South Carolina Unseats No. 1 Alabama
At least Steve Spurrier was Saturday in South Carolina's upset of Nick Saban's top-ranked Alabama team.
The No. 19 Gamecocks snapped the defending national champion's 19-game winning streak with a 35-21 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium. The win was South Carolina's first ever over a No. 1 team and the program's best win since knocking off No. 3 North Carolina during the 1981 season.
Spurrier may no longer seem bent on college football domination like he was in his days coaching at Florida, but he can still scheme like a Mensa member serving a life sentence in a minimum-security prison. Against a Crimson Tide team playing its third top-20 team in three weeks, the old ball coach ran indestructible freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore right at Alabama and had the confidence in embattled veteran quarterback Stephen Garcia to throw downfield.
The plan came together both early and late. The Gamecocks jumped out to a 21-3 lead then answered a would-be Alabama rally in the second half. Lattimore rushed for 93 yards and added 16 yards receiving. Garcia responded from his benching in a loss to Auburn two weeks ago by completing 17 of 20 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
As for Saban, who has taken over college football for much of the last three seasons, he outsmarted himself. His call for a fake field goal with his team down 28-21 early in the fourth quarter changed the momentum of the game. The ploy failed when Alabama' Ed Stinson dropped a pass from holder A.J. McCarron. South Carolina answered with a scoring drive that gave the Gamecocks a two-touchdown lead.
By FanHouse correspondent Adam Van Brimmer