Published October 7, 2012 - 3:35pm
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My seat — and body — was shaking Saturday night in Columbia when a Bulldogs fan tapped me on the shoulder after South Carolina’s first touchdown. Still in awe at how easy the Gamecocks scored on what was perceived as one of the SEC’s top defenses on their opening drive, I tried to settle down.
“We’ll probably turn it over on this drive, and if we do, it’ll be over,” the elder Georgia fan said.
Soon thereafter, like clockwork, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray — considered one of the SEC’s best entering the season — had a pass tipped and intercepted by Devonte Holloman. After finding themselves in an early two-touchdown hole a few plays later, Ace Sanders delivered the death blow to the Bulldogs midway through the first quarter.
During Sanders’ 70-yard highlight punt return, the record crowd of 85,199 at Williams-Brice rose to a deafening level (perhaps louder than Alshon’s one-handed grab during the 2010 win over Alabama). From my vantage point at 21-0, UGA fans held their heads in their hands while the Gamecocks shrugged off questions of whether or not this team was legit. Against the fifth-ranked team in the country, Steve Spurrier’s group was ready.
Remember how “Gurshall” was supposed to expose South Carolina’s front seven? Didn’t happen. Twenty-five carries for 76 yards for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, two freshmen who hadn’t yet experienced a true road game (Missouri doesn’t count, as Vandy proved Saturday) in the Southeastern Conference. Jadeveon Clowney proved to be unblockable once again, Lattimore gashed the Bulldogs with another 100-yard outing and Connor Shaw made plays — and throws — on third down that Gamecock fans won’t soon forget. Murray fell flat on the big stage, completing 11-of-31 passes for 109 yards. It was South Carolina’s third straight win in the series and Georgia’s ninth loss in its last 11 games against ranked opponents.
So, after Saturday night’s beatdown at the Brice, let’s give credit to where credit is due Bulldog fans. South Carolina’s the third-best team in the country and Georgia — the fanbase mostly — came in too “Cocky”.
Another round of Sandstorm please.