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Norwood stakes his claim to history

South Carolina Eric Norwood celebrates a tipped punt with special teams coach Shane Beamer as the Gamecocks defeat Ole Miss 16-10 in the second half at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.
South Carolina Eric Norwood celebrates a tipped punt with special teams coach Shane Beamer as the Gamecocks defeat Ole Miss 16-10 in the second half at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.

South Carolina will have to update the vinyl wrap at Williams-Brice Stadium honoring former defensive tackle Andrew Provence as the school's sacks leader.

All-SEC linebacker Eric Norwood, who returned for his senior year in part to pursue the record, had two sacks Thursday in the Gamecocks' 16-10 victory against Mississippi. Norwood has 28 for his career, two more than Provence.

"It means a lot. It's something I've been working toward," said Norwood, who was happy to break the record on a night the Gamecocks scored a significant victory.

"I came back to win," Norwood said. "I didn't come back to be mediocre."

Norwood's record sack was like many of his previous efforts. The Georgia native beat Rebels left tackle Bradley Sowell with a speed rush and dropped Jevan Snead from the blind side for a 5-yard loss on third down.

Norwood added to his total in the third quarter when he got to Snead for a 3-yard loss. His 28 sacks are tied for eighth all-time in the SEC.

"That's a real man coming (off) that edge. You have to account for him," Ole Miss Houston Nutt said of Norwood. "We knew that, but he still made it awfully tough on us. Eric Norwood's a real guy."

Norwood already has his name on the wall in the southwest corner of Williams-Brice Stadium for his tackles for loss record.

McCollum ill

The Gamecocks were without their backup quarterback Thursday after Reid McCollum developed flu-like symptoms and was not in uniform. McCollum, a redshirt freshman from Summerville, saw his first action last week against Florida Atlantic, completing a pass on his only snap before time expired.

McCollum's illness left walk-on Zac Brindise and redshirt freshman Aramis Hillary as the top options behind Stephen Garcia.

The Gamecocks will receive flu shots today in the hopes of preventing the swine flu that has hit several teams, including Ole Miss.

"Hopefully, Ole Miss didn't bring it with 'em," USC coach Steve Spurrier said. "A lot of sweat passed between players out there. I think they're OK now. They had it two weeks ago."

Captain returns

Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, a seventh-round pick from USC, spoke with several former teammates and coaches on the sideline before the game. Munnerlyn also greeted Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, who was with the Gamecocks from 2005-07.

Munnerlyn said he has not talked to Spurrier since he announced after the Outback Bowl that he was turning pro, but hoped to speak with him after the game.

"I've kind of been nervous (to talk to Spurrier)," Munnerlyn said. "I felt like me leaving school early kind of put bad blood between us."

Munnerlyn's decision to forgo his senior season was questioned after he slipped to the last round. But after a strong camp, Munnerlyn is the Panthers' first corner off the bench and is returning punts.

If he talks to Spurrier, Munnerlyn said he plans to thank him.

"He gave me the opportunity to play college football," Munnerlyn said. "Without him I wouldn't have made it this far."

Extra points

Fifth-year center Lemuel Jeanpierre started for the first time this season in front of Garrett Anderson. The two alternated every two series. ... Defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye and right tackle Kyle Nunn saw their first action after returning from three-game suspensions. Nunn played the second half at left tackle in place of Jarriel King, who has been the starter there since early last season. ...

Moe Brown's 69-yard reception in the third quarter was the longest pass play of the Spurrier era. ... Defensive tackle Nathan Pepper, who was questionable with a high ankle sprain, played but did not start.

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