Vanderbilt falls to South Carolina, 14-10
Norman goes 99 yards. (AP/Mary Ann Chastain)
Norman goes 99 yards. (AP/Mary Ann Chastain)

Posted Oct 25, 2009

COLUMBIA-- South Carolina's Stephen Garcia passed for 312 yards and two touchdowns and Kenny Miles rushed for 102 yards as the Gamecocks rallied to defeat Vanderbilt, 14-10. The win ended a Vanderbilt two-game winning streak over Steve Spurrier's South Carolina team.

After a scoreless first quarter South Carolina took the lead on a Stephen Garcia 35-yard pass to D.L. Moore. The play was reviewed and it appeared that Moore's foot was clearly on the line when he made the catch but the review official allowed the touchdown to stand. On the ensuing kickoff Vanderbilt's Warren Norman raced 99 yards to tie the score at 7.

In the third quarter Ryan Fowler's 21-yard field goal put Vanderbilt on top, 10-7. Fowler had earlier missed a short field goal in the first half.

South Carolina took the lead for good on a Garcia 43-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery. On that drive South Carolina drove from their one-yard line.

On their final drive, Vanderbilt drove deep to the USC 23 before Larry Smith was called for a intentional grounding penalty. Then on fourth-and-32 he ran out of bounds well short of the first down marker.

Brent Trice expressed his frustration after the game, "We need to learn how to finish games. We had them pushed back a couple times but let them go and get big plays. We have to eliminate the big plays because that is what hurt us tonight."

Vanderbilt is now 2-6 (0-5 SEC) and off to their worst start since 2004.

Norman's kickoff return was the second longest kickoff return in Vanderbilt history. Only a 100-yard return by Preston Brown against Ole Miss in 1977 was longer. It's believed that Norman is the first Vanderbilt player to ever, at least during modern times, to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a single season. In additon to his fine kickoff return, Norman also had 83 yards in 15 carries.

Vanderbilt will next host No. 11 Georgia Tech who thrashed Virginia, 34-9, on Saturday. South Carolina improves to 6-2 (3-2 SEC) and will travel to Tennessee on Saturday.

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