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South Carolina Ends Long Losing Streak

September 03, 2000|From Associated Press

Nearly two years after he came to revive South Carolina's stumbling program, Coach Lou Holtz and the Gamecocks took their first steps to success Saturday, breaking their 21-game losing streak with a 31-0 victory over New Mexico State at Columbia, S.C.

Derrick Watson ran for 114 yards, Andrew Pinnock scored two touchdowns and the Gamecocks' pestering defense kept the Aggies off-balance all night. It was South Carolina's first win since beating Ball State--which now inherits the nation's longest losing streak at 18--on Sept. 5, 1998.

As time and the losing streak ticked away, fans couldn't take it, swarming the field with 36 seconds to go. Holtz and his coaches helped clear the field for the final plays.

Bedlam erupted when the game ended with fans chanting, cheering and ripping down both goalposts.

Finally, South Carolina players and fans could point to those faded bumper stickers playing at Holtz's name first slapped on cars and trailers when he arrived in December 1998 to replace Brad Scott.

South Carolina scored two rushing touchdowns and intercepted New Mexico State's K.C. Enzminger twice to take a 17-0 lead at halftime. In 1999, it took the Gamecocks two games to score a touchdown, five to do it on the ground and six before the defense got an interception.

No. 9 Florida 40, Ball State 19--The host Gators were booed often, plodding through a rain-soaked victory over Ball State, a 45-point underdog riding a 17-game losing streak that was expected to roll over.

In the second half, Ball State scored on a 49-yard pass from Talmadge Hill to Corey Parchman. The Cardinals later blocked a punt to take over at the Florida 13-yard line, trailing only 33-19.

Florida's Tron LaFavor restored order by recovering a fumble two plays later, then Jesse Palmer hit Bo Carroll down the sideline for a 75-yard scoring play that put the Gators ahead by three touchdowns.

No. 10 Georgia 29, Georgia Southern 7--Quincy Carter passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Bulldogs began a season of high expectations by beating the defending NCAA Division I-AA champions at Athens, Ga.

Carter, who returned for his junior season because he wanted to lead Georgia to its first Southeastern Conference title since 1982, completed 16 of 27 passes for 203 yards with one interception.

No. 12 Tennessee 19, No. 22 Southern Mississippi 16--Travis Henry ran for 135 yards and Donte' Stallworth turned a short pass into a 51-yard scoring play to help the Volunteers past the stubborn Eagles at Knoxville, Tenn.

A young Volunteer defense stifled the Eagles until the Eagles put together two long touchdown drives in the fourth quarter.

No. 18 Mississippi 49, Tulane 20--Romaro Miller threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns and Deuce McAllister scored three touchdowns as the Rebels rallied from a slow start at Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss (1-0) had three long touchdown plays in less than five minutes during the third quarter to erase a three-point deficit and take a 35-17 lead. The big-play barrage started with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Miller to McAllister, 7:03 into the quarter.

Mississippi State 17, Memphis 3--In a defensive struggle, Dicenzo Miller scored on a six-yard run with 1:55 remaining to clinch the Bulldogs' win in 100-degree heat at Memphis, Tenn.

Miller's touchdown came on the first play after the Bulldogs' Willie Blade recovered Memphis quarterback Neil Suber's fumble. Mario Haggan, who also had an interception, sacked Suber to cause the fumble.

Louisiana State 58, Western Carolina 0--Josh Booty passed for 291 yards and two touchdowns and Rohan Davey threw for 194 and three touchdowns as the Tigers opened the Nick Saban era with an easy win over the Division I-AA Catamounts at Baton Rouge, La.

Saban, who left Michigan State for LSU last November, planned to use both quarterbacks against Western Carolina. Booty opened the game with an 80-yard scoring pass to Reggie Robinson on the third play from scrimmage.

Louisville 40, Kentucky 34--Tony Stallings went 25 yards up the middle on Louisville's first play of overtime to give the Cardinals a come-from-behind victory over Kentucky in a game suspended for over an hour because of a severe thunderstorm at Louisville, Ky.

Miami, Ohio 33, Vanderbilt 30--Mike Bath threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:53 to lead the RedHawks past the stunned Commodores at Nashville, Tenn.

Arkansas 38, Southwest Missouri State 0--Robby Hampton, a 24-year-old sophomore making his first start, completed his first nine passes and wound up 17 of 22 for 237 yards and two touchdowns for the Razorbacks at Little Rock, Ark.

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