Ace Sanders electrifies a nation with dazzling punt return

Ace Sanders had arguably the best highlight reel in last Saturday's full college football slate in providing a key spark that helped ignite South Carolina to its biggest victory of the season.

For his scintillating 70-yard punt return for a touchdown that played a huge role in South Carolina’s 35-7 triumph over previously undefeated Georgia, Sanders was named the co-SEC Special Teams Player of The week.It was the second career touchdown for the 5-8. 175 pound Manatee High product, who is ranked first in the SEC and 15th nationally averaging 15.47 yards per return. The junior is third in the nation in total punt return yardage with 263 yards (min 1.2 returns per game).

“I didn’t field it cleanly and dropped it and had to scramble to pick it up. I saw the lane open up and tried to hit it as fast as I could,” Sanders said in his post game press conference. “I think I probably provide a pretty big spark (on punt returns) because I can see when I am about to go out there (to field a punt) the whole team is behind me and just tell me to put it in the endzone ‘we know you can do it.’ “I do my best and when I actually do it I see how the stadium erupts and the players respond and they just come out and start playing and that’s when I know special teams is pretty big part of the team.”

It was the second punt return for a touchdown in Sander’s career and his fourth TD this season with his three others coming on pass receptions. Last season he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown against East Carolina and has nine career TDs.

The victory propelled South Carolina to third in the AP and USA Today Coaches polls marking its highest ranking since 1984 when the Gamecocks were second with a 9-0 record.

But South Carolina has two big back to back challenges coming up. The Gamecocks face AP No. 9 LSU Saturday and then travel to Florida to play the fourth ranked Gators.

To check out Sanders' electrifying run, go to Alan dell's blog at