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3-point stance: Lattimore shows rust

1. South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore was never the fastest running back in the country, and usually relied on his strength and stamina to punish opponents late in the game. Lattimore, who is trying to come back after tearing the ACL in his left knee in October, didn't look like the same kind of runner in No. 9 South Carolina's closer-than-expected victory against Vanderbilt on Thursday night. Although Lattimore ran for 110 yards with two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 17-13 victory against the Commodores, he seemed unsure about cutting on his surgically repaired knee and went down on first contact more often than he did before. But Lattimore only figures to get stronger and more confident as the season goes on.

2. While the Gamecocks certainly didn't look like a top-10 team in Nashville -- some of the ugliness was probably the result of quarterback Connor Shaw playing with an injured shoulder -- it might be exactly the result they needed. College football teams typically improve the most from Week 1 to Week 2, and now Steve Spurrier can go back to Columbia, S.C., and coach his team up. The result also will help keep his players grounded. Still, the Gamecocks have some serious issues on the offensive line and in the secondary, where they're trying to replace three departed starters.

3. Thursday night's 30-6 loss at BYU certainly wasn't the debut Mike Leach expected at Washington State. The Cougars produced only 224 yards of offense, including minus-5 rushing. Quarterback Jeff Tuel completed 30 of 45 passes for 229 yards with two touchdowns, but never seemed fully confident running Leach's offense. At Texas Tech, Leach's teams averaged more than 37 points per game over 10 seasons. Washington State's six points were the fewest scored by a Leach-coached team since the Red Raiders scored six in a loss at Colorado in 2006. Leach is a really good coach, but he's not a miracle worker. It's going to take time to build the Cougars into a Pac-12 contender.