For the first time in school history USC knocked off a top ten team at Williams-Brice Stadium. Behind a stingy defense the Gamecocks held off 4th ranked Ole Miss 16-10 Thursday night. It wasn’t the high scoring affair that many predicted but Carolina is happy to finallycome away with a victory over a ranked opponent. It means even more to the team because othe many near misses in these types of games over the past several seasons.
AUDIO: Steve Spurrier presser (11:35)
AUDIO: Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt post game presser (7:09)
Ole Miss entered this game with the top rated offense in the SEC and the third ranked offense in the country. They finished the night with just 248 yards of total offense. Rebels quarterback Jevan Snead was only 7-21 for 107 yards. 45 of those yards came on his lone touchdown pass in the third quarter.
AUDIO: Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson (6:32)
As good as the Gamecock defense played it the game was still in the balance late in the fourth quarter. In the first half the Carolina offense struggled in the red zone and had a costly turnover that limited them to six points for the half. Their lone touchdown came in the third quarter on a 25 yard drive that was set up by a Snead fumble. After that drive they went three and out the rest of the way.
Audio: Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia (4:25)
Ole Miss took over on their own 39 yard line with 4:03 left in the game and it was looking like USC fans could be in for another heartbreak. The Rebels picked up two quick first downs and had the ball on the Carolina 32 yard line with less than two minutes to play. But once again the defense was up to the challenge.
AUDIO: Gamecock saftey Darian Stewart (4:10)
AUDIO: Gamecock defensive back Chris Culliver (3:01)
A lot of people will tell you that Ole Miss was overrated and unworthy of a top five ranking and that is probably a true statement. However, you can’t overstate how important this win is for Steve Spurrier and his program. After all of those tough losses his team found a way to win. When they needed to make a play they did. One month into the season the Gamecocks are 3-1. When the new poll comes out Monday they will be ranked in the top 25. Name one USC fan that wouldn’t have taken that scenario back in August?