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We've been subjected to it for weeks now - all the reasons why we never stood a chance against Georgia. I once said you can beat the Bulldogs on the field, but you can never beat their media. Well, while the Carolina players should be turning their full attention to LSU, we fans can be forgiven looking back just a bit longer to count down - and savor - the top 10 myths/narratives/assumptions that were thrown in our face by the national and Georgia media, as well as many of the Dawg fanatics who habituate the inter-webs!
10. Georgia's Offensive Line has really gelled. I guess if you mean "gelled" in the sense that they turned into a puddle of human goo, then maybe there was something to that. I dont have the final defensive stats, but the Georgia OL got dominated like a bad date in the Castro District. Carolina interior DL Quarles and Jerideau were unsung heros with six tackles between them, and the Silver Britches had no answers for Clowney, Taylor or Sutton. Georgia was outplayed at the point of attack on both sides of the ball, but particularly when they were on offense. If anyone was gellin' in the positive sense of the word, it was the Gamecocks OL who were maginificent.
9. South Carolina hasn't played anybody yet. Never mind the fact that the two teams had played remarkbly equal schedules up to Saturday, this was a oft-repeated mantra going into UGA-USC ... neck and neck with the one that the Carolina's combined opponent record was a measely 8-14 (compared, to say, UGA's opponents who were a terrific 9-13!). Bulldog partisans were convinced their report card looked a lot better than ours. Too bad it wasnt so.
8. South Carolina's D is OK, but it hasn't played an offense like Georgia's yet. This was a subtle but very important variation on # 9 since it assumed that USC's offense would falter against the genius of Todd Grantham (i.e., myth # 7), so our defense was the only unit UGA had to worry about. Guess what? It turns out they were right! But not for the reasons they thought. We hadnt faced an offense like UGA's all year, true - because we'd never held anyone else under 240 yards of total offense. Yes, that's right - Georgia's was the worst offense we've matched up against this season in terms of performance against the Fire Ant Defense - including the so-called "cupcakes": ECU (403), Vandy (276), UAB (267), Mizzou (255), Kentucky (243) ... and, yes, Georgia (224) [all numbers fom ESPN]. Ouch.
7. Todd Grantham is a great defensive coach. With the possible exception of Georgia Tech's Al Groh, no FBS D.C. has received more national adulation on as thin a resume as Grantham. Last night he looked like a clown on the sideline with a towel boy screening him from ... who? You think Spurrier cares? The HBC abuses Grantham like Wyatt Earp abuses Ike Clanton in Tombstone. Now in it's third season, the UGA 3-4 is moving in a retrograde direction and Jarvis Jones was a non-factor for the second week in a row. There's a reason why Grantham has had a peripatetic career - i.e., never staying anywhere but a handful of years: it's because he's a jumped-up journeyman who's gets by on high volume, rah-rah rather than skill. It won't get easier for him in the future, as he will have to watch as Rambo and Commings graduate, and Jones, Ogletree and Geathers depart early for the NFL [the Geathers always leave early]. Can you believe this guy had the nerve to say Spurrier "failed" in the NFL? Prediction: TG will be getting the Willie Martinez treatment by the end of the season.
6. Georgia's dismantling of Vanderbilt meant ... something ... somehow. This is another variation of # 9 and a favorite pro-UGA trope in the weeks leading up to the game: "South Carolina struggled against Vanderbilt on the road while we whipped 'em at Athens, sooooooo we are so much better than the Lamecocks." Never mind that this is classic ergo hoc propter hoc - i.e, a logical fallacy that would get you an F in Philosophy 101 even in Athens. Also never mind we played Vandy in a downpour, on the road, in game 1 of the entire CFB season, and our starting QB went down with an injury in the first half. Never mind James Franklin sold out his entire fall camp to beat us, declared it to be the Dores' "Super Bowl" and then saw his team go into a tailspin after losing back-to-back games to us and Northwestern - so just ignore the fact the 'Dores came into Sanford Stadium down in the mouth. Frankly, if we learned anything from the Georgia-Vandy tilt it is that Georgia spent their time getting ready for Vanderbilt - while we spent our time getting up for Georgia. I guess that ended up meaning something, after all.
