Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

South Carolina Gamecocks upset No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 35-21

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After delivering South Carolina's biggest win ever, all coach Steve Spurrier could do was smile.

"I think that this game was meant to be," he said.

The way the Gamecocks played, it sure seemed like it.

Stephen Garcia threw three touchdowns, two to Alshon Jeffrey, and Marcus Lattimore scored three times as No. 19 South Carolina beat No. 1 Alabama 35-21 on Saturday.

Never before had the Gamecocks beaten a No. 1 team. So Spurrier had plenty of reason to bask in one of the biggest victories of his illustrious career.

When Spurrier arrived from the Redskins in 2005, expectations in Columbia soared. He had dominated the SEC and led Florida to a national title in 1996. South Carolina has been solid under Spurrier but hasn't come close to even winning the SEC East.

But after beating Alabama, its matchup at Florida on Nov. 13 could decide the division title.

"I said 'Fellas, if fate means for us to win this game , then let's give it a chance. Let's give fate a chance to happen,' " Spurrier said.

Opponents have had little chance against Alabama over the past few seasons.

The defending national champions had won 19 in a row, including 31-6 over Florida last week — since losing the January 2009 Sugar Bowl to Utah.

But facing a third straight ranked SEC team caught up with Alabama.

The Gamecocks shredded the country's top-rated scoring defense, putting up the most points since a 41-34 loss to LSU in 2007. The Gamecocks scored four touchdowns when they got inside the Tide 20 — double what they had allowed coming in.

"It's not like we just lost. They beat us," said Alabama coach Nick Saban, who is 1-3 against Spurrier. "They outexecuted us. They played better than we played. They played with more intensity. They played physical."

Garcia, a graduate of Tampa's Jefferson High, was pulled from South Carolina's last game, a 35-27 loss at Auburn, after fumbling twice. Saturday, he was 17-of-20 for 201 yards and one interception. He also picked up a fourth and 1 on the Gamecocks' final scoring drive.

Saban wants the Tide to remember the loss should they run into the Gamecocks again — maybe in Atlanta.

"I talked to (Tide quarterback Greg McElroy) after the game," Garcia said. "And he said, 'We'll see you all again.' "

No. 19 S.C. 35

No. 1 Ala. 21

Only one better

Saturday's win moved South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier into second in SEC victories:

Paul "Bear" BryantKentucky/



South Carolina
John VaughtMississippi106
Vince DooleyGeorgia105



South Carolina Gamecocks upset No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 35-21 10/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 9, 2010 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings, allowing 15 hits and 11 runs while lasting just seven innings total.

  3. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    The Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli gets checked by the Hurricanes’ Trevor Carrick during the first period of the preseason opener at Amalie Arena. The teams meet again tonight in Raleigh, N.C.
  4. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494
  5. Rays journal: Rays manage one hit in loss to Joe Maddon, Cubs

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Joe Maddon returned to Tropicana Field on Tuesday, and so did a legion of Cubs fans who waited nearly an entire season for the World Series champions to make their first trip in nine years to the bay area.

    Rays starter Chris Archer awaits a new ball after Kyle Schwarber homers in the second, putting the Cubs up 1-0.