BALL COACH MOVES TO NO. 2 ON SEC WINS LIST
Head coach Steve Spurrier now trails only the great Paul “Bear” Bryant among Southeastern Conference coaches – but his 202nd conference victory didn’t come easy.
Despite being favored by three touchdowns, Spurrier’s Gamecocks (3-1, 2-1 SEC) struggled against undermanned Vanderbilt – needing a pair of late touchdowns to secure the historic win.
Vanderbilt hung around thanks to stellar special teams play – notably a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns (91 yards and 100 yards) by sophomore defensive back Darrius Sims. Vanderbilt also managed to make a game of it despite losing starting quarterback Patton Robinette in the first quarter with a head injury.
Robinette’s replacement – true freshman Wade Freebeck – played capably, but a critical mistake late in the first half swung momentum to the Gamecocks.
With Vandy enjoying a 14-10 lead and possession of the football, Freebek was intercepted by South Carolina defensive back Brison Williams – who raced 53 yards down the Commodore sideline to give the Gamecocks a go-ahead touchdown (and a lead they would not relinquish).
It wasn’t for lack of trying, though …
South Carolina struggled to hold onto the football all night, including a lost fumble by Mike Davis that made the game a one-possession affair with under six minutes remaining.
Davis finished the night with 82 yards on 17 carries. He also caught four passes for thirty yards.
The Gamecocks big offensive star? Pharoh Cooper. The sophomore wide receiver caught a career high ten passes for 114 yards. He also ran twice for 72 yards.
South Carolina’s fifth-year senior quarterback Dylan Thompson moved to 6-1 as a starter – completing 22 of 34 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Thompson added another touchdown on the ground.