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Oct. 28, 2006

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South Carolina Post-Game Notes

The 50 yard second quarter field goal by Ryan Succop was the second longest of his career. He had a 55 yard FG last week at Vanderbilt. The school record is 58 yards by Mark Fleetwood against Georgia 9/25/82. Fleetwood kicked a 51 yarder against Cincinnati 10/2/82. He and Succop are the only Gamecocks to kick field goals of 50 yards or more in back to back games. Succop has made 10 of 11 field goal tries this season.

Mike West caught his first career touchdown pass in the second quarter, 18 yards from Syvelle Newton. It was West’s second reception of the game and third of the season. The West TD climaxed an eight play 80 yard drive.

The announced attendance of 82,011 increased attendance for five games this season at Williams-Brice Stadium to 384,044, an average of 76,809 per game. The 82,011 was the 25th largest Williams-Brice crowd.

Thanks to a Tennessee fumble South Carolina was able to move 99 yards to a third quarter touchdown. After a Tennessee punt to the one yard line Ryan Succop’s punt was fumbled by Robert Meachem and recovered by South Carolina’s Yvan Banag at the Gamecock 26. From there South Carolina drove 74 yards in five plays, including completions of 21 yards to Freddie Brown, 33 to Kenny McKinley and 15 and a TD to Noah Whiteside. The catch by Brown was the first of his career. The Whiteside TD was his first this season and fourth of his career.

The fourth quarter one yard touchdown run by Syvelle Newton was his fourth of the year and 13th of his career. The TD capped a nine play 95 yard drive. For the game Newton completed 16 of 29 pass Attempts for 230 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. He was also South Carolina’s top rusher with 85 yards on 4 attempts, an average of 6.1.

Sidney Rice caught three passes for 52 yards, increasing his season total to 36 for 560 yards. South Carolina’s leading receivers were Kenny McKinley, four for 70 yards, and Cory Boyd, four for 52.

South Carolina with 165 yards rushing and 230 passing out gained Tennessee 395 yards to 325 but the Gamecocks gave up three interceptions and a 65 yard punt return.

Coach Steve Spurrier is now 10-6 in his career against Tennessee, 1-1 at South Carolina.

Tennessee leads the overall series 20-3-2.


Noting Tennessee
* Tennessee improved to 7-1 (3-1 SEC); South Carolina fell to 5-3 (3-3 SEC).
* The Vols entered the game ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the USA Today rankings; South Carolina was unranked in both polls.
* Tennessee returns to action Nov. 4 when it hosts LSU at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS). South Carolina hosts Arkansas.

Tennessee-South Carolina Series
* Tennessee leads the all-time series vs. South Carolina 20-3-2 (.840) dating to 1903. That record includes an 8-2-2 (.750) mark for the Vols in Columbia.
* Today’s contest marked the 12th meeting between UT head coach Phillip Fulmer and Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier. Both coaches entered tonight’s game tied for ninth place on the SEC’s all-time coaching wins list, but Fulmer now has a solo grasp on ninth place with 135 victories to Spurrier’s 134 (only includes wins while coaching in the SEC). Tonight marked Fulmer’s fourth career triumph over a Spurrier-coached team.

Phillip Fulmer’s Record
* Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer improved his record to 135-38 (.780) in 15 seasons with the Vols.
* Fulmer now owns a 13-1 record against South Carolina, an 87-27 mark against SEC teams, and a 53-17 record against the SEC Eastern Division.
* Tonight’s victory was the third straight game that Tennessee overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win. The Vols also trailed in the fourth quarter at Georgia Oct. 7 (trailed 27-24 and won 51-33) and vs. Alabama Oct. 21 (trailed 13-6 and won 16-13). Tonight Tennessee trailed 17-14 in the fourth quarter. This is the first time in the Fulmer era that UT has come from behind in the fourth quarter to win three consecutive games.

Cutcliffe’s Magic Number = 30
* Under offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, Tennessee has scored at least 30 points in six of its eight games this season.
* Under Cutcliffe (who was the offensive coordinator from 1993-98 before returning to the post this season), Tennessee has scored at least 30 points in 53 different games; UT owns an impressive 51-2 (.962) record when that happens.

