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Moe Brown catches on in 2nd half

Moe Brown pulls in a 9 yard pass to score against South Carolina State University in the third quarter.
Moe Brown pulls in a 9 yard pass to score against South Carolina State University in the third quarter.

Moe Brown walked into the media room under Williams-Brice Stadium and was taken aback a little by the horde of media that surrounded him.

The senior captain cracked a joke and then began answering questions about his two-touchdown, 100-yard performance in South Carolina's 38-14 victory against S.C. State.

"That was my first two-touchdown game since my days at Westside (High)," Brown said. "I'm surprised it took this long, but I've had hard times here, but I have persevered."

That perseverance has paid during his career, especially against the Bulldogs as he got off to a slow start. Brown fumbled on the second play of the game and later dropped a pass that could have kept a drive alive.

USC coach Steve Spurrier called the first-half effort one of Brown's worst.

"Coach challenged us at halftime, and I took it personal," Brown said. "That was probably the worst half I have ever played. But being a team captain, I felt I needed to be one of the players to step it up in the second half. When you have a bad half, you have to respond to it."

Leading 10-7 at the half, the Gamecocks opened the third quarter with scores on their first three drives. Brown had four catches in the third quarter, including 40- and 9-yard scoring strikes, with the second coming on the same pattern that resulted in his dropped pass.

"We caught them at the right time," Brown said. "As a matter fact, both of the touchdowns were an audible. We saw the coverage and were able to change the play.

"The first one, I got the ball over my left shoulder and broke a tackle and was able to get into the end zone. The second one, I took the corner and got outside. Stephen (Garcia) made two great throws."

On the 40-yard score, Garcia lofted the ball over a Bulldogs defender, and Brown caught it at about the 10-yard line and dragged the defender into the end zone.

Brown set up the second touchdown with a 23-yard gain to move the ball into the red zone. Three plays later, he caught the ball in the back corner of the end zone.

"Stephen Garcia made the best throws he's made since he's been here, especially on the corner route and the take-off route to Moe Brown," Spurrier said.

The six receptions and 100 yards were the second-best totals of Brown's career.

"He (Brown) played very well," Garcia said. "After the fumble he had, he atoned for that. He ran some great routes and got open against man coverage. It was a great game for him."

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