Nov. 18, 2006
South Carolina Notes
Four touchdown passes, three of them in the first half, by Blake Mitchell, marked a career high. Mitchell passed for 388 yards, 250 of them in the first half, to establish a career high in that category. He retired midway through the fourth quarter. Mitchell’s 388 passing yards ranks as the seventh-highest total in school history and the most since 1995, when Steve Taneyhill passed for 473 yards against Mississippi State.
Mitchell’s previous career high for a game was 330 yards against Central Florida in 2005. Against Middle Tennessee Mitchell completed 21 of 28 passes with no interceptions.
Two touchdown receptions in the first half by Sidney Rice increased his season total to nine and increased his school record number of career touchdown receptions to 22.
Cory Boyd’s 52-yard catch and run in the first quarter was the second-longest pass reception by Boyd this year. He had a 54-yard reception in the season opener against Mississippi State.
The 15-yard touchdown reception by tight end Andy Boyd was his fourth career reception. Three of them have gone for touchdowns. Boyd’s non-scoring reception came earlier this season.
Cory Boyd scored the first South Carolina touchdown against Middle Tennessee on a four yard first quarter run that climaxed an 85-yard drive. Boyd also scored on a 15-yard third quarter pass from Blake Mitchell. Boyd increased his season touchdown total to seven and his career total to 13 touchdowns.
The 73-yard touchdown pass by Middle Tennessee quarterback Clint Marks to Desmond Gee on the game’s first scrimmage play was the longest completion of the season against the Gamecocks. The previous long was a non-scoring 63-yarder by Kentucky.
The announced crowd of 70,442 pushed Williams Brice attendance for seven games this season past the half million mark. The season total is 529,412, an average of 75,630.
The 28-yard third quarter field goal by Ryan Succop was his 14th of the season in 17 attempts.
Redshirt freshman Tommy Beecher threw his first career pass, a three yard touchdown to Mike West in the fourth quarter. The reception was the second career touchdown for West.
Bobby Wallace scored on an 88-yard run in the fourth quarter, the first career touchdown for the sophomore. It was also South Carolina’s longest rushing play of the season. The Wallace run was the fourth-longest in USC history and the longest since Brandon Bennett had an 89-yard rush in 1991. The school record is 96 yards by Steve Wadiak in 1950.
The 52 points by South Carolina against Middle Tennessee were the most by a Gamecock team since 1995 when South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 52-14. It was South Carolina’s largest margin of victory since a 77-14 win over Kent, also in 1995.
Middle Tennessee Notes
BLUE RAIDERS SET TFL MARK: Middle Tennessee recorded four tackles for loss against South Carolina to set a new single-season record with 86 TFLs in 2006. The Blue Raiders broke the previous record of 83 set by the 1982 squad that finished 8-3.
2006 TEAM OWNS SACK RECORD: With safety Damon Nickson’s first career quarterback sack late in the second quarter Middle Tennessee broke the record for sacks in a season. The Blue Raiders now have 29 sacks on the year to break the previous mark of 28 sacks set by the 2004 team.
GROSS PASSES CAMPBELL: Senior Eugene Gross had 11 rushing attempts against South Carolina to surpass Joe Campbell for second place on the all-time rushing attempts list. Gross now has 647 career attempts but will not catch all-time leader Mike Moore who amassed 807 carries during his four-year career (1974-77).
GEE GOES DEEP: Middle Tennessee true freshman Desmond Gee got the Blue Raiders on the scoreboard quick by reeling in a career long 73-yard pass from Clint Marks on the games first play. It went down as the longest pass play for the Blue Raiders since Marks connected with Kerry Wright for 80 yards against Arkansas State on Oct. 9, 2004. The play also went down as the third longest play of the season for Middle Tennessee.
GROSS PASSES MOORE: Senior Eugene Gross tallied 57 all-purpose yards to move into fourth place on the all-time list. Gross, who now has 3,955 career all-purpose yards, surpassed Mike Moore who had 3,916 yards from 1974-77. Gross needs 74 more yards to take over third place from Kippy Bayless (4,028).
QUICK HITTERS: Desmond Gee has now scored at least one touchdown in five straight games for the Blue Raiders … QB Clint Marks made his 31st straight start under center today against USC … Today’s game was the 26th by the Blue Raiders in the I-A era (since 1999) against a team from either the ACC, Big East, SEC, Big 10, Big 12 or Pac-10 … Freshman Danny Carmichael did not play today due to a foot injury … Middle Tennessee’s opening drive touchdown was the third time this year the Blue Raiders have scored a TD on its opening drive … The Blue Raiders fell to 5-1 on the season when scoring first … Jonathan Harris recovered his team-leading third fumble today against USC … MT fell to 3-25 against the SEC all-time with the loss to USC … Today’s game was the 90th for Middle Tennessee at the I-A level … TE John Marc Stephens recorded his first collegiate reception during the fourth quarter against USC … Middle Tennessee committed a season-high 10 penalties for 73 yards with the previous high being seven.