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August 24, 2012

Total Recall: 2011's top plays, No. 7



As the start of the 2012 season nears, GamecockCentral.com's David Cloninger takes a look back at the top plays of 2011, South Carolina's finest year. The No. 1 play from last year will be revealed on Aug. 30, USC's season-opener.

NO. 7: Super Markett

The game: Florida at No. 15 South Carolina, Nov. 12

The scene: South Carolina 14, Florida 12, 11:23, fourth quarter

The cast: Cornerback Marty Markett, Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett

The setup: Seeking to become 5-0 against the SEC East and win six SEC games in a season for the first time, the Gamecocks were right there but couldn't put Florida away. The offense continued to struggle but the defense was shutting Florida down, until the Gators mounted a drive behind option quarterback Brissett.

Brissett twisted his way through the run defense for a touchdown with 11:23 to play, and Florida, sensing that it could be a completely new ballgame, decided to go for two points. Brissett again resumed his place under center and the tired USC defense lined up, its back against the wall one more time.

The play: Brissett faked the handoff and rolled right, but immediately faced Devin Taylor charging at him with bad intentions. Brissett pump-faked and Taylor bit, leaping to block the pass, only to fly past as Brissett tucked and continued to run toward the right sideline.

His blockers failing him, Brissett then ran away from Antonio Allen, stiff-arming Allen's helmet to the ground as Allen dove and missed. Brissett skipped out of Allen's clutches as he pawed at the ground, only to see D.J. Swearinger coming for him.

Flashing back to the film that all Gators love to watch, Brissett channeled Tim Tebow and tried a jump pass, intended for Quinton Dunbar in the back of the end zone as Swearinger closed the gap. Dunbar was too far back, almost out-of-bounds, and had to come back for the ball - but he was far too late.

Markett, a track star-turned-football walk-on who had been placed on scholarship for his final year, never saw a more wide-open pass. He leaped and easily plucked the pass, running a few steps as Dunbar tackled him to end the threat.



The aftermath: Markett's pick preserved the lead and dealt Florida another blow to its confidence. Connor Shaw almost immediately found Ace Sanders for a 46-yard pass, and the Gamecocks turned to Brandon Wilds to get them in position. Jay Wooten booted a field goal for a 17-12 lead that the Gamecocks' defense, once again fired up, held onto.



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