Sept. 25, 2009
- Head Coach Steve Spurrier: Improves to 173-63-2 as a collegiate head coach, 31-23 in his fifth year at South Carolina. He is now 4-0 against Mississippi. All-time, South Carolina improves to 7-8 against Ole Miss having won the last two meetings. Tonight was South Carolina’s first win over Ole Miss in Columbia since 1979.
- Biggest Win: Tonight marks the second time in school history that South Carolina has defeated an opponent ranked in the nation’s top 5. The previous win over a top-5 team came on Oct. 24, 1981, when South Carolina knocked off No. 3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It’s the first time a top-5 opponent has ever fallen to the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. It was the eighth time in school history to defeat a top-10 opponent. Carolina is now 2-31 all-time against top-5 opponents.
- Against Ranked Foes: Under Steve Spurrier, South Carolina is now 6-13 when facing opponents ranked in the top 25. It’s the first win for Carolina over a ranked foe since defeating No. 8 Kentucky on Oct. 4, 2007, a string of seven contests against ranked opponents.
- Bringing the `Wood’: Senior LB Eric Norwood registered the 27th sack of his career on Ole Miss’ first offensive series to become the school’s all-time leader in the category, passing Carolina legend Andrew Provence (26 from 1980-82). He finished the night with two, giving him 28.0 for his career to move into a tie for 8th place in SEC history, passing Mitch Davis of Georgia (1990-93; 27.5 sacks) and tying Tennessee’s Leonard Little (1995-97) and UGA’s Jimmy Payne (1979-82). Norwood is now 11th in SEC history in tackles for loss with 49.5 in his career, one shy of cracking the top 10.
- It’s Usually Close: All seven Carolina wins against Ole Miss have come by seven points or fewer. Overall, 12 of the 15 contests between USC and Ole Miss have been a touchdown-or-less affair. In addition, three of Carolina’s four games this year have been decided by six points or less.
- Thursday Night Lights: Under Steve Spurrier, South Carolina is 6-2 in Thursday night contests, having won both such games this season.
- Mr. Consistent: Sophomore PK Spencer Lanning was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts tonight, running his streak to nine straight dating back to his first successful kick against Georgia. He is six shy of tying the school record for consecutive field goals made (15), a mark held by Collin Mackie. Lanning also punted seven times for an average of 42.9 yards, including a long of 54.
- Big Play: On the Gamecocks’ first offensive play of the second half, Stephen Garcia connected with Moe Brown for a 69-yard completion. It was the longest pass in Garcia’s career; likewise, the longest reception of Brown’s career. It is the longest pass completion of the Spurrier era; the last pass play to go for 69 yards or more came on Sept. 18, 2004, vs. South Florida when Syvelle Newton connected with Troy Williamson for 74 yards vs. South Florida.
- Thursday Night Warrior: FB Patrick DiMarco scored his third career touchdown in the third quarter; two of those scores have come in Thursday night specials against top-10 opponents (2007 vs. #8 Kentucky).
- Thursday Night Warrior II: LB Eric Norwood makes his presence felt on Thursdays as well. In the aforementioned game against Kentucky, he returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the Carolina win. Tonight, he had 10 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and two sacks. He also partially blocked a punt in the fourth quarter.
- First Start: DL Ladi Ajiboye made his first start of the 2009 season after serving a three-game suspension to start the year. OC Lemuel Jeanpierre got his first-ever start at center; he had previously started 10 games at guard and once on defense.
- Keeping It Low: South Carolina held Ole Miss to 10 points, the first time in a span of 19 games the Rebels have failed to score more than 10. Ole Miss also was held to only eight completions, tying for the fourth-fewest against South Carolina in the Spurrier era.
- This game was the 15th meeting between Ole Miss and South Carolina dating back to 1947, and the sixth since the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992 … Despite the loss, the Rebels lead the series 8-7 but have dropped the last two.
- Despite the loss, Ole Miss has won four of the six SEC meetings.
- Prior to tonight, the Rebels had won four straight in Williams-Brice Stadium and the series is tied at 4-4 all-time in Columbia.
CAPTAINS (All Seniors)
Daverin Geralds (C), John Jerry (OT), Kendrick Lewis (FS), Marcus Tillman (DE)
Derrick Davis (Jr., FB)
True freshmen that saw their first career action tonight included running backs Tim Simon and Rodney Scott in kickoff coverage (Scott has also carried once), while Tyler Campbell handled the Rebels’ punting duties.
- Ole Miss has their eight-game win streak snapped, which was the Rebels’ longest streak since reeling off 10 consecutive triumphs during the 1971-72 seasons … Ole Miss’ previous loss was the 24-20 setback at No. 2 Alabama last year.
- The Rebels drop their sixth straight SEC opener … Ole Miss is now 30-43-3 in SEC openers … The last league-opening win came in 2003 in Nashville, 24-21 over the Commodores … The Rebels are just 2-15 in their last 17 conference openers … The Rebels are 14-26-3 in SEC openers on the road … Ole Miss began its SEC schedule with South Carolina for the first time.
- Ole Miss’ 248 yards of total offense is its least since 273 in the 2007 season finale at Mississippi State.
- The Rebels finish with their lowest point total since a 17-3 loss at Auburn in 2007 …It ends a school-record streak of four-straight games with 45 or more points.
- The last time Ole Miss did not lead at halftime was last year’s game at Alabama, when the Rebels trailed 24-3 at the break … It was also the Rebels’ lowest first-half point total since that game.
- Senior Dexter McCluster led the team in rushing for the first time his year with season highs of 15 carries for 85 yards … He failed to collect a reception for the first time in five games.
- Junior QB Jevan Snead has completed at least one TD pass in 12 consecutive games, which is four short of Eli Manning’s school record … Snead had his school-record streak of multiple TD passes end at eight … Snead finished 8-of-22 for 107 yards, 1 TD and no interceptions.
- Senior Mark Jean-Louis earned his first career snaps at fullback.
- With Carolina’s 285 yards, Ole Miss held the opposition under 300 yards of total offense for the second time this year and seventh time under head coach Houston Nutt.
- The Rebels are allowing just 12.0 points per game this year … Dating back to last season, Ole Miss is holding opponents to just 11.9 points over the last seven games.
- Ole Miss notched seven TFLs, including four sacks.
- The Rebels failed to intercept a pass for the first time in 10 games.
- Senior S Kendrick Lewis topped the team in tackles with eight along with a pair of pass break-ups.
- Senior DE Emmanuel Stephens posted four tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 0.5 sack, a forced fumble and a QB pressure.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- After going 3-for-3 on fakes last year, Ole Miss was unable to convert its first of 2009, as Derrick Davis’ second-quarter run off a faked FG fell a yard shy of the first down.
- Senior Marshay Green had a season-long 36-yard punt return.
- Senior K Joshua Shene remained perfect on the season, connecting on a 42-yard FG and one PAT … Shene extended his streak of successful PATs to 86, which is second on the all-time Rebel charts.
- Making his Rebel debut, freshman P Tyler Campbell punted five times for 217 yards with two inside the 20 yard line.