yards on a fake punt. He also returned a fumble 5 yards.
Jefferson High graduate Stephen Garcia was 11-of-25 for 142 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks, who also got Antonio Allen's 25-yard interception return for a touchdown and Stephon Gilmore's 56-yard fumble return that set up a touchdown.
"Really, it was three defensive scores; and the (fake) punt, too. So that's basically four defensive touchdowns," coach Steve Spurrier said. "Georgia outplayed us. Give 'em credit. Sometimes, it happens like that. Somebody was looking out for us."
Georgia got four touchdown passes from Plant High graduate Aaron Murray but couldn't overcome its mistakes.
"When we look at the film, there will probably be some things that cause us to slam the projectors against the wall," coach Mark Richt said. "But just as many times, we'll probably say, 'That was awesome. I think we have all the ingredients to be a really fine team, ultimately."
Marcus Lattimore, who rushed for 176 yards, put the Gamecocks ahead for good at 38-35 with a 3-yard run with 3:28 left.
On the first play of the ensuing series, Jadeveon Clowney, among the nation's most touted recruits when he signed in February, burst through the line and threw down Murray, who lost the ball. Ingram batted it toward the end zone, picked it up and ran it in.
"Whatever my team needs me to do," Ingram said.
Georgia is the only team to open the season with consecutive games against ranked teams. Last week, it lost 35-21 to Boise State. And the pressure seems to be building on Richt, who is under fire with Georgia coming off its first losing season in 14 years. After the fake punt, he flung his headset and play card onto the field.
"There's a lot of games left to play," he said. "There's no question we're still in the SEC race."