1. Give Georgia fans their space. If the "Dawgosphere [sic]" is any indication, the grapes are tasting sour today in Athens. Most of the comments range from backhanded compliments to dismissive talk about how the game meant little. (Notable exception here.) I thought about breaking down some of the posts, but why bother? South Carolina fans have had their moments over the last five years; give the spelling-challenged Dawgs some room to sulk. We won.
This matters. All else is sound and fury...
2. The defense appears. All that talk about the defense carrying South Carolina seemed misplaced as the unit got gashed for 252 yards and two TDs against Louisiana-Lafayette. That changed Saturday, with the Gamecocks holding Georgia to 128 yards on the ground and no scores. (The spelling-challenged Dawgs were held TD-less for the first time since, ahem, South Carolina did so to them in 2001.) Matt "Keg Boy" Stafford was held to 19 completions on 45 attempts with no TDs and an interception, though the pick was flukish. All of this against a much better team (presumably) than La-La.
3. The offense, not so much. Blake's numbers were solid but unspectacular. The one bright lining re: the offense so far is that the unit is 8-for-8 converting red zone opportunities into points. That said, only five of the scores are TDs, and four of those against Louisiana-Lafayette. Offenses are usually behind defenses, though, so give things another week (which is really all South Carolina has) before passing judgment.
4. One down, two (three?) to go. Georgia, remember, is only one member of the Big Three. Tennessee survived a brief, early scare from Southern Miss; Florida once again dominated overmatched competition. Kentucky still lurks. But the most intimidating game on the schedule remains the showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge; the Bayou Bengals waxed Virginia Tech.
5. Don't overreact. Last week, I cautioned against panicking; this week, the opposite is true. Yes, the Gamecocks had a good game. Yes, it was on the road. Yes, it's gotten everyone's attention. It was, however, this time last week that a certain fan base was dreaming of conference titles after defeating a certain Big XII team. The Gamecocks are not a bunch of average stiffs; they're also not yet championship material. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
GRADE: B-. It could have been better, but it was still better than average. Barely.