No. 23 South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 10
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)Alshon Jeffery called his own number on South Carolina's winning touchdown.
Steve Spurrier might let his young receiver do more of it for the 23rd-ranked Gamecocks (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) the rest of the year.
"What I like about Alshon is he'll come over and suggest plays," Spurrier said. "Alshon has a feel for the game."
His 43-yard fourth-quarter touchdown catch gave the Gamecocks a 14-10 win over Vanderbilt and broke a two-game losing streak to the Commodores (2-6, 0-5).
Jeffery finished with eight catches for 161 yards, the second time in three games he surpassed the 100-yard mark. His effort was necessary with senior wideout Moe Brown still recovering from a concussion suffered on a hit in the loss at Alabama last week.
Jeffery's catch capped a 99-yard drive that got started on Tori Gurley's one-armed, 43-yard catch from South Carolina's 1.
Then Jeffery told Spurrier that he'd use a double move to get free of Vanderbilt's secondary. Garcia "threw a perfect ball," Jeffery said. "Once I caught it, I knew I was going to score."
It was Jeffery's fifth touchdown in South Carolina's past four games, necessary when the Gamecocks once again came out flat against Vanderbilt.
"I know it wasn't pretty, but it was a real good win over a tough Vandy team," Spurrier said.
Earlier, Garcia had a 35-yard touchdown pass to freshman D.L. Moore.
The Commodores got the ball one last time with 4 minutes left and drove to South Carolina's 25. However, quarterback Larry Smith was called for intentional grounding on 3rd down, then did not get close to the necessary yardage on fourth-and-32.
"We should have won," Vanderbilt linebacker Brent Trice said. "We came in with a good game plan and practiced hard this week. We came in feeling good, started the game with some intensity but just couldn't finish it."
The Commodores haven't scored more than 10 points in an SEC game yet.
Spurrier was a perfect 14-0 over Vandy until 2007 when the heavy underdogs upset the then-sixth ranked Gamecocks 17-6.
The Commodores backed it up a season later, defeating another ranked South Carolina squad 24-17. They almost made it three in a row, but instead lost their sixth straight SEC game.
Ryan Fowler's 21-yard field goal in the third quarter put the Commodores ahead 10-7 and for a while, it looked like a mix of stellar defense and special teams play would keep them out front.
South Carolina had only one first down on its first three possessions of the third quarter. Vanderbilt punter Brett Upson kept the Gamecocks pinned with boots of 57 yards and 64 yards. Two of his punts were downed at the 1.
But after South Carolina's go-ahead touchdown, Vanderbilt's struggling offense could not rebound.
Garcia completed 22 of 33 passes for 312 yards. Freshman Kenny Miles had 102 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Garcia had his second 300 yard game this season. But said he and the Gamecocks "need to play a lot better if we're going to beat Tennessee" next week.
The school honored its 1969 Atlantic Coast Conference champions and its 1984 "Black Magic" team that was the only one in history to win 10 games.
If not for a couple of official reviews, the uninspired Gamecocks might have left the field at halftime trailing instead of tied 7-7.
Miles appeared to fumble on South Carolina's fourth snap with Vanderbilt's Patrick Benoist grabbing it deep in Gamecocks territory.
But the officials in the replay booth said Miles was down before the ball got away and South Carolina's drive continued.
The Gamecocks finally broke through on Garcia's touchdown pass to Moore, who juggled the ball and didn't look like he had full possession until his right foot stepped on the inbounds line.
Another official review - and another call for the Gamecocks, who took a 7-0 lead.
"I believe the Lord was smiling on the Gamecocks," Spurrier said.
That didn't last long, however, as freshman Warren Norman went 99 yards for a touchdown on South Carolina's kickoff to tie things.
Norman became the first Commodores player since Vanderbilt began playing football in 1890 with two kickoff return TDs in a season.
Vanderbilt had just 112 yards of offense in the opening half. They best series came when the Commodores drove 65 yards to South Carolina's 8. But Fowler missed a 25-yard field goal try.
Spurrier, who won his 105th SEC game to tie Georgia's Vince Dooley for third in the conference, was asked about that distinction. He said he was more impressed that South Carolina had won five straight SEC games at home - best in school history.
"That's a record, right?" Spurrier said. "I like that one better."