Gamecocks answer questions with convincing win over Bulldogs

South Carolina 35, Georgia 7

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COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s football program and fan base woke up Saturday morning with all eyes looking at the Gamecocks.

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South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore rushed for 109 of the Gamecocks' 230 yards on the ground. The junior now has a 3-0 record against Georgia.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore rushed for 109 of the Gamecocks' 230 yards on the ground. The junior now has a 3-0 record against Georgia.

SLIDESHOW: GAME ACTION

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SLIDESHOW: FANS

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Could the Gamecocks slow down Georgia’s offense? Could they overcome a history of futility on the big stage? And, simply put, were the undefeated Gamecocks for real?

The answer to all of those questions was an emphatic yes.

In the biggest game in Williams-Brice Stadium in three decades, No. 6 South Carolina delivered a strong and powerful message with a 35-7 victory over No. 5 Georgia.

“Obviously this was a special one, there’s no question about it, beating Georgia for our 10th in a row and beating three years in a row a school that used to own you,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. “They can’t say they own us anymore, that’s for sure.”

South Carolina continues to make history under Spurrier. Saturday night’s win produced the following:

• 10th consecutive win, longest in school history

• Third consecutive win over Georgia for the first time

• Biggest margin of victory (28) against Georgia, previously 17

• 12th consecutive win against Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rivals

“I knew it was going to be a special one if we won,” Spurrier said. “School record of 10 in a row. If you don’t do it now, when do you do it? We had to try to do it tonight.”

South Carolina’s previous forays into the national spotlight have seldom ended well. The 1984 Gamecocks beat Florida State to improve to 9-0 and rose to No. 2 in the nation, but suffered a stunning defeat at Navy the following week.

In 1988, the Gamecocks started 6-0 but a steroid scandal sent the team off the tracks.

Even the 2010 team, which upset No. 1 Alabama at Williams-Brice, lost the following week at unheralded Kentucky.

“I think we’ve received just about all the hype we could for this game, and we handled it perfectly,” said Connor Shaw, who was 6 of 10 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. “We had a lot of emotion coming into this game. Intensity was up during our practices, and our senior leaders got us ready as well as our coaches.”

South Carolina couldn’t have scripted a better start. The Gamecocks took the opening kick and drew blood on its second play when Shaw hit Damiere Byrd for a 42-yard gain. Three plays later, Shaw found Bruce Ellington wide open in the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead.

DeVonte Holloman intercepted a tipped Aaron Murray pass on Georgia’s first possession, and Shaw drove the Gamecocks downfield with ease again. He connected with Rory Anderson for another touchdown pass to put South Carolina up 14-0.

After another defensive stop, Ace Sanders fielded a punt at his 30, broke some tackles at midfield and sprinted the rest of the way into the end zone to put the Gamecocks up 21-0.

“I actually dropped it,” Sanders said of the punt. “Luckily they held their blocks long enough for me to hit the seam.”

Georgia’s most promising drive of the second half ended at the South Carolina 2 when the Gamecocks held the Bulldogs on four cracks from inside the 5.

Marcus Lattimore scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter to put South Carolina up 28-0. That score was set up by a 62-yard completion from Shaw to D.L. Moore.

Lattimore finished the game with 24 carries for 109 yards.

South Carolina capped its scoring when Shaw ran into the end zone untouched from 7 yards out.

That capped an 89-yard drive that lasted 14 plays and consumed nine minutes and 28 seconds.

Georgia, which entered the game having scored at least 41 points in each game, got on the board with 1:55 to play.

“It stings,” Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said. “We’ve got to get back, watch the film, make corrections and get better. It’s still a long season to go.”

South Carolina never gave Georgia’s talented running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall a chance. The two were held to a combined 76 yards.

“Our defense again was sensational,” Spurrier said. “We felt like we could slow them down. We haven’t given up a whole lot of touchdowns this year.

Dating to the start of the 2010 season, Georgia is now 2-8 against ranked opponents.

“We’ve got to remember this loss, remember how it feels,” said Georgia defensive back Sanders Commings, a former Westside star. “It’s heartbreaking.”

DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING

Georgia entered Saturday’s game leading the SEC in scoring offense while South Carolina topped the league in scoring defense.

 SEASONSATURDAY
Offense Avg. Points/Game48.27
Rushing yards248.8115
Passing yards287.2109
Avg. yards/game536.0224
Defense avg. points/game22.035
Rushing yards147.8230
Passing yards222.4162
Opponent avg. yards/game370.2392

WHEN THEY’RE BOTH RANKED

This week’s game marked the eighth time Georgia and South Carolina played while both were nationally-ranked.

