COLUMBIA, S.C.(AP) -- Stephen Garcia threw two touchdown passes as No. 13 South Carolina beat lower-division Furman 38-19 on Saturday night.
Freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore added 97 yards and his fifth rushing touchdown this season for the Gamecocks, who opened 3-0 for the first time in three years.
FCS Furman has a history of success against the big boys. The Paladins beat the Gamecocks 28-23 the last time the schools met - in 1982 - and played tough at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Tersoo Uhaa threw a halfback pass to Adam Mims for a 72-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that cut South Carolina's lead to 31-19.
Furman reached the Gamecocks 30 on its next series but cornerback Stephon Gilmore sealed the game with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Furman's Mims finished with 10 catches for 202 yards.
South Carolina has struggled with in-state FCS programs before.
It needed a last-minute interception to outlast Wofford 27-20 in 2006, then was outrushed by those same Terriers while winning 23-13 two years later.
Still, Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier improved to 40-0 all time against programs from outside the BCS automatic qualifier conferences.
The Paladins upset win here 28 years ago came because they took a 21-3 lead they never gave up. South Carolina made sure that didn't happen this time.
Garcia connected for a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tori Gurley in the right corner of the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead.
Freshman sensation Lattimore took over the next time South Carolina got the ball. He ran for 38 yards, including consecutive carries for 21, 4 and 4 yards to finish the drive with his fifth touchdown of the season.
Then things got sloppy for the Gamecocks. Garcia threw his first interception of the season early in the second quarter and sat the rest of the half.
A 30-yard catch by Ace Sanders was wiped out because of holding on left guard Rokevious Watkins, playing because starter Garrett Chisolm had attended his father's funeral.
It took the defense to re-fire the Gamecocks. Furman had first down at South Carolina's 7 and a chance to cut into its 14-3 lead. But quarterback Cody Worley was sacked by Travian Robertson, threw incomplete to escape Devin Taylor's rush and got stopped behind the line again by Melvin Ingram. Furman settled for Ray Early's second 37-yard field goal.
The Gamecocks quickly answered back. Shaw went 3-for-3 for 42 yards on the next drive, which ended with Brian Maddox's slanting 9-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks picked right back up after halftime when Garcia threw passes of 13 and 28 yards to Alshon Jeffery and had a nice pass to D.L. Moore at the back of the end zone to lead 28-6.
That's when things got hairy for South Carolina.
Garcia's attempt at a screen pass near his goal line was tipped and picked off for a 3-yard touchdown return by lineman Shawn Boone.
And after Spencer Lanning made a career-long 51-yard field goal, Furman responded with Uhaa's long scoring pass to Mims.