5. Jarvis Jones has a better motor than Jadeveon Clowney. Uhmmm ... OK. If you say so. I heard this a bunch in the last week. Sure they had similar lines (4 tackles, 1 sack each) on Saturday, but I honestly don't remember # 29 doing much of anything last night, while # 7 lived in the Georgia backfield, and was terrorizing Aaron Murray with acrobatic vaults and spins that would make Bela Karoyli cry. I still stand by my earlier assertion that - were I picking an All Star team or held a NFL GM's chair - I'd want both both Jones and Clowney on my squad. But Doo Doo is the guy I'd want more. Some motor, huh?
4. "Gurshall." For the last decade or so, the same drumbeats and smoke signals have steadily emanated from red clay hills of north Georgia each September. "The new Herschel has arrived!" It's never based in reality, but it has a messianic tone to it nevertheless - like monks in a Tibetan lamasary waiting for the Dalai Lama to be reincarnated in some Nepalese shepherd's hut. It's always someone new: Moreno. King. Ealy. Crowell. And now Keith Marshall/Todd Gurley - apparently under the idea that if a single RB can't turn the trick of being the next Herschel by himself, then a platoon of two true frosh with a catchy, Siamese-twin-esque pun on HW's name, will do just fine this year thank-you-very-much. Most of 'em have failed to deliiver big over the Cocks - just like "Gurshall" last night. The North State duo was supposed to gash us. Together, however, they combined for a meager 76 yards on 25 carries, and no TDs. They looked lost. They looked scared. In other words, they looked nothing like Herschel Walker. Maybe Georgia should get a new Robert Edwards before the talk starts about a new Herschel. Just sayin'.
3. Aren't the Cocks glad they didn't play Georgia early? ::Snicker::. This one is the illegitimate offspring of the old "the only reason the Gamecocks ever beat us is that they get to play us early" meme popular in Dawg circles during the off-season. If I had a dime for every time I heard this patronizing bunk over the last few weeks, I'd have enough money to buy a Cockaboose. The Dawgs were pretty pedestrian against Buffalo and Missouri; we'd have blowm 'em out whether it's week 2 or week 6. All things being equal, I'd still prefer to play UGA in the second game. But since its now moved deeper in the season (thans Mr. McGarity!), I guess it really doesn't matter.
2. South Carolina has only a two year tradition against Georgia. Expect this to be quickly amended to "only a three year" tradition. If anything explains why there are so many failed narratives on the Georgia side, it's probably rooted in this slur. Forget about the fact we won three-in-a-row for the first time ever over the Dawgs, or that this was the biggest margin of victory by Carolina over UGA. Focus on this - since our first football season in the SEC (1992), we are 8 and 13 against UGA - and that has improved to 4-3 over the last seven seasons. Moreover, since 2000, South Carolina has had three double-digit wins over the Red and Black (2000, 2010, 2012) compared to two on their side (2003, 2006); all remaining games since the turn of the millenium have all been with just a touchdown margin either way. Sure, Georgia owns the all-time series by a wide margin - but that's ancient history. What's currently brewing between Georgia and Carolina has been two decades in the making - not two years - even if the Athenians don't want to admit it.
1. Georgia really doesn't have a schedule advantage. It wasn't even midnight before I saw some Georgia fans on several outlets talking about how they still have a legitimiate shot at the SEC Eastern Division crown - since ""USCe" has to go to Baton Rouge and then Gainesville in back-to-back weeks (and host Tennessee right after)... while Georgia coasts with a bye, then @ Kentucky before a leisurely ride south to the neutral-site World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party game, and homecoming against Ole Miss. Sure looks fair and balanced to me, doesn't it? Keep in mind Georgia has a built-in scheduling advantage every other year by never having to play in the Swamp (not that they've really taken advantage of that much, going 4-18 against UF in the WLCOP since 1990).[h/t andrew for pointing out the sked error in the earlier draft!]. Not only does Georgia not travel to Tuscaloosa for the indefinite future, it turns out that their permanent cross-division rival is now officially even a bigger joke than ours this year. LSU and Arkanas look a dang-sight tougher than Ole Miss and Auburn. If Georgia makes it back to Atlanta, they really ought to send a Christmas turkey to Uncle Mike Slive, who gave them quite a 2012 gift.
Is schadenfreude a dish best served cold? Or is that revenge? Anyone, onto Baton Rouge! GO COCKS!