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Gamecocks won't overlook Wildcats

The Sports Xchange
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WHAT'S AHEAD: South Carolina is a big favorite to defeat Kentucky, which has had little success this season. Steve Spurrier has plenty of ammunition to keep his team focused, however, as the Wildcats were the last SEC East Division team to defeat USC.

Spurrier will probably never forget the game as RB Marcus Lattimore was in the midst of potentially his greatest college performance as the team raced to a big halftime lead. Lattimore was injured just before the halftime break. Kentucky dominated play in the second half, claiming a 31-28 victory.

--Spurrier awarded a game ball to special teams coach Joe Robinson in appreciation of potentially the team's best performance in that area in years. WR Ace Sanders made sure USC had good field position as he returned six punts for 106 yards. One return went for 49 yards to give the Gamecocks a first-and-goal at the 2.

--The Gamecocks' 31-10 win over Missouri was the school's first win over the Tigers. Spurrier entered the contest with an 0-2 record against the Tigers, with the last coming in his first year as coach at USC, when it dropped a 38-31 decision in the Independence Bowl.

--South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore scored two touchdowns against Missouri, giving him the record for most career rushing touchdowns at the school with 33. George Rogers and Harold Green previously shared the record.

KEEP AN EYE ON
The South Carolina defense continues to impress. It held the fast-paced Missouri offense to three points and 151 total offense yards in the first three quarters and 255 total yards for the game. The Tigers scored a touchdown against the USC reserves with 12 seconds remaining.

LOOKING GOOD
One of the biggest questions entering the season was whether or not a receiver would step up to fill the void left by the loss of Alshon Jeffery to the Chicago Bears. Ace Sanders caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from QB Connor Shaw, while Nick Jones caught a 36-yarder that appeared headed for the end zone until he fell on the 1-yard line. Shaw spread the ball around, completing passes to nine receivers.

STILL NEEDS WORK
The Gamecocks were only penalized four times, but one negated a touchdown. On the second play of their third drive, Shaw raced 80 yards for a touchdown. The play was called back, however, as RT Mike Matulis was called for a crack back block. "We thought we could do that on the line of scrimmage between the tackles, but we were informed we couldn't," said Spurrier.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"He has had a lot of great games so it is hard to say if this was his best game, but it might have been. He was 20 of 21. That's unheard of in the SEC. He just does the same thing every time he goes out there. He's a leader. He's consistent. He stays in the pocket when he has to and he runs when he has to. He is a complete quarterback." -- RB Marcus Lattimore, on QB Connor Shaw.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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