SEC Throwback Thursday: Georgia vs. South Carolina
Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. Georgia-South Carolina game is a pivotal early-season matchup. A Gamecock win would put Carolina back in the hunt for the SEC East title, while a Georgia W in Williams-Brice Stadium would cement their status as legit contenders for the new College Football Playoff. Although Georgia has historically owned this rivalry, with a 47-17-2 edge in the all-time series, it’s been a hotly contested early season matchup since Steve Spurrier took the reins in Columbia, S.C.
Four years ago to the day, the Gamecocks announced to the SEC that they were here to stay as a team to be reckoned with in the East, and they did it on the back of a true freshman workhorse. On Sept. 11, 2010, Marcus Lattimore etched his name in Carolina lore with a Herculean performance. In that game, a grind-it-out 17-6 affair, Lattimore took a crazy 37 carries for 182 yards and two scores in just his second collegiate game and first SEC affair. Along the way, No. 21 was credited with breaking more than 40 tackles.
The win over Georgia put Carolina on the path to its first SEC Championship game in school history, and it put Lattimore on the path to a standout career before injuries derailed him. Everyone from Mark Richt to national analysts praised Lattimore after this breakout performance, mentioning him in the same breath as a host of legendary SEC runners like Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker. Lattimore left Carolina as the school’s all-time touchdowns leader despite having his college career cut short, but fans around the conference are left to wonder how high Lattimore could have climbed on SEC leaderboards if not for his knee injuries in back-to-back seasons.
So what’s can we take from this four-year old game and apply? Our own Brad Crawford has detailed the kind of performance the Gamecocks are going to need from current star running back Mike Davis if they want to get back to contender status in the East. Davis brought his A-game to last year’s matchup in Athens, but he hasn’t found that gear through two games in 2014 as he’s dealt with some early season injuries. A quick review of the game footage from 2010 should provide Davis with the blueprint he needs to fulfill his preseason promise of running angry. If Davis can break Bulldog tackles the way his predecessor did, he could break the Dawgs’ playoff hopes as well.