Special teams play set up several short field positions for the Gamecocks' offense today in the win over Missouri. Junior wide receiver Ace Sanders was a big piece of that with six punt returns for 106 yards including a 49 yard return a few minutes into the second quarter that was picked as our Spurs Up Play of the Game.
"I caught it and got a chance to look at the defense. They came down pretty slow and the punter out-punted his coverage so it gave me a lot of time. I just scoped what was going on and took off. I ran into Damario Jeffery; it was fortunate I ran into him because it actually picked off another guy. Then I was able to stop again on another defender and make him miss and take it down the sidelines as fast as I could."
Explaining his thought process during a return, Sanders said:
"When I'm in the moment I just go...When I run I see me and the end zone. By all means just get there. I don't hear any of the fans, the refs, anything; I'm just locked in on the end zone."
While Sanders was stopped just short of the end zone, forced out of bounds at the Mizzou four yard line, the Gamecocks didn't need much more to score. Marcus Lattimore carried it twice to reach the end zone for Carolina's first touchdown of the game. The touchdown also gave Lattimore sole possession of the career rushing touchdowns record at Carolina with 32. He scored again later in the game to extend his record for total career touchdowns to 36 and career rushing TDs at 33.