COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a career of special moments, Steve Spurrier added another one in South Carolina's victory over fifth-ranked Georgia. And there may be even bigger moments ahead for the Gamecocks.
Connor Shaw threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, Ace Sanders had a 70-yard punt return touchdown and No. 6 South Carolina's defense dominated fifth-ranked Georgia in a 35-7 victory Saturday night.
"If we play like this, maybe we have a chance for a real big year," Spurrier said. "Maybe."
The Gamecocks head to angry LSU, the defending league champions who lost for the first time earlier Saturday, next week, then go to Florida, which beat LSU.
"We definitely sent a message out to the whole country," said running back Marcus Lattimore, who had 109 yards. "It's not the old South Carolina. … We can play with anybody."
The Gamecocks won their school-record 10th straight game. "This was a special one," said Spurrier, who has a national title on his resume from his time with Florida. "It really was."
South Carolina grounded "Gurshall," holding Georgia's stellar freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall to 76 yards combined. The Bulldogs finished with 224 yards, less than half their season's average coming in.
"First of all, the bad news is we took a whipping. The good news is we all took it together," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, a former Plant High standout, was 11-of-31 for 109 yards. He was sacked twice and threw one interception.
No. 20 Miss. St. 27, Ky. 14: Coach Dan Mullen was slightly concerned about his team's focus against Kentucky coming off a bye week. His No. 20 Bulldogs eased his mind quickly. Tyler Russell passed for two touchdowns and the Bulldogs held the host Wildcats to 228 yards. "We lost our focus a couple of times with a couple of people, but overall, I'm real pleased," Mullen said. LaDarius Perkins carried 25 times for 110 yards, including a 31-yard score, as Mississippi State moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1999.
Arkansas 24, Auburn 7: Dennis Johnson rushed for two scores and the visiting Razorbacks recorded eight sacks and forced five turnovers to end a four-game skid. "I'm glad everybody in our locker room has continued to fight," quarterback Tyler Wilson said. Auburn replaced quarterback Kiehl Frazier with Clint Moseley in the second half. He threw a touchdown pass to cut Auburn's deficit to 10-7 but also two interceptions in the end zone.
Texas A&M 30, Ole Miss 27: Shaking off more than three quarters of mistakes, Johnny Manziel rushed for a 29-yard touchdown and then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Swope in the fourth quarter as the Aggies rallied past the host Rebels. Manziel accounted for 320 yards of total offense — 191 passing and 129 rushing— as the Aggies won despite a season-high six turnovers. "A year ago this team couldn't seem to close these games out," first-year Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "But for us to go on the road in the SEC and to win is something we'll take a lot of confidence from."
Vandy 19, Missouri 15: A botched Missouri extra-point snap and a bobbled punt attempt that led to a safety helped the visiting Commodores deprive the former Big 12 school of its first SEC win. Missouri couldn't muster much offense after an early injury to starting quarterback James Franklin, who sprained his left knee in the first quarter.