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September 11, 2010

Five Questions Following The Game

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Five Questions

1. Will Marcus Lattimore wear down with so much use?
It's a legitimate query. The true freshman carried 37 times on Saturday in just his second career game. While he's used to it -- he was a focal part of his offense at Byrnes High School -- and conditioned to take it, the heavy dependence on Lattimore and the shunning of almost every other running back was concerning. "Today we needed him to carry 37," coach Steve Spurrier said. "If we need him to against Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida or even Furman, he came here to run the ball."

"(The pace) is what I'm used to," Lattimore said. "I did it in high school."

2. Does Stephen Garcia need to throw often to be at the top of his game?
When Garcia gets into a rhythm, he's hard to stop, as evidenced by his play against Southern Miss last week. Against Georgia, Garcia seemed shaky, floating some passes and overthrowing Jason Barnes on a wide-open touchdown. Spurrier said it was more that Garcia was hesitant on Saturday when he wasn't against USM, and that was the reason. Garcia said he had a slight right hand injury after getting it caught in a facemask. If the running game is as effective as it was on Saturday, Garcia doesn't need to be the man, but there will come a time when he has to complete a deep ball, and he has to show he can do it.

3. Will Stephon Gilmore be challenged this season?
USC's first two opponents have each stayed far away from the sophomore cornerback, throwing to the other side of the field. It's a smart move -- the word on Gilmore has been out for a while. He shrugged after the Georgia game and said he would be ready for it if anybody ever threw, but that it might get kind of boring in the meantime. He still managed to get two tackles and recover a fumble.

4. Will Lattimore's success hurt USC's other backs?
Brian Maddox was the only other back to get a carry, taking two carries at the end of the first half when the Gamecocks were running the clock. Otherwise, it was all Lattimore. Kenny Miles played but did not have a carry, as did Jarvis Giles. The team is winning, which is hopefully the message each takes, but everybody wants to play.

5. Is South Carolina that good?
Spurrier said that it may have been the first time an opposing coach told him that USC had a heck of a team, after Mark Richt expressed that sentiment on the field. Spurrier said he likes the team's commitment level but it's far too early to begin trumpeting greatness. "I said we may have a heck of a team," Spurrier said. "But we don't know yet."

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