NCAA Game Summary - Ole Miss at South Carolina|
(Thursday, September 24th)
Final Score: South Carolina 16, (4) Ole Miss 10
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Stephen Garcia completed 16-of-34 passes for
220 yards and a score, as South Carolina upended fourth-ranked Ole Miss,
16-10, at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Spencer Lanning converted all three field goal attempts for the Gamecocks
(3-1, 1-1 SEC), who had never before beaten a top-five opponent at home. On a
night when both teams struggled to find the end zone, Patrick DiMarco had the
lone touchdown catch for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks held Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1 SEC) to 248 total yards, recorded
four sacks, and thwarted the Rebels on a drive in the final minutes.
Jevan Snead completed only 7-of-21 attempts for 107 yards and a score for Ole
Miss, which converted just 1-of-13 third-down opportunities. Markeith Summers
made the touchdown grab, while Dexter McCluster ran for 85 yards on 15
"Our defense played their hearts out tonight," Ole Miss head coach Houston
Nutt said. "Offensively, we didn't stay on the field enough. I thought we came
back there at the end and fought hard. We just did not get the job done. We
had some opportunities, and that's what really hurts. We had some
opportunities to finish this one off. I thought we had the momentum at the
end, but we just didn't finish it."
Staring down a 16-3 deficit, the Rebels mounted a comeback shortly into the
fourth quarter with the ball deep in their own territory. They used a ground
attack, as seven of the eight plays were rushes, including a 12-yarder from
McCluster that got the drive started.
"We started getting a little more physical," Ole Miss offensive lineman
Bradley Sowell said. "We should have done it a little more during the game."
Those runs advanced the ball to the South Carolina 45, where on second down,
Snead found Summers over the middle for a completion. Summers then raced the
distance into the end zone with 9:47 left, getting the Rebels within six
After a series of punts, Ole Miss took over at its own 39 with more than
four minutes to go.
The drive started out in a promising way, as McCluster ripped off an 18-yard
run. Two plays later, Snead's 11-yard pass to Pat Patterson advanced the ball
to the South Carolina 32.
But Ole Miss stalled and went backwards from there, sealing its fate. On 2nd-
and-9, McCluster took an end-around handoff and made like he would throw, but
instead tucked the ball and was tackled for a three-yard loss, leading to a
timeout with 1:39 left.
Snead was then sacked for a two-yard loss, and after another timeout, a five-
yard penalty put Ole Miss in a 4th-and-19. Snead's long pass to Shay Hodge was
nearly intercepted and fell incomplete, and the Gamecocks ran out the clock to
seal the win.
"We thought we could beat them. We thought we had a chance," South Carolina
head coach Steve Spurrier said. "The point spread wasn't a big deal. We left
some points out there in the first half, but I guess 16 points was enough."
The early parts of the game were marked by both teams' struggles in opposition
territory -- particularly South Carolina's. In the first quarter, the
Gamecocks moved the ball to the Rebels' 16 before Garcia was sacked and
fumbled the ball away.
On the ensuing drive, Ole Miss had a 2nd-and-9 at the South Carolina 24, but
Snead threw two incompletions and Joshua Shene kicked a 42-yard field goal to
give the Rebels the lead with 10 seconds left in the quarter.
In the second quarter, South Carolina embarked on a long drive and got a first
down at the Ole Miss 13. But after reaching the four, an illegal shift penalty
pushed South Carolina back five yards, Garcia's pass to Tori Gurley
fell incomplete, and Lanning kicked a 26-yarder to tie the game with 8:52
After a number of punts, the Gamecocks had possession at their own 22 with
5:09 remaining and again took a long drive into the red zone. Garcia's
15-yard pass to DiMarco set up a 1st-and-goal at the six, and two plays later,
an Ole Miss pass interference penalty put the ball at the two.
But penalties thwarted the Gamecocks' chances, as a holding call moved them
back 10 yards, making it a 1st-and-goal at the 12. South Carolina seemed to
overcome that call when Garcia completed a pass that Gurley caught with one
hand over the middle, then took into the end zone with just 25 seconds left.
However, an ineligible receiver flag put them in a 1st-and-goal from the 17,
and South Carolina eventually had to settle for a 20-yarder from Lanning with
time running out, making it a 6-3 game at the break.
The red zone troubles continued after halftime, as South Carolina's first
drive of the third quarter resulted in another field goal after the Gamecocks
got inside the Ole Miss 10.
The march started with a huge play -- a pass over the middle that Moe Brown
turned into a 69-yard gain after he got away from one tackler, stiff-armed
another and high-stepped out of the grip of one more. He was eventually
brought down at the nine, but South Carolina had to settle for another field
goal, this one from 30 yards out.
However, the Gamecocks finally reached the end zone after a Snead fumble gave
them the ball at the Ole Miss 25. Garcia completed a 15-yard pass to Jason
Barnes before running himself for an eight-yard gain. Two plays later he found
DiMarco on the right side of the field for the touchdown completion, giving
South Carolina a 16-3 edge with 6:57 left in the quarter.
Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackelford appeared to suffer a left ankle injury in
the first half, while Garcia had a contusion of his left ribs...Ole Miss still
leads the all-time series, 8-7, but South Carolina has won two in a row. The
Gamecocks defeated the Rebels, 31-24, last season in Oxford...Ole Miss had an
eight-game win streak snapped...Gamecocks linebacker Eric Norwood recorded two
sacks and became the school's all-time leader in that category. Norwood has 28
in his career, as he passed Andrew Provence (26).
09/25 01:51:37 ET