17th ranked USC made it clear early that there was not going to be a letdown against Troy. Fresh off an SEC East title clinching win over Florida last week, the Gamecocks scored 28 points in the first quarter, and 56 in the first half in a 69-24 route against Troy Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The 56 first half points were the most ever in USC’s history and the 62 points were the most in the Steve Spurrier era. It’s the most points Carolina has scored in a game since it put 77 on the board against Kent State in 1995. The 93 total points made it the third highest scoring game in school history.
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It was clear right away that it was going to be a good day for USC. Troy lost a fumble on the opening kickoff giving the Gamecocks the ball on the Trojan 17 yard line. Marcus Lattimore scored on the next play to give Carolina a 7-0 lead with 14:47 to play. That was the first of three first quarter scores for Lattimore and it was the beginning of a historic half for the Gamecocks.
Lattimore only carried the ball seven times but finished with 102 yards rushing. His three touchdowns give him 19 for the season, which is a school record. It breaks Harold Green’s record of 16 in 1986. Lattimore also moved over 1,000 yards rushing for the season, making him the first Gamecock back to do so since Derek Watson in 2000.
Stephen Garcia didn’t have to throw much, 9 of 12 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Not surprising is the fact that Alshon Jeffery was his favorite target. Jeffery finished the game with 5 catches for 123 yards.
Jeffery didn’t score a touchdown but he did break Sidney Rice’s single season receiving record of 1,114 yards. Rice set that record in 2005. Jeffery now has 1,285 yards receiving this season.
The defense also found its way into the end zone a couple of times. D.J. Swearinger intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards for a score with 1:42 left in the first half. On the following possession Chaz Sutton intercepted a pass and returned it 56 yards for a score as time expired to give the Gamecocks a 56-7 halftime lead.
Gamecock assistant head coach over defense Ellis Johnson’s unit forced four turnovers on the game, two fumbles and two interceptions. All of the turnovers led to points.
Counting the fumble on the opening kickoff Troy had five turnovers in the game.
USC is now 8-3 on the season and will turn its attention to arch-rival Clemson on Saturday.