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Vanderbilt Upset: Fallout

Time to wrap this loss up and move on to the Orange Crush.

Mistakes. Regrets? Well, let's not go so far as to call them regrets, but Spurrier has admitted a few mistakes.

Spurrier second-guessed his decision to alternate quarterbacks Chris Smelley and Mitchell, who combined to throw three interceptions, two inside the Commodores' 36-yard line.

"Anytime it doesn't work out very well, you always say, 'Oops, shouldn't have done that,'" said Spurrier, adding that the shuffling did not affect the outcome. ...

USC attempted a season-high 43 passes against Vanderbilt after falling behind 17-0 after the first quarter. The Gamecocks had a season-low 22 carries, only 12 of which were designed running plays.

Fifth-year tailback Cory Boyd averaged 9.8 yards on five rushes; junior Mike Davis has 11 carries the past two weeks.

"There's no question we need to try to get back to what we were doing earlier in the year with Mike and Cory getting a whole bunch of carries. That's what we did at the latter part of last year, also," Spurrier said.

New starter?Meanwhile, Tommy Beecher could compete for the starting job against the Vols. SAVIOR OF THE PROGRAM Stephen Garcia? Not so much.

The Gamecocks might add a third quarterback to the mix. Redshirt sophomore Tommy Beecher, who has not played since the S.C. State game on Sept. 15, could see action because of his mobility. ...

Whichever quarterback emerges will have a chance "to go the distance" at Tennessee, according to Spurrier. Smelley, who is 4-1 as a starter, said it was tough to get in a rhythm against the Commodores. ...

Nor is dual-threat freshman Stephen Garcia an option behind center.

"He doesn't know enough right now to go play," said Spurrier, who plans to redshirt Garcia. "He needs a good full spring practice to see what he can do."

Silver lining. Sort of. The Gamecocks lead the nation in pass defense again. But not because they're that great.

USC reclaimed the top spot nationally in pass defense, in part because Vanderbilt attempted 16 passes. The Gamecocks, who allow 145.9 passing yards per game, are ahead of Ohio State (146.1 ypg.) and Clemson (146.7.).

A real silver lining. The Post and Courier finds one in Emanuel Cook.

The 19-year-old safety again led a superb defensive effort that gave USC's awful offense every chance to get back in the game. Vanderbilt didn't score after the first quarter. Cook had 11 tackles, leading the team in that department for the fifth time in six games. He delivered the hit of the game in the first quarter when he bodyslammed Vandy quarterback Mackenzi Adams.

It's something, I guess.

But it's time to wrap up the sulking. On to the Orange Crush.