South Carolina hosted Troy at home and won easily by a score of 69-24.
Breaking it Down…1st Quarter…Troy elected to receive the opening kickoff and then proceeded to fumble the return. South Carolina recovered and handed the ball off to Marcus Lattimore on the first offensive play of the game. Lattimore ran 17 yards over the left side for the game's first touchdown. Troy managed to successfully return the ensuing kickoff, but could do little with the possession and had to punt. South Carolina ran the ball 3 straight times and scored a touchdown. Lattimore had 66 of the drive's 71 yards, and the Gamecocks led 14-0 less than 3 minutes in. Troy picked up two first downs on their next possession before setting up to punt. Will Groggans, the Trojan punter, fumbled the snap and was tackled at the Troy 29. South Carolina scored 2 plays later on Lattimore's third touchdown of the quarter. Troy went three and out on their next possession. The Gamecocks decided to pass on their next possession. Stephen Garcia completed 3 of 5 passes on the drive, the last one was a 51 yard strike to Ace Sanders to push the lead to 28-0. Troy went three and out again on their next possession. South Carolina began to sub some players on the next drive, and the offense slowed. The Gamecocks punted to the Troy 10. Troy picked up a first down before punting.
2nd Quarter…South Carolina picked up a first down and punted on their first possession of the second quarter. Troy fumbled the ball on their next possession, and Aldrick Fordham recovered at the Troy 7. On second down Patrick DiMarco caught a 7 yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 35-0. Troy began to move the ball on their next possession and scored from 25 yards out on a halfback pass. With the lead cut to 35-7, the Gamecocks answered quickly. The USC drive covered 81 yards on 6 plays and ended with Garcia's one yard plunge. Troy quarterback Corey Robinson was intercepted on the next Trojan drive. South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger returned the pick 22 yards for a touchdown. The next Trojan drive also ended in a pick 6. Chaz Sutton caught a batted ball and ran 56 yards for the touchdown as they half expired. The extra point made the score 56-7 at the half.
3rd Quarter…South Carolina substituted heavily throughout the second half. The first Gamecock drive covered 10 plays and ended with a 32 yard Spencer Lanning field goal. Troy answered with a field goal of their own. Kenny Miles fumbled on the next USC drive to set up Troy deep in Carolina territory. Tory picked up 3 first downs and scored to cut the lead to 59-17. South Carolina and Troy exchanged punts to end the quarter.
4th Quarter…The Gamecocks first drive of the last quarter ended with another punt. Troy was able to put together a short touchdown drive after a good punt return set them up in Gamecock territory. South Carolina salted 9 minutes off the clock and got another Spencer Lanning field goal. The Trojans turned the ball over again on their next possession. Byron Jerideau recovered the Corey Robinson fumble at the Troy 15. Seth Strickland then found Ace Sanders for a 15 yard touchdown pass to make the score 69-24. On their next possession Troy ran out the clock.
Stars of the Game…Marcus Lattimore…7 rushes, 102 yards, 3 touchdowns…Stephen Garcia…9 of 12 for 198 ids and 2 touchdowns…Alshon Jeffrey…5 receptions for 123 yards…Ace Sanders…2 receptions for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns…D.J. Swearinger…5 tackles, 1 INT returned for TD…Chaz Sutton…tackle, INT returned for touchdown...
What to Take Away from the Game…How gratifying was that? South Carolina came out focused against an inferior opponent and buried them. They didn't have to leave the starters in deep into the game. Lots of seniors got to play on senior day. This is what Gamecock fans have wanted to see against these type teams for years. At the end of the day, this game won't be anything more than an out of conference win, but the manner in which USC took care of business could be a sign that this program is continuing to move in the right direction.
This and that…Red Zone: SC 8 of 8; Troy 2 of 2…Total yards: SC 461, Troy 264…Turnovers: Troy 5, SC 1…South Carolina improved to 8-3 (5-3)…
Record Book…56 points is believed to be the most scored by South Carolina in a half…Lattimore went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season…Alshon Jeffrey now has 1,210 yards receiving on the year, a new SC single season record…Lattimore and Jeffrey are the first Gamecock teammates to rush for 1000 yards and have 1000 receiving yards in the same season…Lattimore now has 19 TDs on the season, a new Gamecock record…The SEC freshman record is 20…Stephen Garcia has now passed for more than 6,000 career yards, moving him into third place all time at Carolina …
Up Next…South Carolina travels to Clemson to try to win two in a row against the Tigers for the first time in a long time. The game will be at 7 pm on ESPN2.