Sept. 20, 2003
By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Freshman Demetris Summers ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns as South Carolina handed Alabama-Birmingham its third straight loss, 42-10 on Saturday night.
Summers stole the show for the Gamecocks (3-1) in a week where coach Lou Holtz, dissatisfied after a 31-7 loss at Georgia, held a very public practice competition at quarterback between starter Dondrial Pinkins and a pair of freshmen passers.
With Summers running like this, it hardly mattered who was back there to hand it to him.
On South Carolina’s first possession, Summers broke through the line, cut left and outran two defenders for a 21-yard touchdown. Two series later, Summers burst through a wide, wide hole and was off for a 54-yard touchdown run – the Gamecocks longest rushing touchdown since Derek Watson’s 58-yarder against Kentucky in 2000.
Summers wasn’t done, following Pinkins’ 47-yard pass to Daccus Turman a series later with an easy 5-yard TD run around the left end to become the first South Carolina freshman to account for three touchdowns since receiver Zola Davis did it in a win over Kent in 1995.
Pinkins had himself a solid outing after winning coach Lou Holtz’s confidence in practice. Pinkins completed his first four passes and finished 13 of 19 for 202 yards.
Alabama-Birmingham (1-3) fell to 1-5 against Southeastern Conference foes since joining Division I-A in 1996.
The Blazers seemed to lose its way after a very early setback. On fourth-and-4 on its opening possession, punter Parker Mullins completed a 30-yard pass to Carlos Hendricks. But Hendricks fumbled when hit by Corey Peoples and South Carolina receiver Taqiy Muhammad recovered.
Little went right after that. The Blazers did not make a first down on their next six series. When they finally moved the chains, it was deep in their own territory and with only 1:08 left before halftime. South Carolina outgained Alabama-Birmingham 290-87 in the first half.
UAB’s Darrell Hackney, who threw for just 30 yards the first two quarters, contributed to the mistakes and South Carolina’s large lead. Hackney was pressured by defensive lineman Natron Scott, yet still floated up a desperation toss. Dunta Robinson picked it clean and took off for a 29-yard touchdown to put the Gamecocks up 28-0.
Hackney completed 17 of 38 passes for 141 yards, two interceptions and a 24-yard TD pass to Chico Cleveland with just 5 seconds left in the game.