Marcus Lattimore set career TD mark
COLUMBIA — South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore plowed his way into the school’s record book Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium against UAB.
Lattimore’s two-yard touchdown at the end of the first half gave the junior 34 touchdowns for his career, one more than Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers and former Stratford High School standout Harold Green.
“It’s a great feeling and it was a goal of my mine going into the season,” Lattimore said. “To be mentioned with George Rogers and Harold Green in the same sentence is kind of crazy.”
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was equally impressed by Lattimore’s achievement.
“To do it in less than two seasons is what is impressive,” Spurrier said. “That was neat for Marcus. Hopefully, he’ll be ready when these big games start rolling around next week.”
It was also Lattimore’s 31st rushing TD, which ties him with Rogers and Green. Lattimore had 204 career points, which is third all-time behind kickers Collin Mackie (330) and Ryan Succop (251).
Lattimore finished the game with 85 yards on 12 attempts.
USC wide receiver Bruce Ellington left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Ellington said it was just a mild sprain and he expects to be back in the lineup next Saturday against Missouri.
“It’s OK,” Ellington said. “I’m definitely going to play next week.”
Ellington injured his shoulder on the Gamecocks’ first offensive possession of the second half on a 43-yard gain that set up quarterback Dylan Thompson’s 6-yard TD run on the next play.
Ellington, a former Berkeley High School star, led USC with five reception for 98 yards during the game. Ellington leads all Gamecock receivers this season with nine catches for 158 yards.
USC cornerback Akeem Auguste is close to getting back on the field, said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
Auguste, who injured his thigh during a scrimmage Aug. 18, took part in some limited drills during practice this week.
“I saw him during some back-peddling drills and he looks close to being ready,” Ward said. “I think he’s got a chance to play next week and I’m pretty confident he’ll play against Kentucky (Sept. 29).”
Auguste, a senior, missed all of the 2011 season with an injured foot.
Backup running back Shon Carson said before the game that he is scheduled to have his cast removed from his left wrist Oct. 12.
Carson injured his wrist Aug. 17 during practice. Carson had surgery a few days later.
Carson played in just two games during his freshman season, suffering an ACL tear on his knee during the Georgia game. Carson was awarded a medical redshirt season.
Carson said he’s not sure when doctors will clear him to play again.
“I’m hoping I can get back out there pretty soon after the cast comes off,” Carson said.
Roland catches first TD
Highly touted freshman receiver Shaq Roland caught the first TD pass of his young career early in the fourth quarter.
Roland, Mr. Football in the state of South Carolina in 2011, hauled in a 30-yard TD reception from Thompson on the Gamecocks’ first possession of the fourth quarter.
“Shaq made a great move and was wide open,” Thompson said.
Damiere Byrd’s 94-yard TD reception in the third quarter was the fourth longest pass play in USC history.
On a 3rd-and-9 play from the USC 6, Thompson found Byrd all by himself down the right sideline and the sophomore sprinter easily outran the Blazers’ secondary for the score.
“It was kind of an ugly pass. It didn’t feel good coming out of my hand,” Thompson said. “But I saw him wide open and there’s nobody that’s going to catch him.” The longest play in USC history was Troy Williamson’s 99-yard TD reception from Dondrial Pinkins in 2003 against Virginia. Pinkins and Matthew Thomas hooked up on a 98-yard TD pass against Mississippi later in the 2003 season, while Todd Ellis had a 97-yard TD pass to Robert Brooks against East Carolina in 1988.
Davis gets first TD
Freshman running back Mike Davis scored the first TD of this career in the fourth quarter.
Davis, the Gamecocks highest-rated recruit last spring, scored on a 1-yard TD run. Davis finished with 84 yards on five carries, including a 50-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
“We can all see it in practice,” Lattimore said. “He’s going to be a great back. Gamecock fans have something to look forward to.”
Davis was ranked as the nation’s 63rd-ranked prospect by Rivals.com. Davis is the younger brother of former Clemson star James Davis.
Park attends USC game
Stratford High School junior quarterback Jacob Park was on the sidelines for Saturday’s game against UAB.
Park, who is considered to be one of the top quarterbacks prospects in the Southeast in 2014, said the Gamecocks are among his top five schools, along with Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
In four games, Park has thrown for more than 900 yards and eight touchdowns for the undefeated Knights.