In a game that was critical in the crossroads of the South Carolina Gamecocks program, the team comes up huge with a win against the then number 5 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. I am sure that you are aware of the various statistics, this is the first time that USC has beaten UGA three times in a row, USC has the longest active win-streak(courtesy of a USC win and a TCU loss), USC is 6-0 for the first time since 1988, etc etc.
Enjoy it. Enjoy every moment of it. For as much as I or anyone else may have engaged in any superstitious poormouthing and downplaying of the garnet and black this is a good football team. I'm still not over the down-playing as I know we have two huge roadtrips at LSU and then at Florida left on our schedule. And, that's before home dates with Tennessee and Arkansas. Still, this is a huge win and Georgia in spite of tonight's performance does have a talented offense. There is a lot to be happy about.
We jumped out to a big 21-point lead thanks to all three phases of the game, a touchdown on our opening drive, a turnover courtesy of an interception off of a tipped pass from Aaron Murray. A touchdown offensively on the ensuing possession. And then when I was worried about a game similar to the 41-37 thriller in Athens from 2009, the defense got a huge stop that forced a punt with Ace Sanders returning the kick for 6. After the PAT, the Garnet and Black lead 21-0 and it was clear that we needed only to not give the game away. A conservative gameplan gave us two more touchdowns while giving up one in the 4th(just like the Mizzou game) to UGA.
The Final score was 35-7, I did not see that coming. But in my preview I called for the unexpected as has become the norm in this series. I hope that all the Georgia fans that traveled to Columbia received good hospitality and sportsmanship. I live in Atlanta amongst UGA fans, so, I have a certain attitude towards them but I do respect them and they deserve our respect. After all, while I do hope for bigger accomplishments than Georgia has found in the last decade, I do desire to replicate the way that they have managed to stay relevant year-after-year. This was an important crossroads for USC. And, we handled the task admirably but the season isn't completed just yet. We have a lot left to do.
Without looking at the stats, I give credit to the D-line for their ability to stop the run and pressure Aaron Murray all night, especially the former. It was extremely impressive that Lattimore was indeed able to outgain the duo of freshman in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. And, credit to Connor Shaw who not only didn't turn the ball over but passed for more yards than the heralded Aaron Murray. Not to be limited to the air, Shaw also made some huge plays with his feet and extended some drives. After that, the secondary which broke up 20 pass attempts and of course a hat tip to Ace Sanders for that punt return for touchdown. Because you know we don't get many punt returns with that kind of result.
Great game, it's great to be a Gamecock. Gooooooo Cocks!!!!