SEC Football

South Carolina's Elliott only undefeated interim coach

South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott charges up his players before an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

NEW YORK (AP) - Shawn Elliott shook hands, high-fived and fist-bumped fans as he made his way into Williams-Brice Stadium during the Gamecock Walk early Saturday afternoon. When he exited in the evening, he had shouted himself hoarse and joined his players in a celebratory dance in the locker room.

In between, South Carolina won its first Southeastern Conference game, 19-10 over Vanderbilt, to start the post-Steve Spurrier era.

Elliott was among four interim coaches appointed last week. He's the only one to win his debut so far.

North Texas' Mike Canales lost 55-28 at Western Kentucky on Thursday, and Southern California's Clay Helton lost 41-31 at Notre Dame on Saturday night. Maryland had an open date, so Mike Locksley will coach his first game this Saturday against Penn State at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

No one can dispute Elliott's passion for his new job, but that doesn't change the fact he's in charge of a flawed team. The Gamecocks (3-4, 1-4) rank at or near the bottom of the SEC in the major statistical categories and play their next two games on the road against Texas A&M and Tennessee. Elliott wasn't looking for style points against Vandy; just a win.

Spurrier, who resigned last week, wasn't on hand. He was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, appearing as the "guest picker" on ESPN's College Gameday show before the Michigan State-Michigan game. Yes, Spurrier picked the Gamecocks.

Athletic director Ray Tanner presented a game ball to Elliott in the locker room.

"I do know one thing," Elliott told the players, "and coach Tanner may not like this, but this whole team deserves a game ball. Every last one of you, because without every last one of us in this room, nothing would have been possible tonight."