By Rixon Lane
In all likelihood, Saturday's blocked punt will go down as the biggest moment in Carlton Heard's Gamecock career.
A transfer from Gardner-Webb, Heard came up with a block that set up South Carolina's last-second touchdown to send Saturday's game to overtime, where the Gamecocks prevailed for their fifth win of the season.
Heard's heroics made us wonder…what other Gamecocks are remembered for one big play?
Brown was a tailback for South Carolina, but Gamecock fans will always remember him for a 1984 kickoff return. With the 8-0 Gamecocks leading 10th-ranked Florida State 24-7, Brown fielded the second half kickoff with his knee on the ground at the 1-yard line. The referees missed it, and Brown went 99 yards for a touchdown that set off a wild celebration in Columbia.
The former walk-on was a solid linebacker for the Gamecocks, but his big moment came on Halloween night in 1992. After Tennessee cut South Carolina's lead to 24-23, Johnny Majors decided to go for two and the win. Heath Shuler completed a pass to James Stewart in the flat, but Campbell made the tackle to give the Gamecocks their first win over the Vols since 1903.
Jenkins never had much success as a quarterback for the Gamecocks, but for one drive in 2001, he was unstoppable. Against Mississippi State, the JUCO-transfer came off the bench and led the Gamecocks on a 16-play, 74-yard drive that took over seven and a half minutes off the clock. Jenkins rushed 11 times for 75 yards and helped set up the game-winning field goal.
When Phil Petty went down with the Gamecocks trailing 19-13 late in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State in 2001, many thought that South Carolina's improbable 3-0 start would come to an end. But Kimrey, who had only thrown eight passes all season, told Lou Holtz he could "throw the fade," then lofted a touchdown pass on 4th-and-10 to give the Gamecocks the lead.
South Carolina trailed Kentucky 7-6 in 2004 when Holtz inserted Rathe, the fourth-string quarterback, into the game for the final drive. Rathe drove the Gamecocks 88 yards in 13 plays. With 1:28 remaining, Rathe found Troy Williamson in corner of the end zone from 19 yards out for the game-winning touchdown, giving South Carolina a 12-7 victory over the Wildcats.
The Gamecocks had never beaten Alabama and it looked like the Crimson Tide were going to win another matchup. South Carolina trailed 36-24 with nine minutes to go, but the Gamecocks fought back. Trailing 36-30, Phil Petty found Trafford for a 7-yard touchdown with 2:18 to go. The grab was Trafford's on touchdown of the year and gave the Gamecocks a 37-36 win.
After building a 28-0 lead over Ohio State in the 2002 Outback Bowl, the Buckeyes stormed back in the second half to tie the game. Sheldon Brown picked off a late pass, giving the Gamecocks a chance to win. As time expired, Daniel Weaver booted a 42-yard field goal to give South Carolina back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history.