From start to finish, South Carolina beat up and ultimately beat down the Georgia Bulldogs in a result that will shoot the Gamecocks up the college football polls higher than they ever have been.
No. 6 South Carolina made mince meat of No. 5 Georgia, 35-7, in Columbia, making it 10 straight victories for the Gamecocks.
”If we play like this, maybe we have a chance for a real big year,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. ”Maybe.”
Georgia was certain about what took place.
”First of all, the bad news is we took a whipping,” Bulldoges coach Mark Richt said. “The good news is we all took it together. It was a team loss.”
Indeed. Quarterback Connor Shaw threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, Ace Sanders had a dazzling 70-yard punt return touchdown and running back Marcus Lattimore accounted for 109 yards rushing in as thorough a whipping as South Carolina has ever had against a Top 10 opponent. And do not forget that the vaunted Gamecocks defense shut down Georgia’s offense that came into the game averaging 42 points a game.
”We definitely sent a message out to the whole country,” Lattimore said. ”It’s not the old South Carolina. We can play with y’all. We can play with anybody.”
Even Spurrier said, ”This was a special one It really was.”
South Carolina grounded ”Gurshall,” holding Georgia’s stellar freshmen Todd Gurly and Keith Marshall to 76 yards combined. The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1) finished with 224 yards, less than half their season’s average coming in.
Lattimore had a touchdown and went over the 100-yard mark for the third straight game. Coincidence the Gamecocks have posted their first-ever three game win streak in the series that began in 1894?
The Gamecocks 10th straight victory surpasses a school best set with their 9-0 start in 1984. That team reached No. 2 in the country and were poised for the top spot when No. 1 Nebraska lost, but South Carolina fell to Navy to lose perhaps its best-ever shot at a national champion.
This South Carolina team showed the brand of championship defense usually found on the SEC’s best teams.
Georgia came in with a league-leading 48.2 points and 536 yards a game of offense – and where shut down by the Gamecocks.
Gurley and Marshall kept pounding the line to little effect, held scoreless after combining for 294 yards and five TDs in last week’s win over Tennessee. UGA quarterback Aaron Murray was just as 11 of 31 for 109 yards. He was sacked twice and threw one interception. Yes, pure domination.