Notebook: Impressive Opener

South Carolina opened the 2010 season with a 41-13 win over Southern Miss. The Gamecocks used an efficient offense and stifling defense en route to the win. South Carolina put up numbers that haven't been seen in a long time offensively and the defense came up big in tight situations. Check inside to see what the Gamecocks were able to accomplish in tonight's win.

Openers are great:

Despite some lack-luster performances, the Gamecocks have now won 11-straight season openers dating back to Lou Holtz's first season in Columbia in 2000. The Gamecocks fell to NC State that season in a monsoon. The Gamecocks are 77-36-4 all-time in openers. Spurrier is 20-1 in season openers as a head coach and has won 18-straight. His lone loss came against the Gamecocks while at Duke.

"Good win for us," Head Coach Steve Spurrier said. "Our guys played well most of the game. We hit big plays here and there. To hold them to 13 points is good."


Running Wild

The Gamecocks had 224 yards rushing, the most since the 2009 FAU game in which the Gamecocks ran for 287 yards.

"We ran the ball so-so, but that's ok," Spurrier said. "We had some good runs in there. We have a lot to improve on."

Ace Sanders had the longest run, a 53-yard gain on a reverse.

"We didn't have any long runs except for Sanders," Spurrier said. "Obviously we have to get him more involved in the offense going on."

Light 'Em Up

The Gamecocks' 41 points marks the highest total since the 2006 Liberty Bowl against Houston in which the Gamecocks scored 44 points. It was the most scored in a season opener in the Spurrier era.

"Scoring 41 points is pretty good," said Junior quarterback Stephen Garcia. "Coach Spurrier said we need to get the ball out of hands, that's pretty much what I did. No yards is better than a loss of five yards."

"We had 41 points with 11 minutes left," said Spurrier. I was thinking for the first time we might score 50, but we couldn't quite do it."

Count On Alshon

Alshon Jeffery had his 4th 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 106 yards on 7 catches.

"It's very nice," Garcia said of having Jeffery as a target. Just throw the ball up there, and he'll come down with it."

Red Zone Perfection

The Gamecocks were a perfect 5-for-5 in the red zone with 4 touchdowns and 1 field goal.

Garcia Lays Claim to Starter

Garcia was 16-23 with 193 yards passing. He rushed the ball 5 times for 38 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He was not sacked nor intercepted. It was the first time he's rushed for 2 touchdowns in a game and now has 8 for his career.

"That is what type of quarterback we need," Jeffery said. "That's the type of player that we need on our football team. Coach Spurrier always tells us to play hard, and that's what our quarterback did tonight."


Gamecocks Tough Up Front

USM was held to 67 net rushing yards. The Gamecocks are now 14-2 under Spurrier when holding the opponent to less than 100 yards rushing. In 6 red zone attempts, USM only recorded 2 field goals.

"With as few players as we had out there I was really impressed," Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson said. "I think the execution was absolutely exceptional. We had probably 14-15 kids that carried us in this game and I couldn't be more proud of them."

DeVonte Picks Up Where He Left Off:

DeVonte Holloman had his second interception in as many home games, intercepting a pass inside the Carolina 20 in the 1st quarter. It was his second career interception. His first was against Clemson last season.

Gilmore in the Backfield

Stephon Gilmore had 2 tackles for loss, a single-game high for the Sophomore.

"Gilmore probably played 75 snaps at corner," Johnson said. "He's the one we can always count on."

Special Teams

Lanning Perfect Spencer Lanning connected on all 5 extra point attempts. He was also 2-2 in field goals, connecting on a 36-yarder in the 2nd quarter and a 42-yarder in the 3rd.

"Spencer had a super night as we thought he would," Spurrier said. "He hit both his field goals and punted for a 52.5 average. You guys want to build up someone for kicker of the year, you can start for Spencer. I don't think praise will affect him. He's a good one."

Scribner-Howard Shows Some Leg

Joey Scribner-Howard booted two kick-offs through the end zone for touchbacks. That is one more than the Gamecocks had all of 2009.

Injury Report

DJ Swearinger left the game in the 2nd quarter with a concussion and did not return.

Southern Miss


Austin Davis threw his 11th interception of his career on the opening drive. His streak of 12 straight games with a touchdown pass was also snapped.

Davis threw for over 200 yards for the 14th time. That places him 5th in USM history, 1 shy of Brett Favre's 15.

Receiver Johdrick Morris had 3 catches for 80 yards, including a 55-yarder to set up USM's first field goal.

Receiver DeAndre Brown caught his 115th career catch in the 4th quarter, tying him with Marvin Young for 5th all time. He finished with 4 catchs to give him 118 for his career.

Brown caught his 22nd touchdown in the 4th quarter on a 29-yard pass from Martevious Young. That ties him with Todd Pinkston for second all-time.

For Young, it was his 17th career touchdown pass.

USM was only 2-6 in the red zone.


Tonight was the 25th time in the last 27 games that the USM defense has forced a turnover.

Justin Wilson got his ninth interception of his career off an Andrew Clifford pass in the 4th quarter.

Octavius Thomas and Martez Smith combined for USM's only sack in the 4th quarter.

Special Teams

Danny Hrappman converted both field goal attempts, a 33-yarder in the 1st quarter and 36-yarder in the 2nd quarter.

Peter Boehme drilled a 61-yard punt in the 3rd quarter, 2 yards shy of his career long 63. Boehme had 4 punts for an average of 44.5 per punt.

USM executed an onside kick in the 4th quarter.

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