Joined The Augusta Chronicle in 1996 after spending nine years at The Aiken Standard. Served as copy editor, South Carolina bureau chief and Metro Editor before being named Sports Editor in April 2000.
Posted October 9, 2010 03:17 pm - Updated October 9, 2010 06:28 pm

Gamecocks take on No. 1 Tide

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Greetings from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

We're less than 30 minutes away from kickoff between South Carolina and top-ranked Alabama.

The stadium is starting to fill up, and the atmosphere around Columbia is electric. Can the Gamecocks finally take down a No. 1 team in football?

Some experts think so, but South Carolina will need a complete effort. That means:

1) Win the turnover battle. Gamecocks lost the ball four times in second half against Auburn, and lost by a touchdown. Alabama is too good to give them multiple opportunities.

2) Slow down Alabama's rushing game. That could be a tall task, but teams that have come close to knocking off the Tide have had good defensive efforts, especially from the defensive line.

3) Seize the moment. When Steve Spurrier arrived in Columbia in 2005, he said Why not? Gamecocks have been starving for a really big win, and a win against Tide would generate tons of positive energy. If the Gamecocks win today, it would be the biggest victory in school football history and would surpass 1984 win over Florida State.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.


Alabama wins coin toss and elects to receive. Tide marches downfield, but Gamecocks stop them on third down and force field goal. That was a victory for South Carolina to keep Alabama out of end zone. ALABAMA 3-0

Gamecocks respond with impressive opening drive and touchdown pass from Stephen Garcia to Marcus Lattimore. SOUTH CAROLINA 7-3

South Carolina doing a better job of tackling, and just came up with a big third down stop. One thing to keep an eye on: heat and fatigue. Gamecocks coming off bye week, while Alabama had big game against Florida. Temp was a balmy 84 at kickoff.


It's early, but do you believe in miracles? 80,000 plus at Williams-Brice do. Gamecocks force punt and drive downfield again. Garcia picks up key first down with scramble, then hits Alshon Jeffery for 26-yard touchdown pass.

Alabama is looking very ordinary right now. But it's early ... lots of football left.


After a fumble recovery, Jeffery gets another touchdown catch.

Tide respond with impressive drive, but miss field goal.

Hats off to South Carolina's defense. Secondary is keeping Alabama's receivers covered, and Alabama QB McElroy has had to scramble often.

4:35 to go before half. If Gamecocks can score again, look out.


At halftime, Gamecocks hold 12-point lead thanks to kicking woes by Alabama. Missed FG and PAT have cost Tide four points. We'll see if that will hold up.

Gamecocks have done well so far. They've protected ball, Garcia's made great throws and the defense has come up big time after time.

Gamecocks leave field to huge cheer from crowd. Will they be crowing at end?



Gamecocks drive 82 yards in 15 plays for another TD. More importantly, they chew up 7:55 off the clock.

After shaky start to third quarter with safety and field goal, Gamecocks right the ship with impressive drive.

But Alabama is on the move again. Buckle your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy fourth quarter.


Gamecocks are starting to believe. Lead 35-21 with 7:01 to play after Lattimore's touchdown run. That was set up by spectacular catch by Jeffery, who caught it one-handed and then broke away to 6.