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Sept. 24, 2010


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National TV: ESPN
Play-by-Play: Brad Nessler
Analyst: Todd Blackledge
Sideline: Holly Rowe
Also available on

National 3D TV: ESPN3D
Play-by-Play: Joe Tessitore
Analyst: Tim Brown
Sideline: Ray Bentley

Gamecock Radio Network
Network Broadcast begins at 4:45 p.m. ET
Flagship: WNKT-FM 107.5 The Game
Play-by-Play: Todd Ellis
Analyst: Tommy Suggs
Sideline: Terry Cousin

Satellite Radio
XM Radio Channel: 143
SIRIUS “Best of XM” Channel: 122

SportSouth Replay: 8 p.m., Sept. 26
Play-by-Play: Andy Demetra
Analyst: Brad Muller

• No. 12/15 South Carolina looks for a 4-0 start for only the ninth time in school history when it makes its first road trip of the 2010 season on Saturday, traveling to Auburn to face the #17/14 Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:47 p.m. with a national broadcast slated for ESPN and ESPN3D.
• The Gamecocks are 3-0 (1-0 SEC) after defeating in-state rival Furman on Saturday, 38-19. South Carolina held the Paladins to 51 rushing yards and recorded seven sacks in the contest while Stephon Gilmore returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory. Auburn (3-0, 1-0) won a thriller over Clemson on Saturday, taking a 27-24 overtime victory when the Upstate Tigers missed a field goal that would have extended the game.
• This will be the first meeting between the two schools when both are nationally ranked.

• Today marks the ninth game in the series with Auburn, which dates back to 1930. The Gamecocks are 1-6-1 all-time against the Tigers, including an 0-2 mark in games played at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. Carolina has lost four straight in the series. Auburn won the last meeting, 24-17 in Columbia, on Sept. 28, 2006.


South Carolina: Steve Spurrier (Florida `67)

  • Overall: 180-68-2 (21st season)
  • at South Carolina: 38-28 (6th season)
  • vs. Auburn: 10-5 (0-2 at Carolina)
  • vs. SEC: 109-36 (19-22 at Carolina)

Auburn: Gene Chizik (Florida ’85)

  • Overall: 16-24 (4th year)
  • at Auburn: 11-5 (2nd year)
  • vs. South Carolina: First meeting
  • vs. SEC: 4-5

• South Carolina, ranked 12th in the latest Associated Press Top 25, has its highest national ranking since the week of Oct. 20, 2007, when the Gamecocks were ranked No. 6. It marks the Gamecocks’ eighth appearance in the top 20 under Steve Spurrier.
• The Gamecocks are in search of their first SEC road victory since a win over Kentucky on Oct. 11, 2008, a stretch of five contests.
• South Carolina ranks first in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 59.7 yards per game on the ground. Conversely, Auburn’s rushing offense is tops in the league, averaging 259.3 yards per game.
• The Gamecocks have not allowed a first-half touchdown this year, and only three total touchdowns (two offensive).
• South Carolina leads the SEC in third-down conversions with a 56.4% rate, converting 22-of-39 attempts. The Gamecocks also lead the league in time of possession, averaging 32:32 per game.


  • Move South Carolina to 4-0 for the first time since 2001 (started 5-0) and just the ninth time in school history.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ first over the Tigers since 1933 (lost last four meetings).
  • Give the Gamecocks a win in their road opener for the second straight year.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ first win at an SEC West school since defeating Ole Miss on Oct. 4, 2008.
  • Snap a five-game losing streak in SEC road games.
  • Give Steve Spurrier his 107th victory as an SEC coach over an SEC opponent, moving him into sole possession of second place all-time in SEC history behind only Paul “Bear” Bryant.

The Auburn Tigers are in their second season under head coach Gene Chizik, who has an 11-5 record at the helm of the program. The Tigers are 3-0 after a thrilling, 27-24 overtime win over Clemson on Saturday and ranked No. 17 in the latest Associated Press poll, No. 14 according to the USA Today Coaches Poll. Last season, the Tigers finished 8-5 and won the Outback Bowl against Northwestern.

