Number Two – 2000 South Carolina:
Some of you may not remember this game, but I sure do and like it was yesterday. The Bulldogs took off to Columbia, SC to take on the Gamecocks and were 2-0 at the time. Late in the game the Bulldogs led the Gamecocks and State knocked quarterback Phil Petty out of the game. But his backup came in and hit Jermale Kelly on fourth down for the go ahead score and eventual win. This game was paramount in that season because if State had held on, they would have been 5-0 heading into LSU. State did lose to LSU that year as well in Baton Rouge, in overtime, but it was this loss that was the first of a few that were heartbreaks in 2000; a year the Bulldog did well, but had so many more opportunities.
Here’s the official game recap.
"COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) — An improbable play helped South Carolina continue its improbable season. Backup Eric Kimrey threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jermale Kelly on fourth down with 4:41 remaining as South Carolina remained unbeaten with a 23-19 victory over 25th-ranked Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference matchup. On the play before Kimrey’s touchdown pass, the Gamecocks lost starting quarterback Phil Petty to a right ankle injury. A junior who had thrown eight passes this season, Kimrey did not have a chance to warmup. But on 4th-and-10 from the Bulldogs’ 25, Kimrey lofted a beautiful pass down the left sideline that hit Kelly in stride, giving South Carolina a 20-19 advantage. Kelly had a huge game, catching nine passes for 123 yards. “I threw one pass. Everyone else played 70 or 80 plays,” Kimrey said. “The defense played great. They kept us in the game.” “Kimrey said he could throw the fade,” South Carolina coach Lou Holtz said. “I like to hear guys say he can do it. If he says he can do it, I’m all for it.” “They made the plays and we didn’t,” Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill said. “We should have had 21 more points but didn’t. Give South Carolina credit because they did a great job.” Before leaving with his injury, Petty helped put the Gamecocks in position by completing a 35-yard pass to James Adkisson that moved the ball to the Mississippi State 25. After two plays that went nowhere, Petty was hit hard by a pair of defenders on third down and came down awkwardly on his ankle."