CHARLOTTE- Fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia came off the bench to run for two touchdowns and throw for another as he rallied the 12th-ranked Gamecocks past East Carolina 56-37 on Saturday night.
Marcus Lattimore added 112 yards and three TDs.
Garcia sat the first quarter as South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier started sophomore Connor Shaw. But the Gamecocks fumbled three times, including one by Shaw, and trailed 17-0 before Garcia entered the game. That's when the offense started to click and South Carolina took control of the season opener.
Garcia had a 32-yard touchdown run his first series and when Lattimore finished the Gamecocks next drive with a 4-yard scoring run, South Carolina fans at Bank of America Stadium began chanting Garcia's name in celebration.
Garcia opened the second half with a with a 3-yard TD pass to Ace Sanders and put the Gamecocks ahead for good moments later, 28-24, with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Gamecocks scored 42 points in the second half, winning the two schools' first meeting since 1999. USC scored on offense, defense and special teams.
USC (1-0) plays at Georgia next Saturday.