The short passing game
USC managed to tie the game at halftime thanks to a 59-yard scoring drive highlighted by quarterback Stephen Garcia picking apart the Vanderbilt defense with five completions. Garcia piled up 355 yards on 31-of-39 passing on the night.
The sophomore receiver caught a career-high 13 passes for 109 yards, including a 15-yard first-half touchdown pass.
The senior tailback made a difference in the second half with his hard-charging style. He gained 49 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown, in USC’s go-ahead 93-yard scoring drive in the third quarter, and he picked up the first 100-yard game of his career.
Another breakdown led to Vanderbilt receiver John Cole being left wide open for a 35-yard gain that carried him to the USC 5 on the Commodores’ second-quarter 83-yard scoring drive.
The Gamecocks came away with no points after a strong drive early in the fourth quarter when Spencer Lanning’s 26-yard field goal was blocked. An illegal formation also killed a Lanning punt that was downed at the Vanderbilt 1-yard line.