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Sept. 23, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Quotes | Photo Gallery

Carlos Thomas returned the opening kickoff 51 yards to the Florida Atlantic 47 yard line. South Carolina’s previous long KO return was 22 yards by Thomas. South Carolina’s first two scoring drives began on Florida Atlantic’s side of the field, at the 47 and 49 yard lines.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Rank gained six yards in the first quarter on his first career rushing attempt. Rank had a 44-yard gain on the final play of the first quarter, the longest rushing play of the season by the Gamecocks. For the game Rank rushed 15 times for 101 yards, South Carolina’s first 100 yard rushing game of the season. The team rushing total of 200 yards was the most this season.

Syvelle Newton passed 23 yards to Sidney Rice for a first quarter touchdown, the first TD pass by a Gamecock quarterback this season but the second thrown by Newton. As a wide receiver he threw a halfback pass to Cory Boyd for a TD against Mississippi State.

Five touchdown passes thrown by Syvelle Newton tied a school record held by Tommy Suggs (1968), Jeff Grantz (1975) and Steve Taneyhill (twice in 1995). Against Florida Atlantic Newton completed 13 of 20 passes for 216 yards.

The five touchdown receptions by Sidney Rice were his first of the season and established two new school records. The old record for TD receptions was three held by several players including Rice. Five touchdowns scored in a game bettered the old record of four held by Mike Dingle (1990) and Stanley Pritchett (1995). Rice has 18 career touchdown receptions.

Rice topped 100 yards in receptions for the eighth time in his career and second consecutive time this season. Rice caught nine passes for 161 yards against Florida Atlantic, all but one in the first half.

Florida Atlantic scored its first points in the first quarter this season on a 25-yard pass from Sean Clayton to Jason Harmon. The first two-point conversion attempt of the season against South Carolina was unsuccessful after the Florida Atlantic touchdown.

The announced attendance of 70,860 increased the total for three games in Williams Brice Stadium this season to 227,659, an average of 75,886 per game.

The interception by Curtis Rice was the first of his career. He returned it 10 yards. It was the South Carolina’s sixth interception this season. Freshman Rodney Paulk returned a fumble 19 yards. It was his first career recovery.

Sophomore tailback Mike Davis scored his first touchdown of the season with a one-yard run. It was the sixth career touchdown for Davis. For the game Davis gained 91 yards on 15 carries.

Jordan Dodds kicked the point after South Carolina’s sixth touchdown, the first PAT kick try not attempted by Ryan Succop this season. The 34-yard fourth quarter field goal by Succop was his sixth of the season in seven attempts. Thomas Hooper missed a 35 yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, the only Gamecock field goal try this season not attempted by Succop.

Steve Spurrier is 2-0 against Howard Schnellenberger. They last met in 1992 when Spurrier’s Florida team defeated Schnellenberger”s Louisville team 31-17.

Florida Atantic Notes
Quarterback Sean Clayton led the Owls on their opening drive with a 47-yard run, the longest carry of the season for any Owl. The drive ended on a Clayton to Jason Harmon reception and score. The 25-yard reception was the first TD of the season, through the air, for the Owls and the second TD of the season. The first was an eight-yard score by Willie Rose in the fourth quarter of last weeks Oklahoma State game. It was also the longest reception of the season for Harmon.

Rickey Bethel’s first quarter interception was the first of his FAU career. Bethel, one of the few junior college transfers, returned to the field this season after he redshirted a year ago to have the opportunity to start as a senior. Bethel replaced Willie Hughley who signed as a 2006 free agent after a four-year FAU career.

For the first time in Florida Atlantic’s six-year history, one player scored more than two touchdowns in a game.

Sean Clayton had a career high rushing versus South Carolina.

FAU will play its fifth game of the season next week and its fifth on the road. The Owls will travel to Louisiana-Monroe.