By: Madison Tucker
With victory also came a sad loss for the Gamecocks on Saturday, as they rolled past Tennessee in the ninth game of the season. The Gamecocks came out on the field hoping for the win. South Carolina started the game playing like they had at the start of the season. On the first play of the game, Connor Shaw threw a 33-yard pass to Ellington, but Tennessee retaliated in the end zone. The Gamecocks played tough throughout the first quarter, but allowed Tennessee to score once.
At the start of the second quarter Shaw threw for 26 yards to Anderson, who scored a touchdown, bringing the game to 14-7. Just before halftime, Marcus Lattimore was hit in the knee by a Tennessee defender’s helmet. The clock stopped, and in a great show of sportsmanship, the Tennessee players came back to the field to check on Lattimore. Tears filled the eyes of many players and fans, as Lattimore was carried off the field to be taken to the hospital.
Doctors determined that Lattimore broke his femur, dislocated his knee, and snapped all the surrounding tendons. They quickly started work on the running back, and Coach Spurrier, who visited Lattimore on Sunday, is hopeful for his return in 2014.
After the loss of Lattimore, the Gamcocks did their best to play as strong as they had in the first half. It took South Carolina 11 plays to move 80 yards, which included Shaw making a 24-yard pass to Sanders to take a 35-21 lead. Adam Yates kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter, giving South Carolina the victory.
For many, it is hard to be happy about the win with Lattimore hurt so badly. Lattimore is now on his way to recovery, and has a good attitude despite having spent his 21st birthday in the hospital. On Monday, USC’s student council held an event for Marcus’s friends, family, and fans to come sign cards and give him well wishes on a day that was supposed to be full of joy. All hearts and prayers go out to Marcus Lattimore and his family for a speedy recovery.