The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Columbia, SC

South Carolina falls to Citadel 23-22

2868 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Citadel running back who scored the deciding touchdown against South Carolina used to sell peanuts during Gamecocks' games in high school. The kicker who kicked a career-long 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter is prepping for an Army career just like his grandfathers.

Now both are part of the lore for the South Carolina's military college.

Running back Tyler Renew and kicker Eric Goins helped the Southern Conference Bulldogs (8-3) to a stunning 23-22 win Saturday over South Carolina (3-8) of the Southeastern Conference.

"Most of my kids aren't going to play in the NFL. Most of my kids are going to be the leaders of our country," Citadel coach Mike Houston said.

The Citadel stuck to its triple option attack even as it sputtered in the middle of the game. Facing a third-and-1 with just over six minutes to go, the Gamecocks overcommitted. Citadel quarterback Dominique Allen changed the play, sending Renew outside where he ran 56 yards nearly untouched for the final margin.

Renew was selling peanuts at Williams-Brice Stadium during perhaps South Carolina's finest football moment with an upset of No. 1 Alabama in 2010. His 174 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries were a big part of the lowest point for South Carolina fans since going 0-11 in 2000.

"I really don't know what to think. I really just want to get out with my family and go hug and talk to them," said Renew, who went to a private high school in Columbia.

The Citadel still needed its defense, special teams and a key penalty to hang on.

South Carolina appeared to salvage this game on a miracle 94-yard fourth down touchdown to Pharoh Cooper with 44 seconds left. But the officials called a false start, saying all the Gamecocks weren't set.

"I saw a throw. I saw a catch. I saw a run for a touchdown. I didn't even know they threw a flag until somebody grabbed my shoulder," said South Carolina interim coach Shawn Elliott, now 1-4 since taking over after Steve Spurrier quit.

After Renew's touchdown, a South Carolina offense that scored touchdowns on two of three second half drives started marching again. But on fourth-and-1 with four minutes to go, Joe Crochet and Mark Thomas stopped David Williams for no gain.

It was the first win for a Football Championship Subdivision team over a SEC team since Jacksonville State beat Mississippi 49-48 in two overtimes in 2010.

The Bulldogs broke a 28-game losing streak to Football Bowl Subdivision teams, while it was the Gamecocks first loss to a lower division foe since The Citadel beat them in 1990.

When the final second ticked off, the Bulldogs ran all over the field before heading to the corner where their light blue-clad fans gathered. On the bubble for an FCS playoff bid before, The Citadel now has the best win by any lower division team in the country.

Any fans wanting to snap a picture of the score had to be quick. The scoreboard operator wiped it off within seconds of the final gun.

As special as that kick was along with the big win, Goins has bigger, more important plans.

"I'm very blessed to be an American," Goins said. "We live in a great country and I want to do my part to help keep it that way."

Cooper tried to rescue his team with 11 catches for 191 yards. Perry Orth was 28-of-43 for 367 yards, and tight end Jerell Adams had a career-best six catches for 105 yards.

But the Gamecocks struggled to get in the end zone and settled for three field goals from Elliott Fry. Their fans can only pin hopes now on knocking in-state rival No. 1 Clemson out of the playoff race next Saturday.