Thursday, September 3, 2009

South Carolina stymies N.C. State

RALEIGH - It wasn't as bad as last year but the result is the same for N.C. State.

South Carolina's defense held up an early touchdown to hand N.C. State a 7-3 loss in the season-opener on Thursday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

The Gamecocks' speed on defense stifled Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson, who was ineffective and a step slow to elude South Carolina's edge rush.

N.C. State fumbled on its first snap on offense, at its own 14-yard line, which led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Brian Maddox with 9:10 left in the first quarter.

It was the game's only touchdown.

State, trailing 7-3, had a chance to pull ahead late in the fourth but Jay Smith dropped a would-be 32-yard touchdown pass in the end zone.

South Carolina forced a turnover on downs and bled out the clock for its second consecutive season-opening win over the Wolfpack. The Gamecocks won last year's game 34-0 in Columbia.

On State's first possession of the game, Toney Baker fumbled on his first carry since the 2007 opener, which gave South Carolina the ball at its own 14-yard line.

Four plays later, the Gamecocks turned the miscue into a 7-0 lead. Brian Maddox rushed 1-yard for the touchdown at 9:10 in the first quarter.

After State was stopped on the next series, Devin Taylor blocked a Jeff Ruiz punt to give South Carolina the ball at the 38-yard line.

South Carolina has had its own litany of errors. The Gamecocks muffed a snap, missed a 27-yard field and had a touchdown called back because of a penalty.

After Taylor's blocked field goal, South Carolina quarterback Steven Garcia hit Tori Gurley for a touchdown but it was called back for pass interference. The Gamecocks ended up punting on the series.

State later dodged a bullet when Stephen Flint bobbled a snap on a 31-yard field goal attempt, leaving South Carolina with the lone touchdown.

When USC did execute a successful snap, Spencer Lanning missed a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter.

After a Michael Lemon interception, State put together its first drive of the game — which was aided by an overturned fumble — which ended with a 43-yard field goal by Josh Czajkowski with 55.8 seconds left in the third.

-- J.P. Giglio


Sam Vimes said...

Hey, where are all you State folks now? Wasn't it going to be something like 28 - 10 State?

What happened? Maybe SEC vs. ACC?

704Champ said...

Here is a State folk right here. USC beat us in a tough, close loss. Both defenses looked pretty good, but both offenses looked troubled.

It came down to the costly turnover in the 1st quarter, because it could have easily been 3-3 at the end of regulation. Of course if South Carolina's kicking game was worth anything, they would have probably converted a couple of field goals.

You can say what you want about SEC vs. ACC. Conference pride is lame. It implies you would pull for your school's (in-conference) arch rival over a random team from another conference. It's stupid.

Sam Vimes said...

Pull for conference schools?

Like Alabama vs. Va Tech?
or Georgia vs. Ga. Tech?
USC vs. Clemson?
Florida vs. Fla State?

Well, yes, of course. Nothing stupid about it. It's football season.

Anonymous said...

Hey 704Champ, you are right, it could have easily been 3 to 3 at end of regulation, but it also could have easily been 20-0 USC at halftime. End result, USC is 2 and 0 against the Pack to start the last two seasons. Or, if you want to look at it another way, over the past two seasons: USC 41, NC. St. 3. Umm, NC St. is supposed to compete for the ACC title this year? Unbelievable.

704Champ said...

The only stat you mentioned that matters is that South Carolina won tonight and is 1-0 so far this season. It was a close game but the Gamecocks came out on top. You guys have a pretty strong defense, but honestly I wonder how your offense will fare against SEC defenses if we held you to 7 points. Lucky for the Pack, we play in the ACC, so we will be able to move the ball against other teams.

Anonymous said...

So the year that the ACC was finally going to make a statement in the national football scene has started. Early results are in. . . SEC: 1, ACC: When does basketball season start?

704Champ said...

Great logic. I guess if the Cardinals had beaten the Steelers last year, according to your logic, the NFC West would be the best division in football.

Just enjoy your win, you deserve to.