South Carolina Wins Opener

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Brian Maddox had a short touchdown run
while Stephen Garcia completed a key third-down pass in the final
minutes to help South Carolina beat North Carolina State 7-3 on
Thursday night.
Garcia threw for just 148 yards on a frustrating night for both
offenses, but the sophomore came through with a 33-yard completion
to Moe Brown that allowed the Gamecocks to run out the final 2½
minutes of the game. It gave South Carolina a second straight
season-opening victory against the Wolfpack, who were shutout 34-0
in last year's meeting and failed to reach the end zone in the
Maddox scored from a yard out in the first quarter and finished
with 66 yards rushing, which ended up being about the most reliable
form of offense for typically pass-happy coach Steve Spurrier.
Garcia completed 13 of 22 passes with an interception that gave the
Wolfpack a needed burst of momentum and led to N.C. State's only
scoring drive.
It was just one of numerous mistakes for the Gamecocks, the most
costly being an offensive pass interference penalty on Tori Gurley
that negated his 38-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
There was also a low snap that killed a second-quarter field-goal
attempt and a missed 27-yard kick from Spencer Lanning in the
Then again, the Gamecocks had plenty of wiggle room considering
the how defense bottled up Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack's
offense all night.
N.C. State managed just 133 yards, with Wilson - who last year
became the first freshman named first-team all-Atlantic Coast
Conference quarterback - completing just 12 of 23 passes for 74
yards while facing steady pressure from the speedy South Carolina
pass rush. He got no help from the Wolfpack's ground game, either,
with Toney Baker's first-quarter fumble setting up Maddox's early
TD run.
Still, the Wolfpack had a chance for the go-ahead score, pushing
to South Carolina's 32 with about 4 minutes left. Wilson evaded the
rush and lofted the ball toward Jay Smith in the end zone despite
the reserve receiver being in double coverage, but the ball slipped
over both defenders and bounced off Smith's hands near the back of
the end zone.
That drive ended with Wilson's fourth-down incompletion, and
Garcia soon found Brown behind two Wolfpack defenders to seal the
Wilson set an ACC record with 272 consecutive passes without an
interception. Florida State's Drew Weatherford held the record with
270 set in 2007.

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