BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Moe Brown would love to end his USC career with a big receiving performance against Connecticut in today's Papajohns.com Bowl.
But if Brown has to spend his final game blocking the Huskies' defensive backs he is willing to do so, especially if it means taking the trophy home to Columbia.
Brown, a senior from Anderson, was a lonesome end in USC's 34-17 victory against Clemson. He caught one pass as the Gamecocks went to a ground attack, rushing for 223 yards on 58 carries - the most in Steve Spurrier's five seasons at USC.
"Hopefully, we'll throw the ball, being a receiver," Brown said this week. "But if I have to go block 59 times again, then I'm going to be blocking 59 times again."
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Brown, who ranks in the top 20 on USC's career receiving list with 84 catches for 1,112 yards, said committing to the run against Clemson made a statement.
"Being able to do that showed we can play hard-nosed, tough football," Brown said. "I think it gives you a little arrogance, a little swagger about yourself that you can go in there and play physical."
Coming your way. Unless UConn changes up, the Gamecocks' defensive ends should expect a lot of action today. Like many Big East teams, Spurrier said the Huskies like the power running game.
"They run that off tackle play. Seems like that's the play in the Big East this year," Spurrier said. "I watched Pittsburgh run it about 25 times every game. Obviously, UConn runs it and runs it very well. Against Notre Dame (a 33-30 Huskies win) they must have averaged 10 yards a pop. We know we have to stop that to have a chance to beat them."
Extra points. With a victory today, USC's seniors will own the winningest four-year stretch in school history. The Gamecocks have 28 victories since the start of the 2006 season, matching the total won by the 1990 and 2008 seniors. ...
Spurrier is 3-2 against current Big East schools, going 1-0 against Louisville and West Virginia, 1-1 record vs. Syracuse and 0-1 against Rutgers. Syracuse was Florida's only nonconference road loss other than its series with Florida State in Spurrier's 12 seasons in Gainesville.