Oct. 2, 2004
By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Backup quarterback Syvelle Newton rushed for two third-quarter touchdowns and South Carolina intercepted four passes in a 20-3 victory over Alabama on Saturday night.
The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) bullied a Crimson Tide team hampered by quarterback problems since the season-ending knee injury to Brodie Croyle two weeks ago.
It was South Carolina’s first win in eight trips to Tuscaloosa and second straight against Alabama after losing the first 10 games in the series.
Alabama (3-2, 1-2) has lost two straight. The Crimson Tide managed only one touchdown and 13 points in the two games since sophomore Marc Guillon replaced Croyle.
Guillon was 9-of-18 for 63 yards while backup Spencer Pennington had just one completion in six attempts. Both were picked off twice.
Their troubles helped South Carolina brush off Newton’s third-quarter interception and the team’s two fumbles in the fourth.
Newton had touchdown runs of 8 and 9 yards in the third quarter, both set up by interceptions.
Anthony Madison picked of Newton’s pass at Alabama’s 23-yard line. Guillon followed immediately with an equally bad pass, throwing it directly to cornerback Fred Bennett, who finished with two interceptions.
Newton kept it on the ground this time, carrying on all three plays and capping the 20-yard drive by scampering untouched into the end zone for an 8-yarder.
Pennington replaced Guillon but had similar results – an interception by Tremaine Tyler, who raced 40 yards to Alabama’s 9. Newton ran up the middle on the next play for another easy score.
He had 13 carries for 53 yards while he and starter Dondrial Pinkins had only two completions apiece. Pinkins and Newton have been splitting time under center. The Gamecocks gained 203 yards on 54 rushes but had only 46 yards passing, nearly 200 below their average.
With the return of tailback Demetris Summers, South Carolina all but scrapped the league’s No. 4 passing attack. Summers, who had missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, had 61 yards on 15 carries but lost a fourth-quarter fumble.
The Gamecocks didn’t even need a contribution from the league’s leading receiver. Troy Williamson didn’t catch a pass after three straight 100-yard games.
Alabama’s offense has sputtered badly since Croyle tore a knee ligament early in the third quarter of a rout of Division I-AA Western Carolina. The result has been lopsided defeats to Arkansas and the Gamecocks after opening with three blowout wins.
Josh Brown gave South Carolina a 6-3 halftime lead with field goals of 28 and 29 yards. Alabama’s Brian Bostick made a 28-yarder but missed a 35-yarder just before the half, his first miss.