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Gamecocks win it with defense

Marcus Lattimore tries to elude Vanderbilt safety Kenny Ladler in the second quarter. He finishes with only 77 rushing yards.

Associated Press

Marcus Lattimore tries to elude Vanderbilt safety Kenny Ladler in the second quarter. He finishes with only 77 rushing yards.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — For the first time in his seven seasons at South Carolina, Steve Spurrier's team is 4-0. But like most of his Gamecocks teams, he can't get the offense where he wants it.

No. 12 South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 21-3 on Saturday. But Stephen Garcia threw four interceptions (prompting Spurrier to throw his headset and playcalling sheet), and Marcus Lattimore was held to fewer that 100 rushing yards.

"I apologize to Gamecock fans for such a putrid offensive performance," Spurrier said.

Garcia, a Jefferson High graduate, shrugged off his performance at first: "A win is a win. If we would have lost, hell yeah, it would have been frustrating.

A few minutes later, he seemed to realize his nonchalance at his mistakes drives Spurrier nuts.

"I hope this is the last week we play like this offensively," Garcia said. "I don't think we can survive playing like this."

The Gamecocks allowed 77 yards (the fewest since 66 against Wake Forest in 1987) and five first downs. They recovered two fumbles and had six sacks.

"We got manhandled up front," Commodores coach James Franklin said. "Their athleticism up front was obvious."

Auburn 30, FAU 14: Interceptions by Jermaine Whitehead and Neiko Thorpe helped the host Tigers pull away. Up 10-6, Whitehead returned his 25 yards for a score 1:26 into the third. Onterio McCalebb took a screen pass 51 yards for an Auburn touchdown 5:27 later. Then Thorpe's 46-yard return set up a field goal. The Owls offense entered at 92.5 yards per game but finished with 307.

Miss. St. 26, La. Tech 20 OT: Nickoe Whitley's interception was followed by Chris Relf's winning 17-yard touchdown pass to LaDarius Perkins for the host Bulldogs. Tied at 20, Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks intercepted a pass at the goal line with 2:32 left.

Georgia 27, Miss. 13: Aaron Murray went 17-of-26 for 268 yards and two touchdowns, one to former Plant High teammate Orson Charles, and ran for a touchdown for the visiting Bulldogs. Freshman Isaiah Crowell rushed for 147 yards on 30 carries for Georgia, which has won eight straight in the series dating to 1997. Murray sneaked in to make it 7-0 and hit Wells for a 2-yard score to make it 17-0 with 6:01 left in the first half.

Expansion: Texas A&M president R. Bowden Loftin said he expects to be in the SEC "shortly." "I think the legal issues are basically gone," he said. Baylor and other Big 12 schools had threatened to sue A&M for leaving.

12 S.C. 21

Vandy 3

Gamecocks win it with defense 09/24/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 25, 2011 12:14am]
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