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Ten Seasons of Spurrier: Ten Most Memorable Bowl Game Moments

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This week's TSOS travels the winding road of bowl game moments.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

10. 2005 Independence Bowl
Sure, we blew a 21-0 lead and this game probably has no place on a list commemorating memorable moments, but if you scope this game out to a broader sense, it's a celebration of success. It's us giving thanks to Spurrier's decision to coach the Gamecocks and a time to celebrate a first year which saw the team beat the likes of Tennessee and Florida on the way to a 7-4 regular season. While the bowl game ended sour, this was merely the laying of the foundation for greater things to come.

9. 2006 Liberty Bowl: Blake to Kenny, back-to-back
We'll stay in the mid-2000's for one more. In a game that saw a fireworks display of offense with over 700 combined passing yards between QBs Kevin Kolb and Blake Mitchell, we also became witness to the Kenny McKinley greatness through back-to-back 43-yard TD receptions that provided some second half seperation en route to the Gamecocks 44-36 victory over the Cougars, and Spurrier's first bowl victory as a Gamecock.

8. 2012 Capital One Bowl: Gilmore's two-point return

In one of many major momentum swings during the game, Stephon Gilmore raced over 90 yards to the other end of the field and return a blocked extra point all the way. More from this one in a minute.

7.  2014 Capital One Bowl: Shaw catches TD

In typical Spurrier fashion, this well executed trick play made the prophesy a reality as Connor Shaw became the best in school history. Shaw led the team with 5 TD's for the game and was granted all-time greatness by the HBC.

6. 2013 Outback Bowl: Ace returns a punt for TD...again

The blur of Sanders is one of a kind and this juking and jiving 63-yard punt return for a TD was just one more in a collegiate career of special teams breakouts.

5. 2014 Capital One Bowl: Skai Moore to seal the win...
...And cap off the greatest run in South Carolina football history with his second pick of the day.

4.  2013 Outback Bowl: The Hit and The Answer
We all know about The Hit, but what gets overlooked is the ensuing quick response of Shaw to Ace that put the Gamecocks in the lead during a hectic 4th quarter. In what put an end to a crazy sequence of referee snafu and unforeseen physical dominance, the duo connected in the back of the end zone with just enough Ace speed and toe-touching ability to make this one count.

3. 2014 Capital One Bowl: Mr. Clutch with the one-handed catch

To say Bruce ended his Gamecock career in style may be an understatment. #23 came up big with this one-handed catch on a fourth and seven late in the third quarter. It gave the Gamecocks the momentum needed to create three second half touchdowns and a 34-24 win.

2. 2012 Capital One Bowl: Alshon answers our Hail Mary


In the midst of going into the half down by 6, Shaw recovered from a slip in the pocket and launched a 50+ yard bomb down field as time expired in the second quarter into the extended hands of Alshon for one of the more spectacular catches in my recent memory. The high of this catch led to Alshon's controversial ejection and subsequent end to his career as a Gamecock, but I'll never forget this one.

1. 2014 Independence Bowl: Pharoh's circus catch to seal the win against Miami

You're probably laughing at my stupidity for ranking a catch that would seal an Independence Bowl victory as the number one bowl game moment in Spurrier's tenure as a Gamecock, but without this catch and the ensuing game sealing TD, Spurrier and the Gamecocks are looking ahead to 2015 in a far dimmer light if they go on to lose this game. Call it recency bias, but at the very least this game rejuvenated Spurrier's career for however much longer and created a slight wave of optimism heading into this year.