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Giles goes from last to first

South Carolina freshman tailback Jarvis Giles scores a touchdown in the third quarter during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, Saturday, September 19, 2009.
South Carolina freshman tailback Jarvis Giles scores a touchdown in the third quarter during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, Saturday, September 19, 2009.

Jarvis Giles grew up in Florida, but when he heard "2001" before Saturday's USC home opener, he still got the shakes.

"I was like, 'Gotta calm down! Gotta calm down!' " Giles said later.

The true freshman's first home game didn't end up being a nerve-wracking experience. Despite being the third Gamecock tailback to get a carry, he finished as the most prolific.

Giles gained 113 yards on 11 carries and scored his first career touchdown. Entering the game, he had 51 rushing yards on 15 carries.

"I felt like the first two games I was in a little shell a little bit," Giles said. "Every week I tried to get a little better, make big plays happen, and I feel like I can crack out of that shell. Hopefully I can stay consistent with that."

The Gamecocks have a crowded backfield, and Saturday night did nothing to change that.

Starter Brian Maddox had three touchdowns. Kenny Miles, who played the second series, rushed for 56 yards before hurting his shoulder.

Then it was Giles' turn. In danger of being the forgotten man, he went for 37 yards on his first carry. He kept going, with the only misstep being a 6-yard loss in the second quarter.

He had a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the game's final score.

"We were hoping Jarvis could make long runs, and he did pop a few out of there," coach Steve Spurrier said.

The play-calling might have helped Giles. There were more outside runs called, which complements his speed and big-play capability.

"It felt great to go outside," Giles said. "I'm glad coach Spurrier called a little bit more sweeps (and) ... outside zones, all that kind of stuff. Try to get me in open space a little bit, make a little bit of moves, get past them boys. So I felt good out there."

Giles took an unselfish approach to the tailback situation.

He thought the committee approach worked "great," citing the backs' fresh legs and the ability to keep the defense guessing.

"You can kill defenses like that," Giles said. "So I think we should keep doing it."

And Giles did his part to ensure he remains part of that committee.

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