A game USC football team put up a strong fight in Tuscaloosa Saturday night before falling to second ranked Alabama 20-6 in front of 92,012 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium, most of whom were on hand for what they thought would be a Homecoming Game grilling of the Gamecocks who were 17 point underdogs. (Complete game story)
Steve Spurrier Audio (8:05)
It looked bad early for the gamecocks as Crimson Tide safety Mark Barton intercepted Stephen Garcia on the second play of the game and took it back 77 yards for a touchdown. Stunned but not distraught, USC fought Alabama tooth and nail the rest of the game. The defense kept the Crimson Tide out of the end zone until the 4:54 mark of the fourth quarter when Mark Ingram, running out of the Wildcat Formation, capped his personal six play drive with a four yard touchdown run. Ingram rushed for an Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium record 246 yards on 24 carries. The rest of Alabama’s offense manged just 110 yards. Quarterback Greg McElroy was just 10-20 for 92 yards and he was intercepted twice. The Gamecock defense forced four turnovers.
Ellis Johnson Audio (4:43)
The Gamecocks had 278 yards of offense. Quarterback Stephen Garcia was 20-46 for 214 yards and one interceptions. He was sacked five times and forced to run for his life several other times. The Gamecocks managed just 64 yards rushing. Kenny Miles had 40 on the night. Yet, with 12:47 to play, the Gamecocks had the ball at their own 13 with a chance to tie the game. But they could only reach their own 32 before punting, and Alabama then drove for their game icing touchdown.
Stephen Garcia Audio (3:49)
Chris Culliver and Shaq Wilson led the Gamecock defense with 11 tackles each. Clifton Geathers recorded the only Gamecock sack. Wilson and CC Whitlock had interceptions. Aftrer the offense gave up the early touchdown on the interception return, the defense forced three Alabama turnovers on its first four possessions. The defense really only looked beaten on Alabama’s final drive with Ingram carrying the ball on every play from the Wildcat.
Chris Culliver Audio (3:18)
The Gamecocks fall to 5-2 and 2-2 in the SEC and will host Vanderbilt next week for Homecoming. Alabama improves to 7-0 and 4-0 and will host Tennessee next weekend. Gamecock receiver Mo Brown suffered a concussion after a hard hit on a reception in the first half and was taken to a local hospital. He was released and flew home with the team.