COLUMBIA — South Carolina got off to a fast start against Georgia thanks to a key play from Damiere Byrd.
On the second play of the game, Connor Shaw threw a deep ball down the right side to Byrd, a sophomore wide receiver. Georgia free safety Bacarri Rambo drifted back and leaped up for the ball. When Rambo came down, Byrd stripped him and fell to the turf with the ball. The 42-yard completion set up a Shaw touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington three plays later.
SHARP SHAW: Shaw, the Gamecocks junior quarterback, entered the contest with a 78 percent completion rate. He completed five of his first seven passes, with two touchdown strikes, to stake South Carolina to a 14-0 lead.
MISFIRING MURRAY: With his first pass of the game, a tipped ball at the line picked off by DeVonte Hollimon, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray threw an interception for the 19th game of his 33-game career.
RECORD-SETTING: With the first top-10 matchup in Columbia, the game between No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina drew a great deal of interest. The standing-room only crowd of 85,199 fans set a new record for most fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.
TO THE HOUSE: South Carolina’s Ace Sanders returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown with 5:18 left in the first quarter. Sanders entered the game third in the Southeastern Conference with a 12.9-yard punt return average, including a 49-yard return against Missouri earlier this season.
Sanders returned a punt for a touchdown for the first time since doing so against East Carolina last season.
The Bulldogs allowed a punt return for a touchdown for the first time since the 2011 SEC Championship game, when Louisiana State University’s Tyrann Mathieu went 62 yards.