Scores

Final

Navy 21

(2-1)

(10) South Carolina 24

(3-0, 1-0 SEC)

Coverage: ESPN2

6:00 PM ET, September 17, 2011

Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC

1 2 3 4 T
NAVY 7 7 7 021
#10SC 7 10 0 724

Top Performers

Passing: S. Garcia (SC) - 204 YDS, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Lattimore (SC) - 37 CAR, 246 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: J. Barnes (SC) - 4 REC, 48 YDS

Marcus Lattimore's 246 yards rushing helps South Carolina nip Navy

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Marcus Lattimore ran for more yards against Navy than South Carolina Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers ran for in any one game during his remarkable career.

And the No. 10 Gamecocks (3-0) needed just about every one of Lattimore's career-high 246 yards to hold off the Midshipmen 24-21 on Saturday.

The sophomore carried 37 times and averaged 6.6 yards a run. South Carolina ran 37 plays in the second half, and the Lattimore touched the ball on 26 of them.

"We figured the best way to try to win the game was to just hand it to him and keep blocking," Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said.

Rogers' best day ever for South Carolina was 237 yards in 1978 against Wake Forest.

Lattimore said he would have run more if he had to. He said he felt stronger in the fourth quarter, and was three carries away from tying his career high. Lattimore ran the ball 13 of South Carolina's 18 plays in the fourth quarter, and that included a kneel down by quarterback Stephen Garcia at the end of the game.

"I feel good right now," Lattimore said. "It don't hit you until about 9 o'clock in the morning."

Navy (2-1) stopped Lattimore for a loss just once, and it was on a fourth down with 5:34 to go, giving the Midshipmen a shot to win with their option attack that had left the Gamecocks defense befuddled at times.

But freshman defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney managed to hit quarterback Kriss Proctor in the backfield on a first down play before he could check his options, then hurried Proctor on several more plays, leaving the Midshipmen no choice but to pass.

Antonio Allen picked off a fourth-down throw with a minute to go to seal the win.

It was a painful blow for Navy, which was trying to upset a top 10 team for the first time since the Midshipmen broke South Carolina fans' hearts by upsetting the then-No. 2 and undefeated Gamecocks 38-21 in November 1984. South Carolina hasn't handled being highly ranked very well under Spurrier, going just 1-2 when in the top 10.

"Our guys are heartbroken right now," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "It's a tough pill to swallow."

The Midshipmen ran their option efficiently, rushing for 274 yards split among seven players. Fullback Alex Teich led them with 93 yards rushing and a touchdown. Proctor added 68 yards against a defense that was allowing just 137 yards a game coming in.

Garcia appeared to have an off night, overthrowing several receivers and throwing the ball as he got hit that led to an interception on South Carolina's first possession of the third quarter. Garcia was 18 of 25 for 204 yards, mostly on short passes. Star receiver Alshon Jeffery didn't start because he broke a team rule and finished with two catches for 35 yards.

The struggles in the air left Spurrier concerned with undefeated Vanderbilt coming to town next Saturday.

"I can only do so much. I can't worry about everything," Spurrier said. "I'm trying to get our passing game in a little bit better shape. We seem to be struggling a bit throwing."

Well, there's always Lattimore, who touched the ball on 41 of his team's 69 plays and caught four passes for 25 yards.

"A back like that can do anything he wants if you don't gang tackle him. He's shifty, he's explosive and hits the smallest holes there are. You might think you have him bottled down but he sneaks through there," Midshipmen defensive back Kwesi Mitchell said.

Garcia said Lattimore and the offensive line deserve most of the credit for South Carolina's 3-0 start. Lattimore ran for 1,197 yards and was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year in 2010. He is averaging 178 yards a game so far as a sophomore.

"You can't thank that guy enough," Garcia said.

The difference in the game may have come at the end of the second quarter. Navy stopped Garcia on a keeper, forcing a fourth-and-7 from the Navy 49. The Midshipmen didn't call a time-out, and the Gamecocks let the play clock run down before calling their own time-out with 24 seconds to go.

Garcia then completed a 12-yard pass to Justice Cunningham and a 5-yard pass to Lattimore, leaving enough time for Jay Wooten to kick a 48-yard field goal to end the half.

For the third time this season, Spurrier came out of a game saying his team didn't play up to its potential. But he also said any team that wins championships has at least a few close games to look back on and feel fortunate to end up with a win.

"I'm embracing it," said Spurrier, who improved to 43-0 against teams outside the BCS. "This is the kind of game you lose."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NAVY
SC
1st Downs1527
Total Yards335458
Passing61204
Rushing274254
Penalties3-155-33
3rd Down Conversions9-145-9
4th Down Conversions1-32-4
Turnovers11
Possession28:4531:15

Passing Leaders

NavyC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Proctor5/9616.801
South CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Garcia18/252048.201

Rushing Leaders

NavyCARYDSAVGTDLG
Teich15936.2117
Proctor17684.0110
South CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lattimore372466.6331
Garcia6101.7010

Receiving Leaders

NavyRECYDSAVGTDLG
Snelson13333.0033
Aiken11616.0016
South CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones35217.3034
Barnes44812.0014

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNAVYSC
TD07:43John Howell 27 Yd Run (Jon Teague Kick) 70
TD04:47Marcus Lattimore 6 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERNAVYSC
TD13:50Kriss Proctor 5 Yd Run (Jon Teague Kick) 147
TD08:05Marcus Lattimore 5 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 1414
FG00:00Jay Wooten 48 Yd 1417
THIRD QUARTERNAVYSC
TD03:35Alexander Teich 2 Yd Run (Jon Teague Kick) 2117
FOURTH QUARTERNAVYSC
TD12:45Marcus Lattimore 7 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 2124

Research Notes

Steve Spurrier has been the head coach in 264 college games. Against Navy on Saturday, Marcus Lattimore ran for 246 yards, the most rushing yards by a single player under Spurrier. It's just the 4th time a player has run for 200 yards under the head ball coach.
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