USC avoided a pre-Halloween SEC trick by defeating Tennessee 38-24 Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks remain unbeaten at home this season.
It wasn’t an easy win by any stretch. The Gamecocks could not find a way to slow the Vols passing attack. Tennessee totaled over 400 yards on offense but could not hold onto the ball turning it over four times to the Gamecocks.
Big plays by Alshon Jeffery, Marcus Lattimore, and Devin Taylor were the difference in the game.
The Gamecocks move to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the league. Tennessee drops to 2-6 and 0-5.
Click below for a quarter-by-quarter recap and audio from Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore, Cliff Matthews and Ellis Johnson.
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- USC took the opening kick and began their drive on their own 25. Marcus Lattimore returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s game with an injury. Stephen Garcia completed three of his five pass attempts for 52 yards but threw an interception in the end zone on 3rd and goal from the 12.
- Tennessee took over on their own 20. On a 4th and 6, the Vols punted the ball but an offsides penalty on USC made it 4th and 1. Head coach Derek Dooley elected to go for it and the conversion kept the drive alive. Tennessee was able to get down to the USC 12 before a couple of penalties and failed runs drove them back to the 24. A 39-yard field goal attempt was successful. Tennessee 3- 0 Scoring Drive: 14 plays 58 yards 8:52
- Gamecocks take over at their own 22. The quarter ended with USC at the Tennessee 18.
Some stats from the first quarter:
USC:Stephen Garcia 6-8-1 90 yards, Marcus Lattimore 7 carries for 41 yards and 2 receptions for 26 yards, Patrick DiMarco 2 receptions 37 yards
Tennessee: Matt Simms 5-5 55 yards, Tauren Poole 7 rushes 14 yards and 2 receptions for 10 yards
SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- The Gamecocks begin the quarter at the Vols 18. USC is unable to do anything from this point, they lose 4 yards on 3 plays and Spencer Lanning hits a 40-yard field goal to even the score. Tie Score 3-3 Scoring Drive: 11 plays 56 yards 4:17
- Tennessee’s next drive began at their own 26. A 64-yard pass took Tennessee down to the USC 6. Cliff Matthews came to life with a quarterback hurry and a sack that caused a fumble. USC recovered and returned to the Tennessee 25.
- The Gamecocks offense got rolling and so did Lattimore. The Freshman RB out of Byrnes carried the load with his seventh carry of the drive ending in pay dirt. With the touchdown, Lattimore tied WR Sidney Rice’s freshman record for touchdowns in a season. Rice had 13 TDs in 2005. USC 10-3 Scoring Drive: 10 plays 75 yards 4:39
- The visiting side began their next drive on their own 30. A big third down conversion near midfield kept this drive alive. A 12-yard pass from Matt Simms to TE Luke Stocker tied this one up. Tie Score 10-10 Scoring Drive 9 plays 70 yards 3:23
- The Gamecocks begin their next drive from their own 29. After two consecutive sacks, Garcia completes a big play over the middle to WR D.L. Moore for a first down. USC could go no farther, and punted for the first time in the game. Ray Guy Award nominee, Spencer Lanning, penned the Vols inside their own 2 with 1:06 remaining in the half. The Gamecocks had all of their time outs left.
- Tennessee was able to get a first down and run out the clock.
Stats through Halftime:
USC: Stephen Garcia 10-15-1 130 yards, Marcus Lattimoe 16 carries for 93 yards 1 TD, D.L. Moore 3 receptions 41 yards
Tennessee: Matt Simms 9-12-0 149 yards 1 TD, Tauren Poole 10 carries for 25 yards, Denarius Moore 3 receptions for 110 yards
THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- Tennessee won the opening toss but deferred to the second half and get the ball first in the second half. On their second play from scrimmage, Antonio ALlen sacked Simms causing a fumble recovered by the Gamecocks on the Tennessee 27-yard line.
- USC started sluggish but converted on a 3rd and long when Garcia scrambled for 12 yards. A lat hit out-of-bounds on the play gave USC a first-and-goal. Garcia had two more rushes on the drive and finished it with a one-yard plunge. 17-10 USC Scoring Drive 6 plays 27 yards, 1:39
- Tennessee began their next drive at their own 20 with a new quarterback under center. Tyler Bray took over as the signal caller and on his first pass attempt was picked by DE Devin Taylor who made his first tip ever into the end zone. 24-10 USC Scoring Summary DE Devin Taylor 24-yard interception return
- Tyler Bray came back out as the Vols QB. Matt Simms appeared to have been injured on the sack by Antonio Allen. Bray completed his second pass attempt for a first down on a third and long. The Gamecocks defense began to harass the Tennessee backfield, but Bray continued to complete crucial passes on third down. The Vols drive eventually stalled at the USC 48 forcing Tennessee for the first time in the game. (USC was offsides on their first attempt earlier in the game). The punt was into the end zone giving Carolina the ball on their own 20.
- USC does not muster anything offensively going 3 and out.
- UT took over their 30. On 4th and 9, The Vols ran a fake punt and would end up on the USC 30 after a late hit penalty was tacked on to the play. The very next play, Bray hit Moore across the middle for a touchdown. USC 24 Tennessee 17 Scoring Drive 5 plays 70 yards 1:58
- After the kick went out-of-bounds, USC took over on their own 40 but was, once again, forced to punt. Eric Gordon muffed the punt for UT and DeVonte Holloman recovered for USC. They took over at the Tennessee 17. USC still could not manage to score with Spencer Lanning missing a 41-yard attempt.
Stats through three quarters:
USC: Stephen Garcia 11-20-1 141 yards, Marcus Lattimore 21 carries for 105 yards 1 TD, D.L. Moore 3 receptions for 41 yards
Tennessee: Matt Simms 10-13 for 153 yards 1 TD, Tyler Bray 4-8-1 for 68 yards 1 TF, Tauren Poole 13 carries for 30 yards, Denarius Moore 5 receptions 166 yards 1 TD
FOURH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- Tennessee ball and their own 24 down by a score. Once again, Tennessee is able to go over the top. Stephon Gilmore was beaten over the top down to the 2-yard-line. A personal foul drove the ball back to the 17 but it did not matter as the Vols hooked up for a 17-yard touchdown pass to even the score. Tie 24-24 Scoring Drive 5 plays 77 yards 1:54
- USC took over on their own 28. On the second play, Garcia hit WR Alshon Jeffery over the middle and Jeffery did the rest completing a 70-yard TD pass. USC 31 Tennesee 24 Scoring Drive: 2 plays 72 yards 1:00
- Tennessee began this drive from their 26. They could get no further than their own 45 and punted on 4th and 24.
- USC took over at their own 8 after the punt deflected off of Stephon Gilmore and was recovered by the Gamecocks. a couple of big plays from Jeffery and Lattimore got the Gamecocks down to the Tennessee 1. Garcia finished it from there capping off USC’s second longest scoring drive of the season with his second rushing TD of the game. USC 38 Tennessee 24 Scoring Drive 8 plays 92 yards 4:32
- Tennessee takes over from their own 25. They get to their own 41 and turn it over on downs.
- USC ball on the Tennessee 41. From there the Gamecocks were able to run out the clock getting to the 15-yard line and kneeling down. Final Score: USC 38 Tennessee 24