Rebel Win Streak Ends At South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Ole Miss could not defend its Top 5 ranking or overcome South Carolina's defense.
Star passer Jevan Snead was hounded all game and the fourth-ranked Rebels never got in gear, losing to South Carolina 16-10 Thursday night.
South Carolina (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) had been 1-31 all-time against Top 5 foes, but left Williams-Brice Stadium with the biggest win of coach Steve Spurrier's five seasons.
Spencer Lanning kicked three field goals and fullback Patrick DiMarco a key 2-yard TD catch for the Gamecocks.
``It was good to get a win when everybody watches,'' Spurrier said. ``It was good for all Gamecocks.''
Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1) had one last chance at a go-ahead TD that would've extended its eight-game winning streak. But Snead was sacked by Cliff Matthews, then had a fourth-down pass knocked away by Darian Stewart.
The Rebels began the day with their highest ranking in nearly four decades. But they lost their SEC opener for the sixth straight season - and will likely drop down the polls once the new rankings come out.
The Gamecocks jumped around when the game ended, celebrating a victory these players had never enjoyed before at their own stadium. South Carolina's lone top-5 win came at North Carolina in 1981.
``It was a pretty ugly win, but a win and we'll take it every time,'' Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia said.
Snead, the Ole Miss junior, missed six straight throws during one stretch but did come through with a critical play. His 45-yard TD pass to Markeith Summers with under 10 minutes left in the game that cut it to 16-10.
South Carolina's defense had to come through after that because the offense, which controlled things for much of the first three quarters went three-and-out on its final four possessions.
Snead's 11-yard pass to Pat Patterson brought Ole Miss to the Gamecock 32 with 2:55 to play. Then coach Houston Nutt tried to outfox South Carolina.
Matthews followed with his sack of Snead before Stewart preserved the win by batting down the final pass.
``We thought we could beat them. Thought it was a toss-up game,'' Spurrier said. ``But the way it turned out, the way our defense played, 16 points was enough.''
Snead had thrown at least two TD passes in each of his past eight games. He finished this game 7 of 21 for 107 yards.
Right from the start, Snead and the Rebels looked tight. They had only four drives in the opening half, three that ended without a first down.
Eric Norwood ended the Rebels' first drive with his school-record 27th sack.
Snead passed for just 30 yards as the Rebels were outgained by South Carolina 181-71 in the first 30 minutes.
Bolden appeared to get things going with a 59-yard touchdown run. A holding penalty, however, brought that back and the Rebels eventually settled for their only points of the half on Joshua Shene's 42-yard field goal.
The Gamecocks had more plays and more yardage. They, too, though had trouble finding the end zone.
Garcia fumbled away one drive after a sack on Ole Miss 16 in the first quarter. An illegal shift on the Rebels' 4 led to Lanning's first field goal.
Freshman receiver Tori Gurley caught Garcia's pass and took it in for a 12-yard score right before halftime. But South Carolina was flagged for an ineligible receiver downfield. Lanning converted a 20-yard field goal to put the Gamecocks ahead 6-3 at the break.
South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 10, 4Q, 9:47: Snead, Rebels finally reach the endzone on a 45-yard TD toss to Markeith Summers. It marks Summers' second TD catch of the year.
South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 3, 3Q, 6:57: Carolina converts a Snead fumble after a sack into seven points, as the Gamecocks drive 25 yards on six plays and Garcia hits Patrick DiMarco on a two-yard TD toss.
South Carolina 9, Ole Miss 3, 3Q, 10:01: Once again the Rebel defense steps up on the goalline and limits the Gamecocks to a field goal, a 30-yarder by Lanning to cap a five-play, 65-yard drive, that was highlighted by a 69-yard pass from Stephen Garcia to Moe Brown.
FIRST HALF NOTES: The last time Ole Miss did not lead at halftime was last year's game at Alabama, when the Rebels trailed 24-3 at the break ... This is also the Rebels' lowest first-half point total since the game ... After going 3-for-3 on fakes last year, Ole Miss is unable to convert its first of 2009, as Derrick Davis' second-quarter run off a faked FG fell a yard shy of the first down ... Marshay Green had a season-long 36-yard punt return, which was a shoe-strong tackle by the punter short of a TD ... Attendance is 74,274 ... Mark Jean-Louis earned his first career snaps at fullback, and on a couple short-yardage plays, he joined six other offensive linemen on the field at the same time with Bobbie Massie as a tackle and John Jerry sliding over to tight end ... Among the true freshmen that have already seen their career action tonight are Tim Simon and Rodney Scott in kickoff coverage (Scott has also carried once), while Tyler Campbell handled the Rebels' first punt of the game ... Derrick Davis earned his first career start at fullback ... Carolina wins the toss and elected to receive.
South Carolina 6, Ole Miss 3, 2Q, 0:00: South Carolina is dominating time of possession 19:15 to 10:45 and takes the lead into halftime after a Lanning 20-yard FG in the final ticks of the first half. It capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive over 5:09.
Ole Miss 3, South Carolina 3, 2Q, 8:52: The Rebel defense stiffens in the red zone and holds the Gamecocks to a Spencer Lanning 26-yard FG. The Carolina Drive went 69 yards in 12 plays in 6:18.
Ole Miss 3, South Carolina 0, 1Q, 0:10: On its second drive of the game, Ole Miss scores the game's first points on a Joshua Shene 42-yard field goal. The 14-play, 49-yard drive included a 59-yard TD run by Brandon Bolden that was called back on a holding penalty.
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