Ainge Under Center
* Junior quarterback Erik Ainge made his 19th career start for the Vols, and completed 21 of 29 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
* Ainge completed nine straight pass attempts at one point in the first half.
* With tonight’s performance, Ainge eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for both passing yards this season (2,213) and total offense this season (2,206).
* Tennessee entered the game leading the SEC and ranking second nationally in sacks allowed with five. South Carolina’s Lemuel Jeanpierre and Eric Norwood sacked Ainge in the third quarter, marking the first sack allowed by UT in 83 pass attempts dating to the second quarter of Tennessee’s 51-33 win at Georgia Oct. 7.

Receivers Getting it Done
* Senior receiver Bret Smith hauled in a 5-yard TD pass at the 2:57 mark of the first quarter. Smith also caught a 12-yard TD pass at the 13:10 mark in the fourth quarter. Smith’s second score was his fourth of the year, and it gave him the lead among active Vols with 13 career TDs.
* Tonight was Smith’s second career multi-TD game. He also caught a pair of TDs against Louisiana Tech Sept. 25, 2004. Prior to tonight, the last Vol with multiple TD catches in a game was Jayson Swain, who had two at Memphis Sept. 30.
* Junior wide receiver Robert Meachem gained 106 yards on five catches tonight, giving him his fourth 100-yard game of the season. He entered tonight’s game ranked third nationally in NCAA Division I-A with an average of 108.9 receiving yards per game.
* Robert Meachem and junior tight end Chris Brown kept alive their streaks of at least one catch in every game this season.

Happy Return for Hefney (The Sequel)
* Rock Hill, S.C., native Jonathan Hefney set up Tennessee’s fourth TD of the night with a career-long 65-yard punt return.
* Hefney played well against the Gamecocks in both of his first two games against them. As a freshman in 2004, he logged his first career INT. Then in 2005, he led the Vols with nine tackles and recorded another INT.
* For his career, Hefney has 12 tackles and two INTs against South Carolina (three games).

* Tennessee entered tonight’s game as the least-penalized team in the SEC (in number of penalties [32], yards [235] and average yards per game [33.6]). Tonight, however, the Vols were penalized eight times for 70 yards. Both were season highs.

Defense Denies
* Senior linebacker Marvin Mitchell intercepted a Syvelle Newton pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown at the 13:21 mark of the first quarter. It was Mitchell’s first INT of the season and the second of his career. Senior defensive back Jonathan Wade broke up the pass that resulted in Mitchell’s pick.
* Mitchell’s TD was also UT’s first INT return for a score since Justin Harrell pulled off the feat at Kentucky Nov. 26, 2005.
* Jonathan Wade intercepted a Syvelle Newton pass in the end zone at the 7:44 mark of the first quarter (LB Ryan Karl tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage). It was Tennessee’s 10th INT of the season, passing last year’s team total of nine. For Wade, it was his third INT of the season and the fifth of his career.
* Wade’s INT marked the first time all season that a Tennessee opponent did not score after reaching the red zone. The Vols’ opponents were previously 16-of-16 on red-zone scoring opportunities this year.

Miscellaneous Notes
* In its last five games, Tennessee has outscored its opponents 85-20 in the fourth quarter.
* Since the SEC expansion in 1992, Tennessee owns the best road conference record in the league with a 45-13 (.776) mark.
* Redshirt freshman defensive back Antonio Wardlow made his first career start tonight (strong safety).
* This was the 16th Tennessee game for which ESPN College Gameday was on site. The Vols are 7-9 with the Gameday crew on site, including a 5-4 mark away from Knoxville.
* Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer made the following statement Saturday regarding the status of sophomore defensive back Demetrice Morley: “Demetrice Morley is being disciplined for not taking academics as seriously as he should, for missing class and not telling me the truth. Additional internal discipline also is in effect.”
* Morley did enter the game late in the second quarter.
* Tennessee’s game captains tonight were seniors David Ligon, Turk McBride, Marvin Mitchell, Arron Sears, Jonathan Wade and James Wilhoit.
* Tonight’s attendance was 82,011.