"This was big, just a big opportunity for us to come through and we did it," said junior fullback Patrick DiMarco. "I'm proud of everyone on the team. We shocked the world and played as well as we could possibly play."
That should be good for the Rebels to hear, that South Carolina players felt they played as well as they possibly could play. After all, Ole Miss fell by only six points, 16-10.
"This was a really big game," said junior defensive end Cliff Matthews. "They came in as the No. 4 team in the nation. We got the opportunity to take advantage of it, and we did. It was a war, to be honest with you. It tells you a lot about us. It lets you know we've got a lot of heart."
Sophomore quarterback Stephen Garcia said there will be more of these to come from Carolina this season.
"We've been talking about "new" Carolina since the summer, finishing games and not getting pooped out toward the end of the game," he said.
Garcia was an effective quarterback on the night, not doing anything spectacular but taking care of business and playing like a seasoned veteran.
"Big win. Huge win for us," he said. "We should be 4-0 right now."
The Gamecocks are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in SEC play, with their lone loss to Georgia and with wins against North Carolina State, Florida Atlantic and now the biggie – over No. 4 Ole Miss.
"Like I was telling everybody in the locker room," Garcia said of the headline win over the Rebels. "This is the first of many. We knew we could do it. Now we've got to keep doing it. This is also huge for recruiting. This is changing what people think about South Carolina. We're definitely on the uprise."
Defensively, USC was at the top of its game, players said. So were the fans.
"As for our defense, the crowd was really into it," said junior free safety Chris Culliver. "There was just a lot of excitement on our side, especially when it came to third down. The crowd got hyped. We got hyped. We made a lot of big plays on third down. Coach (Ellis) Johnson and the whole defensive staff called real good plays. We just executed."
Culliver said the Gamecocks hadn't played as well on defense the past couple of weeks.
"We knew we had to buckle down," he said. "We had a good game plan, and we executed it. We played like the No. 1 defense in the nation. I'm very pleased with how we performed out there."
Culliver said the Rebels had a tough time of it as the Gamecocks kept pouring it on.
"Yeah, you could see that they were getting really frustrated as the game moved on," he said. "They had few holding calls and offsides that really hurt them. Our defense was just relentless tonight, and we brought our best."
USC head coach Steve Spurrier, a part of many big games like this one through the years, simply said it was sensational.
"It was a wonderful victory for our team, our university and all Gamecocks," he said. "Our guys hung in there and kept fighting. The defense hung in there down the stretch, and we had a good victory. It was good for our team to get a big win at home, especially for our fans."
Gamecocks: 'We Shocked the World'
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