The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Florida Gators 36-14 on Saturday night in Gainesville.
The victory clinches the SEC Eastern Division Title for the Gamecocks, and a chance to play for the SEC Championship on December 4th in Atlanta.
It is the first Eastern Division title for the Gamecocks since going to the SEC in 1992. It is also the Gamecocks first ever win in “The Swamp.”
Marcus Lattimore led all teams and offensive players with 41 carries (school record) for 207 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added 2 catches for 31 yards, including a key catch nearing the end of the 1st half.
Stephen Garcia, who has received a lot of criticism from Steve Spurrier and a certain columnist from this site, played the smartest game of his career. Garcia went 15 for 22, 156 yards. He also added 38 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Luckily for the Gamecocks, this season had some lows that will be forgotten, but should not be overlooked. There were also many highs, and the hope is those will continue.
South Carolina will face Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. Back on September 25th, the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 35-27 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
There is no question that freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore is the key for the Gamecocks. The offense has no firepower when Lattimore has missed all or parts of three games this season.
For Auburn, the news and team revolves around quarterback Cameron Newton. However, the question of will he play will linger until the NCAA rules on the investigation of a ‘pay-to-play’ situation.
If Newton does play, he is the best player in college football, hands down. Marcus Lattimore might be the most instrumental freshman in the country. Newton is the most instrumental player in the country. Auburn would not have the potential of heading to a National Championship game if Newton was not the quarterback.
The Gamecocks will have a chip on their shoulder after losing to an Auburn team they should have beaten, if not for turnovers by Stephen Garcia. The results of the next two weeks for both teams will be crucial in picking a winner for the SEC Championship.