South Carolina has Georgia on its mind heading into Saturday's showdown

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South Carolina began thinking about Georgia shortly after winning its season-opening contest Thursday night against North Carolina.

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South Carolina is looking for its fourth consecutive win over Georgia. That success has helped the Gamecocks recruit in the Peach State.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
South Carolina is looking for its fourth consecutive win over Georgia. That success has helped the Gamecocks recruit in the Peach State.

As the No. 6 Gamecocks prepare to take on the No. 11 Bulldogs on Saturday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier played a little motivational music during his team’s practice Monday.

“We had Willie Nelson’s Georgia On My Mind blaring yesterday,” Spurrier said during his news conference Tuesday. “Most of our players thought it was Ray Charles, but it was Willie Nelson.”

All joking aside, Saturday’s game has big implications for both schools. The winner is presumed to have the upper hand in the race for the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division, but don’t tell the Gamecocks that.

South Carolina has beaten the Bulldogs three years running, but the Bulldogs have represented the East in the SEC championship game the past two seasons.

“We’re tied for the division lead right now,” said Spurrier, rattling off most of the SEC East teams. “We’ve also learned that the winner doesn’t necessarily win the Eastern Division.”

With 27 players from Georgia, the Gamecocks also see the annual showdown with the Bulldogs as a potential recruiting tool. Spurrier said Georgia produces the most Division I football players in the country.

“There’s so many players in greater Atlanta and the state of Georgia, if we can go in there and get our share, a two and a half hour, three hour drive from greater Atlanta, that’s going to help us,” he said.

Defensive end Chaz Sutton, who is from Savannah, agreed.

“Me being from Georgia, there was a lot of talk about UGA football,” Sutton said. “I didn’t get into it too much until I was in high school.

“It’s always great to go home and have the game on our shoulders and we came out with a ‘W.’ We have bragging rights when I go home.”

Spurrier, who tormented the Bulldogs during his coaching days at Florida, said the Gamecocks haven’t had enough success against Georgia to warrant extra attention. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 46-17-2.

“We haven’t beat them enough for them to circle South Carolina and say that’s the team we’ve got to beat,” Spurrier said.

South Carolina used a quick start to jump on Georgia early in a 35-7 victory last season in Columbia.

While the Gamecocks are going for an unprecedented fourth consecutive win, Spurrier is downplaying that streak.

“We haven’t talked too much about that,” he said. “We’ve talked about winning us a ball game and pursuing a lot of goals we have. All our players know what our goals are.”

SATURDAY’S GAMES

• S.C. State at Clemson, 12:30 p.m. (Fox Sports South)

• South Carolina at Georgia, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

• St. Francis (Pa.) at Georgia Southern, 6 p.m. (No TV)

ROSTER BREAKDOWNS

South Carolina has made strides in recruiting Georgia players, including QB Connor Shaw. The roster has featured 68 players from the Peach State over the past three years. A look at this year’s breakdown:

GAMECOCKS BULLDOGS
27Georgia88
44South Carolina15
12North Carolina4
21Other states23
Comments (4) Add comment
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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 09/03/13 - 04:36 pm
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“We haven’t beat them enough

“We haven’t beat them enough for them to circle South Carolina and say that’s the team we’ve got to beat,” Spurrier said."
Yeah, right! LOL! Steven Orenthal Spurrier HATES the University of Georgia. He knows it..his players know it..and the Georgia folks know it! This game IS circled on their calendar and has been way before their game with North Carolina. In fact, they've probably practiced for NC with Georgia on their mind the entire time!
It has eaten Spurrier and the Gamecock fans up that they've beaten Georgia these past 3 years and STILL didn't make it to the SEC championship game! I can't blame them. It would turn the guts of any college team fan to see that happen.
I will NOT put down Carolina or it's fans until after Georgia beats them at least 2 years in a row! As much as I hate to say it, Carolina has earned that much respect by beating the Dawgs 3 in a row.
With that being said, I hope Georgia gives Carolina a but.....uh-oh! Almost did it, didn't I??? I hope Georgia gives Carolina a great game on Saturday and comes out on the winning end!
(That was pretty good, wasn't it?? Bout as good as I can get, folks!)

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 09/03/13 - 04:58 pm
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Won't be happening

if Richt and company can't coach some discipline into the team and stop the stupid penalties.

d1zmljqg
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d1zmljqg 09/03/13 - 06:07 pm
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UGA will probably go into this game

down in the dumps after their loss to Clemson. South Carolina probably has a 14-17 point edge from the start. itsanotherday is correct about penalties; year after year UGA is right up there at the top in penalties and apparently Richt never seems concerned.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 09/03/13 - 06:31 pm
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I'm a diehard
Unpublished

Gamecock but a wounded Dawg is a scary opponent!

etlinks
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etlinks 09/04/13 - 07:32 am
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Georgia On My Mind

"I will NOT put down Carolina or it's fans until after Georgia beats them at least 2 years in a row!" The fans are not playing this game or any other game. Ignorant and rude fans are plentiful at both GA and USC so lets just worry about the teams and hope for a good safe game. GO Cocks!

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