Marcus Lattimore: It's 'hard to top' last week's win over Georgia
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL
South Carolina has pulled off a handful of upsets over the last decade, but two definitely standout. The first is the home upset of No. 1 Alabama and the other being last week’s win over Georgia in Athens.
Both of those wins have something in common, though: Marcus Lattimore was on the sidelines. And, before he was inducted into the Hall of Fame Thursday, he weighed in on which one he thought was bigger.
“Both of those are pretty big, but this year, with where we’ve been and the expectation of us going out there and, quite frankly, not winning, it’s hard to top last week,” Lattimore said. “It really is.”
Lattimore was a freshman in 2010 when the Gamecocks upset Alabama 35-21 at Williams-Brice, rushing for 93 yards and racking up three total touchdowns in a win that kick started the best stretch in program history.
The Gamecocks did some things similar to that Alabama upset, stopping the run behind a dominant defensive performance.
“It had that same type of feel to it, that Alabama game, and even that Florida game in 2010,” Lattimore said of the game. “They’re all unique in their own ways. That was an SEC game. It was defense, it was running the ball, It was stopping the run. It was what you wanted to see when you turn on an SEC game. I was so happy to be in that venue at that time. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.”
Saturday, though, he was on the sideline watching his alma mater upset the Bulldogs as part of the football team’s staff.
Lattimore heads up the team’s Beyond Football program where he serves as a mentor to the current players to prepare them for life after the game ends.
He said one of the reasons this win was big for the program was because of how the season started this year.
“Man, I was so happy for them. I was happy myself. Selfishly, I was overjoyed. You see how hard they work,” Lattimore said. “Did the season go as planned? No, but nothing ever does in life. Nothing ever goes the way we want it to. to see them humble themselves and come together after all the turmoil they faced this season from outside the locker room, it was a beautiful sight. They deserve it."
But he wasn’t the only former Gamecock enjoying arguably the biggest win in program history.
As the Gamecocks were pulling off the upset, Rashad Faison was pacing around a room in Atlanta, Georgia watching the game on television as Parker White hit his field goal and Rodrigo Blankenship missed his to seal the win.
It brought Faison back to his playing career where he beat Georgia twice, including once in 2000 when Georgia came to Williams-Brice ranked No. 9 in the country.
“It’s crazy. I talked to a friend of mine and said we should go to the game in Georgia. They were like, I don’t know if we should go. I said, ‘I’m telling you, there’s something about last week. It’s going to be special,’” Faison said. “Then she’s calling me from the festival in Greenville saying I don’t know what to do, but we should have went. I don’t know what came over me but I feel like something was going to be different. Every now and again we run up on Georgia and give them that two-piece. I was so happy."