YEARLOCATIONRESULT
1959ColumbiaNo. 16 S. Carolina 30, No. 13 UGA 14
1980AthensNo. 4 UGA 13, No. 14 S. Carolina 10
1983AthensNo. 16 UGA 31, No. 14 S. Carolina 13
1988ColumbiaNo. 14 S. Carolina 23, No. 6 UGA 10
2001AthensNo. 21 S. Carolina 14, No. 25 UGA 9
2003AthensNo. 8 UGA 31, No. 25 S. Carolina 7
2010ColumbiaNo. 24 S. Carolina 17, No. 22 UGA 6
2012ColumbiaNo. 6 South Carolina 35, No. 5 UGA 7

Source: www.gamecocksonline.com

Comments (15) Add comment
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etlinks
21965
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etlinks 10/07/12 - 07:34 am
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“It’s great to be a Gamecock”

What a game!!! All I will say is I want a certain poster to keep up the good work with his/her predictions.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 10/07/12 - 07:39 am
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It was a thing of beauty.

It was a thing of beauty.

Riverman1
86998
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Riverman1 10/07/12 - 08:43 am
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Never seen a crowd like that.

Never seen a crowd like that. Brent Musburger said the same thing. Carolina plays LSU next week and they are not looking as good as we thought. This could be THE year.

Young Fred
17860
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Young Fred 10/07/12 - 10:25 am
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LSU, then Florida

If they beat LSU and Florida, I don't care what happens the rest of the season, they deserve a #1 ranking.

Young Fred
17860
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Young Fred 10/07/12 - 10:26 am
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/07/12 - 10:27 am
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Georgia, of course, lost. So

Georgia, of course, lost. So did FL State and LSU. Carolina should jump to number 4.

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/07/12 - 12:17 pm
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They will...
Unpublished

have no chance against Alabama..they are a good team but not a great team. I wouldn't be shocked if Florida beat them.

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 12:51 pm
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Then, father, what does

Then, father, what does that make UGA?

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/07/12 - 12:53 pm
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Overrated!!!
Unpublished

Like they are every year!!

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/08/12 - 02:41 am
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And USC can't attain that

Comment change?

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 01:03 pm
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I happen to remember that

I happen to remember that when I was a UGA fan, they were not exactly a powerhouse.

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/07/12 - 01:06 pm
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Looks like they can!
Unpublished

Looks like they can!

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 01:10 pm
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Thank you, F4ther. Sorry I

Thank you, F4ther. Sorry I misread your name.

kiwiinamerica
950
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kiwiinamerica 10/07/12 - 01:17 pm
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Let's not get ahead of ourselves
Unpublished

I like South Carolina and wish them well but I have an instinctive impulse to pull for any team which is playing a Steve Spurrier-coached side, even if it is the Taliban.

Spurrier is a Class A jerk and always has been.

Oh and about the LSU game....you'll be facing a wounded LSU, out to restore some pride on its home field. I wouldn't pencil in the #1 ranking just yet. It's one thing to beat up on the perpetually underachieving, toothless Dawgs on your home field and quite another to get physical with the Tigers in Baton Rouge.

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/07/12 - 01:48 pm
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It's ok...
Unpublished

I knew what you meant and knew you meant no disrespect!!

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 06:47 pm
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1
That 1988 game in the stats

That 1988 game in the stats above: my son got a lot of credit for that win for being on the field in pre-game practicises being on the scout team as a QB. He had been to QB camp at GA in 87 and he knew what they were teaching was not what the defensive coach was trying to get his defense to defend.

Guess who the head D coach was: Al Groh. And to think my son made him look good and for him to get hired years later at GT. His defense can't stop anybody.

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 06:42 pm
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1
I forgot to say that he told

I forgot to say that he told the coach who was prepping the defense for he GA offense that what he was saying was not exactly the way GA was doing it. Give some credit to the coach. He listened to the freshman invited walk-on QB.

Guess he doesn't have any knowledgeable freshmen to listen to.

Riverman1
86998
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Riverman1 10/07/12 - 05:20 pm
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KSL, great story. I remember

KSL, great story. I remember you said your son played QB there.

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 07:00 pm
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Thank you, River. For years

Thank you, River. For years his Liberty Bowl Jersey resided with us. I think I finally took it to him, saying, "Don't you want this?"

KSL
134593
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KSL 10/07/12 - 07:15 pm
1
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Not here, but privately I can

Not here, but privately I can tell you a lot of information about the program under Sparky, who came on the next year.

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