The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Clemson Tigers for the second consecutive year, 29-7.
The Gamecocks kept the momentum rolling since the win over Florida, and likely did not give Clemson their best, reserving that for next week’s SEC Championship game against Auburn.
Stephen Garcia was 14 of 29 passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery, asserting why he is a Biletnikoff Award finalist, caught five passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
The key to the game, however, was the play of Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore only had 48 yards rushing and added 41 yards receiving.
This shows for the first time this season, the Gamecocks won without a spectacular game by the true freshman phenom. Lattimore missed the game against Vanderbilt.
The Gamecocks have struggled in each of the games he has done poorly in, losing all of them. When Lattimore is not on the field or not effective, the passing game often has not done the job.
Granted, Clemson’s defensive line might be the best they will face all season. Da’Quan Bowers is considered a top-5 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
At the end of the day, it shows the Gamecocks and the rest of the country that they can win meaningful games without an effective Lattimore. That is huge in keeping the momentum and confidence rolling on to next week.
Speaking of next week, the biggest game in the South Carolina football program occurs, as the Gamecocks play in their first SEC Championship game. Auburn and South Carolina met back in September, where the Gamecocks let one slip away.
Keep a look out for preview posts on Auburn-South Carolina, as Section 26 Sports will cover the SEC Championship game for you, providing previews and picks for Saturday’s game.