Eastern Michigan Falls at South Carolina, 41-6

Updated 9/16/2000
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    Eastern Michigan's John White (34) is taken down by South Carolina's Andre Offing during the first quarter Saturday night, Sept. 16, 2000, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) (September 16, 2000) -- Eastern Michigan lost in Columbia, S.C. 41-6 to the Gamecocks of South Carolina.

    Derek Watson ran for a career-high 215 yards and three touchdowns for South Carolina.

    South Carolina got off to a shaky start, including a fumble on its first play and an errant snap, before scoring two touchdowns in 20 seconds and 24 points total in the second quarter.

    The Eagles (1-2) took advantage of Ryan Brewer's fumble on South Carolina's first play to set up a 45-yard field goal by Toller Starnes.

    But after that, the Gamecocks offense took over, propelling the team to heights never imagined during their 0-11 season in 1999. South Carolina has scored 93 points in three games, six more than the Gamecocks had last year.

    South Carolina's Derek Watson, center, is chased by Eastern Michigan's Elliot Daniels (56) and Ken Philpot (22) during the first quarter Saturday night, Sept. 16, 2000, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)

    Watson has become the Gamecocks' biggest weapon. He has rushed for 435 yards in three games, surpassing his total of 394 yards in all of 1999. Watson also has run for seven touchdowns this season, three more than the team had all of last year.

    James Adkisson's eight catches for 100 yards balanced the Gamecocks' attack. Phil Petty was 19-for-30 for 240 yards, and the Gamecocks also got an 80-yard scoring run by Trevin Smith.

    Eagles quarterback Walter Church continues to chase Charlie Batch's school record for passing yards. His 111 yards through the air leaves him 232 yards short of Batch's 7,592 career passing yards.

    Watson and Adkisson accounted for all but 10 of the 64 yards in the Gamecocks' first scoring drive. Watson had a 32-yard run on the drive that ended with Andrew Pinnock's 6-yard run.

    On the next play from scrimmage, South Carolina linebacker Kenneth Harvey yanked the ball from Eagles running back Ashantti Watson and made a one-armed fumble recovery.

    Watson gave South Carolina a 14-3 lead on a 16-yard run.

    A 7-yard touchdown run by Watson and a 22-yard field goal by Reid Bethea gave the Gamecocks a 24-3 lead at halftime.

    Starnes kicked a 23-yard field goal for Eastern Michigan and Bethea had a 37-yard field goal for the Gamecocks in the fourth quarter.