Dogs prepare for battle

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ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia fans have viewed Steve Spurrier through the years as enemy No. 1 and the devil incarnate in a visor.

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Georgia coach Mark Richt (left) said he is concerned about South Carolina's offense despite the Gamecocks' woes at QB in their first two games. The teams will play in Columbia on Saturday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Georgia coach Mark Richt (left) said he is concerned about South Carolina's offense despite the Gamecocks' woes at QB in their first two games. The teams will play in Columbia on Saturday.

The South Carolina coach could be taking on the role of a sympathetic figure this week, but that probably won't keep the Bulldog Nation from wanting to kick him while he's down.

Spurrier's Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) are coming off their second consecutive loss to Vanderbilt and their sixth in seven games. Spurrier apologized to fans on his TV show after the 24-17 defeat.

Spurrier is 22-17 in his fourth season in Columbia heading into Saturday's game against No. 2 Georgia (2-0, 0-0). After going 122-27-1 with six SEC titles and a national championship in 12 seasons at Florida, some observers of the game are wondering if it has passed him by.

"With the way we play offense, you can say that," Spurrier said Sunday. "Two years ago, our offense was pretty good but it ain't been very good lately, that's for sure. That's part of the game. If your team doesn't play well, you're not a very good coach and I'm not a very good coach right now. That's just the way life is. When I had a bunch of guys running around scoring a bunch of points, I was a real good coach."

The Gamecocks have thrown more interceptions than any Bowl Subdivision team (six) and are tied for the most sacks given up (nine). They'll try to rebound from giving up 21 second-half points to Vanderbilt after going six quarters without giving up a touchdown.

"It seems like coach Spurrier's always had a real consistent triggerman, and I think they're just still looking for that right now," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I can promise you we're concerned about coach Spurrier's offense. We always have been. We have the ultimate respect for him."

Tommy Beecher started South Carolina's first game and Chris Smelley the second. They've combined for six interceptions in 66 pass attempts and just two plays of more than 24 yards this year.

"We've got two quarterbacks that have not really distinguished themselves from each other," said Spurrier, who will decide on his starter after the week of practice.

South Carolina leads the SEC in total defense (181.5 yards per game), but it's the offense that has struggled. Spurrier said All-SEC receiver Kenny McKinley could play Saturday despite a strained hamstring. Offensive lineman Jamon Meredith will return after being forced to sit out the first two games because of an NCAA eligibility ruling.

South Carolina dealt Georgia one of its two losses last season, 16-12 in Athens. Richt is 5-2 against South Carolina, but five of the games have been decided by six points or less.

"Shoot, when we play those guys, it's been a battle royale, and they've been relatively low-scoring games," Richt said. "I'm not going to be preparing our team for anything different than that."

Reach Marc Weiszer at marc.weiszer@morris.com.

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sctex
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sctex 09/08/08 - 01:50 am
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Gamecocks 19 dogs 14

Gamecocks 19 dogs 14

bigpoppa_37
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bigpoppa_37 09/08/08 - 03:55 am
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I feel really bad for the

I feel really bad for the Gamecocks this year, I mean I really do. Just think about this and what is going on Coach Richt's mind along with the rest of the coaches and what will beat stake after Ohio State upset's USC on Saturday. Everybody likes to be the TOPDOG no matter what anyone says. I feel a blowout coming for the first time in a while UGA-42 SC-17. Remember you saw it here first from me. Spurrier, you got it coming especially after the way you have intentionally run up the score on teams in the past.

steve-o
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steve-o 09/08/08 - 11:32 am
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Dawgs 49, Chickens 3.

Dawgs 49, Chickens 3. Knowshon will run for 120 yards, caleb will run for another 150 after Coach Richt puts in the second string after the first quarter.

ugadawgbite
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ugadawgbite 09/08/08 - 02:51 pm
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You have some fans like sctex

You have some fans like sctex that have lost a grip on reality. Don't get your hopes up sctex, you'll be turning the TV off in the first quarter...

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 09/08/08 - 03:17 pm
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Just like the rest of you, I

Just like the rest of you, I don't know what the score will be at then end of the game. But UGA would be a fool to not take this game seriously. Spurrier is still a great coach. He is just suffering from the same recruiting problem that has hampered other good coaches in SC. This game is never eazy for UGA. GO DAWGS!!!

magic
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magic 09/08/08 - 07:22 pm
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I know this game has been

I know this game has been tough for Georgia. But, with SC's offense being so bad, I can't see them marching up and down the field on UGA. Smelley and Beecher are just too bad. Even if their WRs got wide open they wouldn't be able to hit them. Georgia is going to put up a lot of points. The only reason why Georgia lost last year is because of the two back situation and Mike Bobo was in his first year as the offensive coordinator.With T. Brown being gone, Moreno is going to get most of the carries. Even if SC stayed in UGA's backfield, UGA would run a lot of screens for scores. This is the best defensive and offensive team that SC is going to face. You're not going to fix problems facing a top tier team;they're only going to get exploited. Dawgs 62-Lamecocks 10!

Unbelievable
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Unbelievable 09/11/08 - 08:12 am
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The Bookies are making UGA a

The Bookies are making UGA a 4 point favorite! They are going to hook in so many gamecock fans thinking they actually have a chance.

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