ATHENS, Ga. -- A year ago, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 37 times and caught one pass for 198 yards of total offense in the Gamecocks' 17-6 victory over Georgia.

Lattimore didn't get as many touches in USC's 45-41 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday but was probably more effective.

Lattimore finished with 176 rushing yards on 27 attempts, scoring one touchdown, and caught two passes for eight yards. In two games against the Bulldogs, Lattimore has 374 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.

"We were not going to forget about Marcus," said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. "He gives us the best chance to win. He's a great back and we had to keep going to him. He gives us hope to make any kind of run."

Lattimore, who didn't break as many tackles as he did a year ago against the Bulldogs, was not satisfied with his performance.

"Honestly, I left a lot of yards out there on the field that should have been got," Lattimore said. "The yards I got were a credit to the offensive line."

Lattimore had three carries for 15 yards on the final clock-killing drive. That included an 8-yard run on a 3rd-and-3 play that essentially ended the game.

"If I was the coach I'd give it to Marcus every play in the fourth quarter," said South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Clowney makes it count

Freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was relatively quiet against Georgia, except when the Gamecocks really needed a big play.

Clowney had just two tackles in his SEC debut, but both were sacks, including the biggest sack of all on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray with 3:12 left in the game.

Clowney burst over the right side, sacked Murray and stripped him of the ball. Defensive lineman Melvin Ingram scooped the ball up and returned it 5 yards for the TD that gave the Gamecocks a 45-35 lead.

"It was a huge play from Jadeveon, but I don't know overall how he played," said USC defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

Clonwey said it was an eye-opening experience playing in his first SEC game.

"It wasn't easy out there," Clowney said. "They are a bunch of grown men on the field. I'm just trying to play as hard as I can."

Allen scores again

For the second straight game, Antonio Allen scored a touchdown.

A week ago against East Carolina, he returned a fumble for a TD. Against the Bulldogs. He stepped in front of an Aaron Murray pass and returned it 25 yards for a score late in the third quarter.

Allen finished with six tackles, including a tackle for loss in the victory.

"Antonio is a playmaker," Johnson said. "We're finding that out pretty quickly."

Running back battle

Georgia freshman running back Isiah Crowell was doing his best Marcus Lattimore imitation.

Crowell is trying to do for Georgia what Lattimore did for USC last season. Crowell, who averaged 7.4 yards per run against the Gamecocks, finished with 118 yards on the ground and two catches for 40 yards. He also scored two touchdowns.

Lattimore noticed Crowell's performance.

"He's a great running back," Lattimore said. "Doing that as a freshman, he's going to have a great career. He played well. I mean, it was a little bit of a running back battle between us."

Disappointing defense

In two games, the Gamecocks defense has given up 79 points and 781 yards.

Neither statistic is very pleasing to Johnson.

"I've never been so proud of a bunch of kids and at the same time so disappointed," Johnson said. "I've got some guys playing really well, but there are guys who can't function out there."

Johnson and defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward shifted spots at Sanford Stadium. Johnson came down on the field and Ward was up in the press box.

"I thought operationally things went a little better than they did against East Carolina," Johnson said. "Don't know what we'll do next week."