•This is the ninth all-time meeting between Auburn and South Carolina, with the Tigers holding a 6-1-1 edge, including a 2-0 mark in games played in Auburn. The Tigers are also 2-0 in Columbia, and 2-1-1 at neutral sites.
• South Carolina’s lone win in the series came on Dec. 2, 1933, a 16-14 win in Birmingham, Ala. The teams did not meet again for 63 years.
• The teams met each year from 1930 to 1933, with the four games played at three different neutral sites. The 1930 game was played in Columbus, Ga.; the 1931 contest took place in Montgomery, and the games in 1932 and 1933 were played in Birmingham.
• The teams have only met four times since South Carolina joined the SEC prior to the 1992 season, with Auburn winning all four contests.
• This will be the first meeting between the Gamecocks and Tigers when both teams have been ranked in the national polls. In fact, it is the first time South Carolina has faced Auburn as a ranked team.

• South Carolina has no players from the state of Alabama, but Auburn has one from South Carolina – OL Eric Mack from St. Matthews.

LB Rodney Paulk and OL Hutch Eckerson are the only South Carolina players left on the active roster from the last time the Gamecocks and Tigers met in 2006. Eckerson started at left tackle that night in Columbia, and Paulk had one tackle in the contest.

This game could showcase the ever-popular showdown between the “irresistable force” and the “immovable object.” South Carolina has the SEC’s top-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 59.7 yards per game through its first three contests. On the other side of the ball, Auburn enters the game with the league’s top rushing offense, averaging 259.3 yards per game on the ground.

South Carolina has been the best in the league in the red zone, ranking first in the SEC in both red zone offense and defense. Offensively, the Gamecocks are 12-for-12 in red zone opportunities, scoring 10 touchdowns along with two field goals. Conversely, the Gamecock defense has allowed just six scores in 11 opportunities, with all six being field goals. South Carolina is the only team in the SEC to have not allowed a red zone touchdown.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 10-5 all-time against Auburn, including a 10-3 mark while head coach at Florida. He is 4-3 all-time as a head coach in games at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. Spurrier’s Gators defeated Auburn for the 2000 SEC Championship.

This will be the first meeting between Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Auburn’s Gene Chizik as head coaches. The coaches have, however, been on opposite sidelines before. Chizik was a graduate assistant at Clemson while Spurrier was head coach at Duke in 1988 and 1989; Spurrier’s Blue Devils were 1-1 in two meetings with the Tigers. The Head Ball Coach defeated Chizik’s team one other time: in 1999, Spurrier’s Florida Gators defeated Central Florida 58-27 while Chizik was the Knights’ defensive coordinator.

If South Carolina defeats Auburn to improve to 4-0 on the season, the 2010 edition of the Gamecocks will be only the ninth team in school history to start a season with at least four straight wins. Below is a list of the other teams that have started 4-0 or better.

Year Start Finish Final Rank
2001 5-0 9-3, 5-3 SEC 13th
2000 4-0 8-4, 5-3 SEC 19th
1988 6-0 8-4
1984 9-0 10-2 11th
1929 4-0 6-5 N/A
1928 5-0 6-2-2 N/A
1910 4-0 4-4 N/A
1902 5-0 6-1 N/A

The Gamecocks seek to snap a five-game losing streak at SEC road venues, dating back to the 2008 season. That year, Carolina lost its final road SEC game at Florida, then went winless at Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas in 2009. The last road win in conference play for the Gamecocks came on Oct. 11, 2008, with a 24-17 victory at Kentucky.

South Carolina’s coaches, along with more than 5,000 other coaches at 350 schools, will be wearing “Coach to Cure MD” patches on their shirts during this weekend’s games to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.

With the win over Furman, South Carolina moved its all-time football record back above .500 at 537-536-44 in its 117th year of intercollegiate football.

The Gamecocks have posted six consecutive seasons of at least a .500 record, going 6-5 in 2004, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 6-6 in 2007, and 7-6 in both 2008 and 2009. If the Gamecocks get to that .500 mark this season, it will equal a stretch from 1928-34 in which the Gamecocks had seven straight winning seasons.

