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Oct. 8, 2010


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South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Alabama Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Preview With Cory Burkarth and CBS’s Dave Baker
Preview With Cory Burkarth and ESPN’s Joe Schad

National TV: CBS
Play-by-Play: Verne Lundquist
Analyst: Gary Danielson
Sideline: Tracy Wolfson

Gamecock Radio Network
Network Broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. ET LIVE from Bojangles’
Flagship: WNKT-FM 107.5 The Game
Play-by-Play: Todd Ellis
Analyst: Tommy Suggs
Sideline: Terry Cousin

Satellite Radio
XM Radio Channel: 199
SIRIUS “Best of XM” Channel: 220

SportSouth Replay: 8 p.m., Oct. 10
Play-by-Play: Andy Demetra
Analyst: Brad Muller

• No. 19/20 South Carolina returns to Williams-Brice Stadium after an off week to face the nation’s top-ranked team and defending national champion, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET with a national broadcast on CBS. In addition, ESPN’s “College Gameday” will originate from Columbia, with the historic Horseshoe of the University of South Carolina campus serving as a picturesque backdrop. Click Here for more information about College Gameday.
• The Gamecocks are 3-1 (1-1 SEC) after falling in their last contest, a 35-27 loss on the road at then-No. 14 Auburn. Carolina led through three quarters but four turnovers in the fourth quarter proved to be the Gamecocks’ undoing. Alabama is 5-0 (2-0 SEC) and currently riding a 19-game winning streak after pounding then-No. 7 Florida on Saturday, 31-6, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

• Today marks the 15th game in the series between South Carolina and Alabama. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series on the field, 12-2, including a 3-1 mark in games played in Columbia. The Crimson Tide have won two in a row in the series, including the last meeting in Columbia on Sept. 17, 2005.


South Carolina: Steve Spurrier (Florida `67)

  • Overall: 180-69-2 (21st season)
  • at South Carolina: 38-29 (6th season)
  • vs. Alabama: 6-5 (0-2 at Carolina)
  • vs. SEC: 109-38 (19-23 at Carolina)

Alabama: Nick Saban (Kent State ’73)

  • Overall: 124-50-1 (15th season)
  • at Alabama: 33-8 (4th season)
  • vs. South Carolina: 1-0
  • vs. Spurrier: 1-2

• Alabama is only the second No. 1-ranked team to visit Williams-Brice Stadium. The top-ranked Florida Gators were the first as they came to town Nov. 14, 2009.
• South Carolina is 0-4 in its previous meetings against the nation’s top-ranked team.
• Sophomore WR Alshon Jeffery leads the SEC and is third in the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 124.5 yards per contest. He also leads the league in receptions per game (6.8).
• Junior QB Stephen Garcia has completed 69.1% of his passes (56-of-81), ranking second in the SEC. His pass efficiency rating of 161.6 is fourth in the league and ranks 16th in the nation.
• The Gamecocks lead the SEC in time of possession, controlling the ball an average of 31:37 per game.
• South Carolina has scored on 15-of-16 red zone possessions this year, scoring touchdowns on 13 occasions. The Gamecocks lead the SEC in red zone offense at 93.8%.
• South Carolina leads the SEC in third-down conversions with a 55.3% rate, converting 26-of-47 third-down attempts. The Gamecocks are the only team in the league that has not attempted a fourth-down conversion.


  • Be the highest-ranked opponent ever defeated by the Gamecocks (#3 North Carolina in 1981).
  • Give the Gamecocks a 12-1 record in their last 13 home games, dating back to a win over Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2008.
  • Give Steve Spurrier his 39th win at Carolina, tying him with Joe Morrison and Billy Laval for the fourth-most in school history.
  • 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.
  • Snap Alabama’s 19-game winning streak.
  • Be Alabama’s first regular-season loss since Nov. 24, 2007 (29 straight regular-season victories).

The No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are in their fourth year under head coach Nick Saban, who owns a 33-8 mark at the helm of the Alabama program (36-8 if vacated wins from the 2007 season are included). Alabama is the defending SEC and BCS National Champion, defeating Florida in the 2009 SEC Championship Game and winning over Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship. The Crimson Tide have won 19 consecutive games and are undefeated in their previous 29 regular-season contests.

• This is the 15th all-time meeting between Alabama and South Carolina, with the Crimson Tide holding a 12-2 edge, including a 3-1 mark in games played in Columbia. The Tide are also 8-1 in Tuscaloosa and 1-0 at neutral sites.
• Alabama has won the last two meetings in the series.
• South Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2004 when the Gamecocks posted a 20-3 victory in Tuscaloosa.
• The teams first met in 1937 and played a total of seven times before South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992. Alabama won the first 10 meetings between the teams before Carolina broke through with a 37-36 win in 2001 and a 20-3 victory in 2004.
• The Crimson Tide won the 1993 meeting in Tuscaloosa, 17-6, but later forfeited the game to South Carolina as a result of NCAA sanctions. In addition, Alabama’s 2005 victory over the Gamecocks was vacated (the result still remains as a loss for the Gamecocks).
• This will be the fifth time the teams have met when Alabama is the defending national champion. The previous such meetings were 1942, 1965, 1966 and 1993.

