South Carolina Football: Six Best Wins of the Decade

Ace Sanders #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Ace Sanders #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /


Alabama entered this contest riding the nation’s longest winning streak and fresh off of a national title.  Greg McElroy and Nick Saban were ranked No. 1 in the country and were looking to keep their unblemished season alive.

The Gamecocks had other plans.  Stephen Garcia had the performance of a lifetime, connecting on 17-of-20 attempts for 201 yards and three touchdowns.  South Carolina started fast, leaping out to a 21-3 lead before taking a 12-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Alabama stayed in the game, though, and battled back to get the score to 28-21 in the fourth quarter following a 51-yard touchdown pass from McElroy.  Gamecock fans had seen this movie before, and they were hoping to just hang on for a few more minutes.

Cue Alshon Jeffery.  Garcia dropped back on first down, with just eight-and-a-half minutes left in the game, and tossed up a fade to the big-bodied receiver.  Jeffery made a one-handed catch with a defender draped on his arm, and ran 45 yards down the sideline.  The catch set up the Gamecocks’ final score, preserving a 35-21 victory.

The win was the first in program history over a top ranked opponent.  South Carolina would ride the momentum on its way to the program’s first ever SEC championship appearance.