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(Saturday, November 20th)
Final Score: (17) South Carolina 69, Troy 24
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, as the 17th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks followed up an emotional win with a 69-24 rout of the Troy Trojans.
Stephen Garcia connected on 9-of-12 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns for the Gamecocks (8-3), who secured a trip to their first-ever SEC Championship Game with a 36-14 victory over Florida last weekend. Garcia also recorded a rushing touchdown.
Alshon Jeffery caught five passes for 123 yards, while Ace Sanders hauled in two passes for 66 yards and two scores for the victors.
"We came in and devised a game plan to run Marcus (Lattimore) and have a lot of play action passes, and it worked to perfection," Garcia said. "That is what we try to do every week, and it was good to see especially after a big win last week."
Corey Robinson completed 22-of-38 passes for 158 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Trojans (5-5), who have lost three of four.
South Carolina needed just one play to get its offense started. After Troy fumbled the opening kickoff, Lattimore scampered into the end zone from 17 yards out.
The Gamecocks found the end zone in three plays on their next possession. Lattimore scored on an eight-yard run this time around for a 14-0 lead.
After the Trojans failed to convert a fourth down, South Carolina kept the ball in Lattimore's hands. The star running back scored on a five-yard run after a 24-yard catch by Jeffery.
Troy went three-and-out on offense, leading to Sanders' 51-yard TD catch for a 28-0 margin with under six minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Robinson was sacked and lost the football early in the second stanza. Patrick DiMarco capitalized for South Carolina with a seven-yard touchdown catch.
Chris Anderson hauled in a 25-yard TD pass to put Troy on the board, but Garcia recorded a one-yard rushing touchdown to make it a 35-point game again.
Robinson threw two costly interceptions prior to the half. D.J. Swearinger made it 49-7 with a 22-yard return for a TD. Chaz Sutton did the same moments later, but his was of the 56-yard variety to give the Gamecocks a 56-7 lead at the break.
"The first half was certainly one of the worst halves of football I've ever experienced as a coach or a player," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. "We acted like we had never seen a football field. But we were playing against a really good football team and they displayed some good attributes offensively and defensively. We gave them enough to beat us."
Spencer Lanning extended South Carolina's margin to 59-7 with a 32-yard field goal early in the third stanza. Troy's Michael Taylor responded with a 38-yard field goal.
Jerrel Jernigan caught a 14-yard TD pass to make it a 59-17 game with 3:43 left.
Anderson scampered into the end zone from seven yards out early in the fourth to make it a 59-24 contest.
Lanning made a 31-yard field goal and Sanders caught a 15-yard TD pass to account for the final margin.
South Carolina leads the all-time series with Troy, 3-0...South Carolina has a 6-1 home record for the second straight season...The Gamecocks have eight wins in a season for just the 10th time in school history but for the fourth time since 2000...South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier recorded his 43rd win at Carolina, moving him past Paul Dietzel for third all-time in school history...The Gamecocks racked up 461 yards of total offense, compared to 264 for the Trojans...Anderson carried the ball six times for 35 yards to go with 20 receiving yards.
11/20 20:59:19 ET