It’s unbridled optimism in Athens after Saturday’s dismantling of Clemson.  Well, maybe everywhere except for within the Bulldog program.

“We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas or we could get exposed,” head coach Mark Richt said in his weekly Sunday evening teleconference.

The ‘Dawgs have captured the attention of the college football world with their statement, however.  Two ESPN analysts, Kirk Herbstreit and Mark May, have Georgia not only in their college football playoff after week one, but they have them at No. 1.

Fox Sports 1’s Stewart Mandel also said on Saturday that the ‘Dawgs were a team that significantly helped their chances of making the playoff.

Todd Gurley led a stable of Bulldog running backs that rushed for 328 yards total.  Jeremy Pruitt’s defense didn’t allow a point the final 37 minutes of the game and held Clemson without a single rushing yard in the second half.

It was Georgia’s largest margin of victory over a top 20 team since their 2007 Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii.

Now, the Bulldogs turn their eyes to a monumental SEC East showdown in Columbia against South Carolina.  The Gamecocks are coming off their worst home defeat in recent memory and will face East Carolina Saturday before turning their attention to the Bulldogs.

“They got their tail whipped pretty bad,” wide receiver Michael Bennett said.  “They’re going to come out guns flaring and really pissed off so we’ve got to be ready for that.”

Carolina can’t turn their attention to Gurley and company just yet, however.

“For some reason Georgia just smashed them, they just ran it down their throats and stopped them on defense completely in the second half,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday.  “Some of those runs by Gurley, yeah you wonder how anyone is going to tackle him right now, but we’ll worry about him two weeks from now.”

According to ESPN, Gurley is the first player to rush for three touchdowns and return a kickoff or punt for a touchdown in a game against a ranked team since UCLA’s Maurice Jones-Drew in 2005.