Published August 15, 2012 - 1:30pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
SDS is counting down the 10 most memorable games of 2011. This countdown will not include any bowl games, the SEC Championship, nor the national championship because they would obviously take precedence. Let’s stick to the regular season. After all, it is the best regular season in all of sports.
Game 3: South Carolina at Georgia – Week 2
This SEC East week two showdown was a battle of epic proportions. The loser had never made it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship – so, much was riding on this game between the hedges in Athens.
Coming off of a week one loss to Boise State, Georgia had ‘get back on track’ on the brain.
Georgia got things started off right with two field goals to lead 6-0 after the first quarter.
South Carolina came roaring back with two touchdowns, one on an Alshon Jeffery 34-yard catch and the other on a Melvin Ingram 68-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. It was a thing of beauty.
South Carolina took the lead into halftime 14-13.
To start the second half, Georgia scored first on an Isaiah Crowell 17-yard touchdown run to make it 20-14, but South Carolina charged back again and scored twice on a Stephen Garcia touchdown pass and an Antonio Allen 25-yard INT return for touchdown.
Gamecocks lead 28-20 after third quarter. Then, things got crazy in the fourth quarter.
Georgia tied it up on an Aaron Murray-to-Michael Bennett 19-yard touchdown pass and also completed the two-point conversion to tie it up.
After a USC field goal, UGA scored again on a 15-yard run by Crowell to make it 35-31 in favor of the Bulldogs.
South Carolina then scored two touchdowns from Marcus Lattimore and Melvin Ingram, once again. The Ingram touchdown was on a Jadeveon Clowney sack and fumble, in which Clowney threw Murray around like a rag doll.
UGA came back with a touchdown pass to Tavarres King for 33 yards to cut the lead to three points at 45-42.
But Marcus Lattimore carried the Gamecocks until the clock hit 0:00, and Georgia ultimately ran out of time.
“Really, it was three defensive scores. And the punt, too. Melvin, he’s a defensive player. So that’s basically four defensive touchdowns,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “Georgia outplayed us. Give ‘em credit. They definitely outplayed us. But we won the game. Sometimes it happens like that. Somebody was looking out for us tonight.”
Georgia turned the ball over three times, and Mark Richt knew it was too much.
“When we look at the film, there will probably be some things that cause us to slam the projectors against the wall. There’s so many things we can’t afford to do,” Richt said. “But just as many times, we’ll probably say, ‘That was awesome. That was awesome execution.’ We did a lot of great things too. I think we have all the ingredients to be a really fine team, ultimately.”
But ultimately, Georgia won the remainder of their regular season games and made it to Atlanta to face LSU in the SEC Championship. That’s the first time the loser of this game made it, as Georgia broke the mold.
Final Score: No. 12 South Carolina 45, Georgia 42
It was over when: Marcus Lattimore put the team on his back on a first down and allowed the Gamecocks to run out the clock
Notable play:Melvin Ingram’s 68-yard TD run on a fake punt
Notable stats: Aaron Murray threw for 248 yards and three TDs, Marcus Lattimore rushed 27 times for 176 yards and one touchdowns, and Isaiah Crowell rushed 16 times for 118 yards and one touchdown and also had a receiving TD