COLUMBIA -- You'd think scoring 50 points in a game, much less a half, would be enough to thrill Steve Spurrier to his maniacal offensive core.
But, no, the dust hadn't even settled from South Carolina's 69-24 explosion Saturday against Troy before the USC coach was already pointing the Gamecocks toward the very near and very important future.
"This game, like I told our guys, we've got to get it behind us," Spurrier said following a game that featured the most points in his six years at USC and the fifth-most in the program's history. "We've got the two biggest games of the season coming up. We'll find out what our fate's going to be in two weeks."
The rivalry game against Clemson (6-5) is first; then comes Auburn (11-0) in the SEC title game.
The Eastern Division-winning Gamecocks (8-3) were able to push those games out of mind this past week, enough to blow past a .500 Sun Belt Conference team.
"They came out here and kicked our (tails)," Troy's Tyler Graves said.
After Troy (5-5) fumbled the opening kickoff, Marcus Lattimore scored from 17 yards out on the following play.
The freshman star scored 8- and 5-yard touchdowns, giving the Gamecocks a 21-0 lead -- with more than half the first quarter remaining.
"We hadn't had one like this since I've been here," Spurrier said.
The game was over at that point. From there, it became about what records USC could set. And it managed to notch a handful:
--It was 28-0 after the first quarter -- the first time the Gamecocks had scored 28 in a quarter since 1996.
--It was 56-7 after the half -- the most points USC is believed to have ever scored in a half, pending the review of the box scores from the 1902 and 1903 seasons.
Two defensive scores -- interception returns by D.J. Swearinger (22 yards) and Chaz Sutton (56 yards) -- in the final two minutes really rocked things out of hand.
--Lattimore's three touchdowns give him 19 for the season, pushing him past Harold Green's record for scores in a single season (16). Lattimore needs just one more touchdown to tie Reggie Cobb's SEC freshman record of 20 scores.
Lattimore finished the day with 102 yards on seven carries. He had touchdowns on three of his first four carries. The other was a 58-yard run, the longest of his rookie season. Lattimore (1,066 rushing yards) is South Carolina's first 1,000-yard rusher since Derek Watson in 2000.
"Marcus, of course, ran about like he always does," Spurrier said.
--Junior quarterback Stephen Garcia has now thrown for more than 6,000 yards in his career, moving into third all-time on the school's passing list.
--Sophomore Alshon Jeffery had five catches for 123 yards, giving him 70 catches for 1,210 yards this season. That breaks Sidney Rice's single-season record, 1,143 yards, set in 2005.
"Alshon was very good today," Spurrier said, "his usual."
--Lattimore and Jeffery became the first running back-receiver combo in South Carolina history to have 1,000-yard seasons in the same season.
"Records don't mean nothing if you ain't winning," Jeffery said.
Well, the Gamecocks are doing that, too. The team's captains reminded the team this week that it sunk after the big win against then-No. 1 Alabama, losing to Kentucky. After the dominating effort at Florida, it didn't want to have the same happen against Troy.
"This is the first two games we've played well back to back," said Garcia, who was 9 of 12 for 198 yards and again turnover-free. "Our offense has played pretty well. We've got to keep it going."
After the Gamecocks' season opener, a 41-13 win against Southern Miss, Spurrier whimsically talked about the day the offense would put up 50 points. South Carolina got there in the first half Saturday -- and then some.
Walk-on quarterback Seth Strickland, third on the depth chart, found freshman Ace Sanders for his second touchdown reception of the day with 2:53 to play. The Gamecocks were up 45 and had put up 69 points on the day.
"Lo and behold," Spurrier said, "we got into the 60s."
Three words later, Spurrier mentioned Clemson.
"We realize the next two games will really determine our fate, of what kind of year 2010 is going to be," Spurrier said.
"I think it's a good year thus far, but it could really be a good year in the next two weeks.
"We're still pushing. We're still pushing. We're not sitting around here patting ourselves on the back."
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