Notebook: Strong second half propels USC

Coach Steve Spurrier improved his record to 38-0 all-time against schools outside of BCS automatic qualifier conferences on Saturday night, with a 38-14 victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

"The game was about like Florida Atlantic, a very similarly done game," stated Spurrier. "Very close at halftime, and somehow we scored three touchdowns in the third and got one more in the fourth but it was a very similar game. South Carolina State is a good team, we knew that. They just played with us."

After a sluggish start, the Gamecocks were able to put SC State away with 21 third quarter points, including two scores from senior wide receiver Moe Brown.

The South Carolina defense stood tall for the majority of the game, limiting State to only 156 passing yards. They did this without starting cornerback Akeem Auguste. Before the game, it was announced that Auguste had been suspended for a violation of team rules, and sophomore C.C. Whitlock was forced into action with the first start of his career. After the game, Spurrier said that it is an "indefinite suspension" that will last at least three games.

Despite only leading the game 10-7 at halftime, the Gamecocks were able to put together some solid plays on special teams. Kicker Spencer Lanning continued his streak of made field goals, connecting on a 30-yard field goal to give South Carolina a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. Lanning was also a perfect 3-3 on extra points. Backup Adam Yates converted the final extra point try.

With Auguste suspended, the Gamecocks gave Stephon Gilmore a chance to return punts, and he did not disappoint. The freshman from Rock Hill had two punt returns for 42 yards, including a long return of 35 in the third quarter.

With the team dragging in the third quarter, it was senior Moe Brown who helped the Gamecocks pull away.

"At halftime we said what we said before the game: `Just keep playing,'" noted Spurrier. "And our guys played much better in the second half. Stephen Garcia made the best throws he's made since he's been here, especially on the corner-route and the take off route to Moe Brown. And Moe Brown had his best half ever as a Gamecock."

Brown's first touchdown went for 40 yards on an excellent throw from Garcia, and gave the Gamecocks a 24-7 lead with a little over five minutes left in the quarter. It wasn't long before Brown struck again, this time hauling in a 9 yard reception with seconds remaining in the third. He finished the night with an even 100 yards receiving.


- Reserve cornerback Brandan Davis suffered a sprained right ankle.

- Linebacker Shaq Wilson has a sprained neck.

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