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Lou's Crew Stuns No. 9 Georgia

AP/SF Chronicle, Deanne Fitzmaurice
South Carolina is running out of goal posts.

For the second straight week, the Gamecocks ended a long-losing streak in stunning fashion, beating No. 9 Georgia 21-10 to end nearly three years - and 18 losses - of Southeastern Conference frustration.

Just like last week's 31-0 win over New Mexico State that ended South Carolina's 21-game overall losing streak, the goal posts and shrubs didn't stand a chance at Williams-Brice Stadium.

"I tell you what, I don't want to start that as a tradition," said coach Lou Holtz, who was soaked with a cooler of ice water for the second consecutive week.

If the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) keep winning, he'll never stop it.

"These are what make last year enjoyable, if that's possible," said South Carolina offensive coordinator, and Holtz's son, Skip. "To see it all come together and to see it all come together is really exciting."

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Game Summary

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  • And unbelievable.

    Georgia's Heisman Trophy contender Quincy Carter threw five interceptions, one less than all of 1999. After a first-possession touchdown, the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1) could only manage a 21-yard second-quarter field goal. Derek Watson had three touchdowns as South Carolina controlled the ball almost 24 minutes of the second half.

    "I think Georgia underestimated us a little bit," Gamecocks defensive lineman Kalimba Edwards said.

    The Bulldogs were held to 287 total yards. Even worse for Georgia fans who considered this one of its strongest teams since Herschel Walker's days 20 years ago is that any title - SEC or national - hopes could be over.

    If Georgia's offense struggles against South Carolina, which hadn't won an SEC game since beating Vanderbilt 35-3 on Oct. 25, 1997, what can it possibly do against Tennessee and Florida next month?

    "It's still early ithe season, even though you don't want to lose to an inferior team," George defensive tackle Richard Seymour said.

    Carter was supposed to be Georgia's junior leader, who passed up a shot at the NFL draft last year to lead the Bulldogs to glory. But he never gave them a chance in this one. He missed receivers, threw two first-play interceptions and had a personal-foul penalty that led to South Carolina's go-ahead score.

    After Andre Goodman returned Carter's interception 70 yards, the quarterback rushed to make the tackle and flung Goodman hard to ground out of bounds. The penalty put the ball on Georgia's 2 and Watson rushed over for a 14-7 lead.

    The Bulldogs drove to South Carolina's 5 three minutes before halftime. On third down, Carter missed a wide open Jervaris Johnson in the end zone and Georgia settled for a 21-yard field goal.

    Carter, who carved the Gamecocks for 253 yards and a touchdown last year, was 10-of-24 for 108 yards.

    "Obviously, we have some real problems offensively," Georgia coach Jim Donnan said. "From my standpoint, this is a real letdown."

    Things turned for South Carolina early. Georgia scored on its opening possession on Brett Millican's 5-yard TD. But Watson, a sophomore who passed on Tennessee to join Holtz in February 1999, returned the kickoff 53 yards. He finished the drive with a 5-yard scoring run.

    "It showed we weren't going to back down to them," said Watson, who finished with 93 yards on 20 carries.

    Watson's final score, a 21-yard cutback run with 4:10 left in the game, put things away and got students and fans massing along the end zone railings. The yellow posts fell a lot quicker this time the fans got better from week one to week two.

    "It's the Gamecock millennium baby," one yelled as they tumbled.

    Georgia's defense kept South Carolina off-balance most of the game holding the Gamecocks scoreless on five straight trips inside Georgia's 35. But nothing was going right for the Bulldogs.

    Corey Alexander dropped the ball in the backfield, picked it up ran out of bounds, where he was hit hard by Georgia linebacker Kendrell Bell. The referee threw the flag as Bulldogs tackle Marcus Stroud pleaded and shouted at officials.

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