#1 Alabama - 21, #19 South Carolina - 35
October 9, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Alabama's school record 29-game regular season win streak came to
an end Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium as the No. 19 South Carolina
Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) took down the top-ranked Crimson Tide (5-1, 2-1 SEC).
After only giving up a combined 35 points the entire season, the Tide defense
surrendered 35 points at the hands of the Gamecock offense.
Mark Ingram eyes the scoreboard as time is running out on the Tide
in their 35 - 21 loss to South Carolina.
"If you're a great competitor you really don't like losing," head coach Nick Saban
said. "This is a lesson for everybody in terms of what you have to do to prepare
and what it takes to play with consistency in this league."
After Alabama scored a field goal on its opening drive, South Carolina answered
with a touchdown and would go on to take a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. Senior
quarterback Greg McElroy connected with junior Julio Jones on a 8-yard touchdown
pass to take a 21-9 deficit into the half.
The Crimson Tide drew back within a touchdown quickly at the start of the second
half after a South Carolina safety and an Alabama field goal, all coming within
the first five minutes of the third quarter to narrow the Gamecocks advantage to
21-14. South Carolina answered with a 15-play touchdown drive eating up nearly
eight minutes off the clock, stretching South Carolina's lead back out to 28-14.
Alabama pulled back within a touchdown quickly, when McElroy hit junior Darius
Hanks with a 51-yard touchdown pass, the longest of Hanks' career. The Tide's
comeback hopes looked bright as junior Will Lowery intercepted USC's Stephen Garcia
on the following drive, giving Alabama the ball on the Gamecocks 38-yard line.
The Tide could not capitalize on the turnover though, as Alabama failed to convert
a fake field goal attempt on 4th and 11 from the 25-yard line.
"I was proud of the way our players fought back at the end of the game," Saban
added. "That shows a lot of character, but everybody has a lot to learn from this
Quarterback Greg McElroy, who suffered his first loss as a starter since the
eighth grade, posted respectable numbers through the air with two touchdowns
on 315 yards in his 27-for-34 performance. However the success of the passing
game wasn't enough to top South Carolina who held Alabama to 36 yards rushing
and picked up seven quarterback sacks.
Alabama returns home for Homecoming next Saturday when the Mississippi Rebels
visit Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 8:00pm CT.