So much for freshman jitters. In three games, freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore has rushed for 333 yards on 70 carries, scoring five of South Carolina’s 10 offensive touchdowns on the season. For some perspective:

  • Lattimore needs 516 more rushing yards over the final nine games to become the Gamecocks’ all-time leading freshman, surpassing an 848-yard season by Thomas Dendy in 1982.
  • Lattimore’s 37 carries vs. Georgia were the third-most in a single game in school history (Ron Bass – 39 vs. North Carolina, 1974). His 182 yards vs. Georgia ranked as the 15th-best game in school history, tying Steve Wadiak’s 182-yard effort against George Washington on Oct. 27, 1950.
  • Only Brandon Bennett, with a 278-yard outburst against East Tennessee State on Oct. 5, 1991, ran for more yards in one game as a freshman. Bennett’s mark also stands as the all-time school record.
  • The names ahead of Lattimore in the all-time single-game rushing totals read like a who’s who of backs at South Carolina – Brandon Bennett, Jeff Grantz, Steve Wadiak, George Rogers, Derek Watson, Ron Bass, Duce Staley.
  • It was the eighth game of last year before a Carolina back amassed more than 70 carries (Kenny Miles had 78 following the Vanderbilt game).
  • Not until after the Vanderbilt game last year (week eight) did a Carolina running back have 333 rushing yards (Kenny Miles eclipsed that total vs. VU).
  • South Carolina had a running back earn his fifth touchdown rush of the season last year in Game 12 vs. Clemson (Brian Maddox); Lattimore already has five scores through just three games.

Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks have been a ranked team heading into 17 contests. Carolina is 8-9 in those opportunities when appearing in the national rankings. In road games, South Carolina is 1-6 when ranked under Spurrier.

  • 2010 (2-0)
  • Sept. 11 – #24 Carolina 17, #19 Georgia 6 (Columbia)
  • Sept. 18 – #13 Carolina 38, Furman 19 (Columbia)
  • 2009 (2-2)
  • Oct. 10 – #25 Carolina 28, Kentucky 26 (Columbia)
  • Oct. 17 – #2 Alabama 20, #22 Carolina 6 (Tuscaloosa)
  • Oct. 24 – #23 Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 10 (Columbia)
  • Oct. 31 – Tennessee 31, #21 Carolina 13 (Knoxville)
  • 2008 (0-2)
  • Sept. 4 – Vanderbilt 24, #24 Carolina 17 (Nashville)
  • Nov. 15 – #3 Florida 56, #24 Carolina 6 (Gainesville)
  • 2007 (4-4)
  • Sept. 15 – #17 Carolina 38, S.C. State 3 (Columbia)
  • Sept. 22 – #2 LSU 28, #12 Carolina 16 (Baton Rouge)
  • Sept. 29 – #16 Carolina 38, Miss. State 21 (Columbia)
  • Oct. 4 – #11 Carolina 38, #8 Kentucky 23 (Columbia)
  • Oct. 13 – #7 Carolina 21, North Carolina 15 (Chapel Hill)
  • Oct. 20 – Vanderbilt 17, #6 Carolina 6 (Columbia)
  • Oct. 27 – Tennessee 27, #15 Carolina 24 (OT) (Knoxville)
  • Nov. 3 – Arkansas 48, #23 Carolina 36 (Fayetteville)
  • 2006 – Not ranked
  • 2005 (0-1)
  • Nov. 19 – Clemson 13, #19 Carolina 9 (Columbia)

Kenny Irons ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns in his return to South Carolina and No. 2 Auburn knocked away a last-chance pass to keep its unbeaten season alive with a 24-17 victory over the Gamecocks on a Thursday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. Along with Irons’ ground game and their rock-solid defense, the Tigers displayed a passing game that helped them take every snap of the third quarter. Brandon Cox completed nine of 13 passes for 125 passes in the third period to keep Auburn moving and the South Carolina offense off the field. On the opening drive of the second half, Cox hit Lee Guess for 12 yards on third-and-11. The quarterback later connected with Tommy Trott on an 11-yarder that set up John Vaughn’s 24-yard field goal. Then with the Gamecocks feeling good about holding Auburn out of the end zone, coach Tommy Tuberville took a page from Steve Spurrier’s book and stunned the Gamecocks with a perfectly executed onside kick. No South Carolina player was within 3 yards of the ball when it landed, and Jerraud Powers recovered for Auburn. Cox came out firing again. He had an 18-yard pass to Taylor, an 8-yarder to Robert Dunn on fourth-and-6 and a 25-yarder to Taylor on third-and-21. Irons finished the drive on the first play of the fourth quarter, scoring on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to put Auburn ahead 24-10. Still, it took Auburn’s defense to save this one. South Carolina closed to a touchdown on Syvelle Newton’s 25-yard pass to Jared Cook with 8:25 to go. Then the Gamecocks got the ball back one last time, driving to the Tigers 6. However, on fourth down, Newton’s floater to Sidney Rice was batted away by Patrick Lee with 19 seconds left.