• South Carolina has no players from the state of Alabama, but Alabama has two from South Carolina. DL Chris Bonds is a Columbia native and a graduate of Richland Northeast HS, and DB John Fulton is a native of Manning.
• Gamecock LB Calvin Lee transferred from Alabama following the 2009 season. He was part of the Crimson Tide squad for two years after walking on in the fall of 2008. He is sitting out this season under NCAA transfer rules.
• Carolina assistant head coach Ellis Johnson served two stints at Alabama from 1990-93 and again from 1997-2000. He helped the Crimson Tide to an SEC and national championship in 1992 and another SEC title in 1999.
• Gamecock defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward played for Alabama from 1986-89, helping the Crimson Tide go 33-15 with an SEC title in 1989. He was named Special Teams Player of the Year by The Sporting News as Alabama’s unit was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Ward served as a graduate assistant in 1991 and 1993 for Alabama.
• Carolina running backs coach Jay Graham has fond memories of his meetings with Alabama while a running back at Tennessee. Graham had a 75-yard touchdown run at Birmingham’s Legion Field in a 41-14 Tennessee win in 1995, the Vols’ first over Alabama in 11 years. The following year, he rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns – including a career-long 80-yard scoring run – to help the Vols defeat No. 7 Alabama 20-13 in Knoxville.

This marks the fourth straight year that South Carolina has played host to the defending BCS national champion at Williams-Brice Stadium. Florida visited Columbia in 2007 and 2009 after winning the previous years’ titles, and LSU came to town as the defending champs in 2008.

The Gamecocks are 0-4 all-time against the nation’s No. 1 team. Alabama will be only the second No. 1-ranked team to visit Williams-Brice Stadium, joining 2009’s top-ranked Florida Gators. Carolina’s three prior meetings with the nation’s top-ranked squad were on the road:

  • 2009: vs. Florida (L, 14-24)
  • 1996: at Florida (L, 25-52)
  • 1991: at Florida State (L, 10-38)
  • 1955: at Maryland (L, 0-27)

If South Carolina defeats No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, the Gamecocks will have beaten the nation’s top-ranked team in all three major men’s sports in the calendar year 2010. On Jan. 26, Carolina knocked off undefeated and No. 1 Kentucky in men’s basketball, 68-62, at Colonial Life Arena. Five months later, on June 22 in Omaha, the Gamecock baseball team eliminated No. 1 Arizona State by a 11-4 count en route to the College World Series championship.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 6-5 all-time against Alabama, with all six victories coming while he was head coach at Florida from 1990-2001. Spurrier faced Alabama five times in the SEC Championship Game, winning three times and losing twice. He is 0-2 against the Crimson Tide as the Gamecocks’ head coach.

• This is the fourth meeting between South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Alabama’s Nick Saban, with Spurrier holding a 2-1 advantage in previous encounters. Saban won last year’s meeting in Tuscaloosa, while Spurrier’s Florida Gators won both games against Saban’s LSU Tigers in 2000 and 2001.
• Spurrier and Saban are two of the four active coaches in the SEC that own national championship rings (the others are Florida’s Urban Meyer and LSU’s Les Miles). Spurrier won his title in 1996 at the University of Florida, and Saban has won two titles – one at LSU in 2003 and one at Alabama in 2009. The two coaches have combined to win nine SEC Championships.

The Gamecocks have an all-time record of 249-177-14 (.582)at Williams-Brice Stadium since its original construction as Carolina Stadium in 1934. Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks are 25-12 (.676) on their home field. South Carolina has won four in a row at home and 11 of its last 12, dating back to a victory over Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2008. In that 12-game stretch, Carolina has outscored its opponents 337-182, with an average margin of victory of 12.9 points per game.

South Carolina has been the best in the league in the red zone, ranking first in the SEC in red zone offense and second in defense. Offensively, the Gamecocks are 15-for-16 in red zone opportunities, scoring 13 touchdowns along with two field goals. Conversely, the Gamecock defense has allowed just 10 scores in 16 opportunities, with six of the 10 being field goals. South Carolina was the last team in the country to allow a red zone touchdown this season.

Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks have been a ranked team heading into 18 contests. Carolina is 8-10 in those opportunities when appearing in the national rankings. In home games, Carolina is 7-3 when ranked under Spurrier, including a 4-0 mark at home over the last two seasons.

  • 2010 (2-1)
  • Sept. 11 – #24 Carolina 17, #19 Georgia 6 (Columbia)
  • Sept. 18 – #13 Carolina 38, Furman 19 (Columbia)
  • Sept. 25 – #14 Auburn 35, #12 Carolina 27 (Auburn)
  • 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)

Mark Ingram rushed for a career-high 246 yards and a game-clinching touchdown, powering No. 2 Alabama to a 20-6 victory over No. 22 South Carolina on Oct. 17, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Ingram’s tackle-breaking, defender-dragging runs and a punishing defense helped the Crimson Tide overcome four turnovers–doubling their season total. Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks had never beaten a team ranked higher than No. 3 and were hoping for their second win over a top-five team this season. Ingram didn’t let it happen. He was practically a one-man show on the decisive drive. He took the direct snap for five consecutive runs–including a 24-yarder and 22-yarder–and then took a pitch in from 4 yards out with 4:54 left. Ingram covered all 68 yards on the drive. The game’s only other touchdown fittingly came from the a defense that sacked Stephen Garcia five times and kept him firing blanks into the end zone at the end of promising drives. Safety Mark Barron stepped in front of Garcia’s first pass attempt in the middle of the field and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown. Garcia wound up 20 of 46 for 214 yards after completing just 4 of 18 passes in the first half. South Carolina managed just 64 yards rushing. The Gamecocks scored on field goals of 22 and 31 yards by Lanning in the final 3:14 of the first half but missed chances for more points.