The South Carolina Gamecocks are 5-0, nothing you didn't know. They are currently ranked number 6 in the country as they ride their best start of a season since they went 5-0 in 2001. That year we started with wins over Boise State, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and Kentucky. You might have heard, there is a big game coming up this weekend:
They'll go for 6-0, the last time that happened - 1984. Because the 1984 references couldn't end when we got to 11 wins last year.With the upcoming game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, let's look back at the history of this series:
First Met: 1903
Last Met: 2011
Total Meetings: 59
Series Record: 15 wins, 42 losses, 2 ties.
Current Streak: South Carolina - W2
The current win streak also matches the longest win streak by South Carolina in the series. Five times the Gamecocks have managed to beat the Bulldogs in back-to-back years, though we have never managed to beat them a third consecutive time. The Bulldogs, however, have managed to string together 10 victories in a row twice, 1908-1941 and 1966-1977. With a win on Saturday, Spurrier would be able to add another accomplishment to his growing list of accolades at South Carolina. A list that already includes the programs first victory at the Swamp, first eleven win season, etc.
In the last ten years, this rivalry has been more of the same. Even with South Carolina being extremely competitive in the most recent games, the Gamecocks have only managed to win 3 out of the last 10. Perhaps a better way to look at this is that the Gamecocks have won 3 out of the last five. But we'll go with a start date in 2002. (note: as much as I would love to talk about George Rogers and the glorious match-ups with Big George and the Herschel Walker, I wasn't really around then, nor was I a South Carolina Gamecocks fan, yet. Needless to say, it was a good series back then, too, and like today Bulldog Nation considered us as a non-rival rival.
2002: That's when I started at South Carolina and began cheering for the Garnet and Black. Unfortunate for me, as I'm sure you all remember the 2002 game for the David Pollack strip/interception/miracle touchdown as well as the Andrew Pinnock fumble in the red zone in the 4th quarter. We lost that game by a final of 13-7, and I was immediately indoctrinated with the ethos of the moral victory.
2003: True to my Atlanta sports background, it got worse before it got better. South Carolina went on the road Athens to lose the following year with each teams score being inverted, Dawgs win 31-7. And I had a front row seat from on the field, soooo...it was kinda like Lewis Black flying first class to New Zealand(NSFW, language.).
2004: ESPN College Gameday came to Columbia for a blackout game and the fans and team were excited. We even fooled Lee Corso into picking us, as he cited Lou Holtz as the game changer. You'll remember that this was an infamous blackout game, and being a junior in college, I did. Lee Corso has a 2-2 record with the head gear in his last 4 trips to the Soda City.
|Year||Lee Corso's Pick||Result|
2005: Another game where South Carolina led at the half, but came up just short when it went for 2 to tie the game in the 4th quarter. 17-15, Dawgs.
2006: Offensive anemia. Georgia gets this 18-0 beauty with a safety, a touchdown and 3 field goals.
2007: We were really rolling in the low-scoring meme in this game. Corey Boyd untouched into the end zone was the only touchdown of the day.
2008: Losing 14-7, in a small part thanks to Mike Davis, the old Mike Davis, fumbling at the goal line.
2009: What? Why? This Saturday night thriller in Athens featured several scores and Red Zone stall by South Carolina in the 4th Quarter.
2010: Enter Marucs Lattimore. Marcus had his coming out party on this day and he looked every bit as impressive as GurShall. Maybe not as fast, but just as impressive.
Now, 2012. What should we expect? Expect the unexpected. Expect big plays, expect headgear to be thrown by the coaches. Expects Carolina fans to be vexed by Georgia fans and vice versa. Expect good weather, which says something for how "famously hot" Columbia is. The forecast right now says 87 degrees is the high on Saturday. Which is awesome. We're rolling into fall, but you get some nice warm weather, but not so hot that you're miserable.
As far as on the field, I'm not sure what to expect. The trend has been that games in this series played in Columbia have been low-scoring. While I would love to take the noise that our fans bring and attribute that to the disruption of the Georgia offense, I have a feeling it might have more to do with the usual placement of this game early in the season. Perhaps the road game in week two of the season just scrambles Georgia's brain a bit. If it turns out to be another 14-10 or 13-7, then we'll know there really is some black magic. But Georgia's offense is probably operating a bit too efficiently at this point. I think it will be a major victory for the defense to limit Georgia to 21 or fewer points.
The Georgia offense isn't unstoppable, it's just damn good. And that's an important difference. Even in the Tennessee game, Georgia came out of both halves ready to roll and generated some points, but they were much less successful in the 2nd and 4th quarters. In the Missouri game, it was a little bit of the opposite, Georgia kinda stumbled in the 3rd and then floored it home in the 4th. It's going to be important to try to cause some more fumbles or interceptions and get some good field position. And, at the same time it's going to be important to prevent Jarvis Jones and Bacarri Rambo from doing the same to us.
I feel that these teams are pretty evenly matched, so I'm going to take home-field advantage and throw caution into the wind and predict that USC wins 24-21. But, that's just my thoughts on the series, what do y'all think?
Until next time...... GO 'Cocks!!!