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The Steve Spurrier Era: 10 Best Gamecock Performances

Football has certainly been exciting since Steve Spurrier arrived in South Carolina back in 2005. From record-breaking games to unforgettable plays, Gamecock fans have been treated to many amazing performances during Steve Spurrier time in Columbia.

But which players put on the most memorable shows?

As the Head Ball Coach enters his tenth season at South Carolina, here are the top ten single-game performances during the Steve Spurrier Era.

10. Alshon Jeffrey vs. Nebraska (2012)

In his final outing in a Gamecock uniform, Alshon Jeffrey turned in a half for the ages. In just over 30 minutes of play, Jeffrey hauled in four passes for 148 yards. Even though he was ejected for fighting late in the third quarter, Jeffrey still managed to set the school record for the most career 100-yard receiving games, tie the school record for most career receiving touchdowns and came down with a came-changing catch just before halftime.

9. Ace Sanders vs. Michigan (2013)

Sanders also saved his best for last, lighting up the Wolverines in his Gamecock finale. Sanders caught a career-high nine passes for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The eventual Outback Bowl MVP also made a crucial catch on South Carolina’s game-winning drive, snagging a slant pattern on 4th-and-3 to keep the Gamecocks’ hopes alive. One of the most dangerous return men in Gamecock history, Sanders set the school record for longest punt return in a bowl game.

8. Connor Shaw vs. Wisconsin (2014)

Shaw’s final outing as a Gamecock was one of his most productive. The winningest quarterback in school history accounted for 368 total yards and five touchdowns in South Carolina’s Capital One Bowl win. Shaw completed 22 of his 25 passes, throwing for three touchdowns. He also rushed for 47 yards a score, but his most memorable moment came on his only career reception.

7. Connor Shaw vs. Missouri (2013)

Shaw didn’t get on the field until the third quarter, but the senior made up for lost time. With South Carolina down 17-0, Shaw, coming off a sprained knee the week before and the flu-like symptoms the day before, rallied the Gamecocks with 17 unanswered points. Shaw finished 20-of-29 for 201 yards and three touchdowns as the Gamecocks scored 17 points in 11:31 to send the game to overtime. Missouri appeared to have the game won in OT, but Shaw answered one more time.

6. Marcus Lattimore vs. Georgia (2010)

The Georgia Bulldogs got a firsthand look at what Marcus Lattimore would do to nearly every defense he faced over the next three years. In his first SEC game, the freshman pounded South Carolina’s SEC East rival, carrying the ball 37 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns. On South Carolina’s final scoring drive, Lattimore carried the ball on eight of 11 plays. He finished with 198 total yards, just 55 yards fewer than Georgia’s entire offense.

5. Connor Shaw vs. Clemson (2011)

In his first career start against Clemson, Connor Shaw tormented the Tigers with his arm and his legs. Besides going 14-of-20 for 210 yards and three touchdowns through the air, Shaw also rushed for a career-high 107 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. All in all, the sophomore accounted for 317 of South Carolina’s 420 offensive yards and set the tone early with his first career touchdown against the Tigers.

4. Stephen Garcia vs. Alabama (2010)

When he was on, few in Gamecock history were better than Stephen Garcia. Two weeks after being bench at Auburn, the redshirt junior responded by shredding the top team in the nation. Garcia torched Nick Saban’s defense, completing 17 of 20 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Gamecock offense to a 35-point outing, the most an Alabama defense had allowed in four seasons.

3. Jadeveon Clowney vs. Clemson (2012)

South Carolina has never beaten Clemson four years in a row, but the Gamecocks rode Clowney’s dominating performance to a victory. The sophomore registered 4.5 sacks and set the school’s single-season record with 13. Clowney finished with seven total tackles and a quarterback hurry, leaving with the record for most sacks ever recorded by a Clemson opponent in Memorial Stadium.

2. Eric Norwood vs. Kentucky (2007)

Against the eighth-ranked Wildcats, Norwood turned in a night for the history books. The defensive end became just the fourth defensive player in NCAA history to score two touchdowns in one game. On Kentucky’s second offensive play, Norwood picked up an Andre Woodson fumble and returned it for a 17 yard touchdown. Then, early in the third quarter, with South Carolina leading 17-10, Norwood helped put the game away.

1. Marcus Lattimore vs. Florida (2010)

With the SEC East championship on the line, the Gamecocks turned to their freshman workhorse. Lattimore carried the ball 40 times, the most in school history, rushing for a then career-high 212 yards and scored three touchdowns to help send South Carolina to Atlanta for the first time ever. Lattimore’s 243 total yards out-gained the entire Gator offense and led the Gamecocks to their first ever win in Gainesville.

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