If you're like me, you're still recovering from the near heart attack you experienced while watching South Carolina's riveting victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. The game was an instant classic that will go down as one of the most exciting wins of the Spurrier era.
Carolina got off to a great start in this game by mounting an impressive opening drive that ended in a Dylan Thompson touchdown pass to Shaq Roland on a back shoulder fade. Georgia responded with a quick scoring drive when it got the ball, and if you're like me, you said "oh dear, here we go again" and feared the defense would give up half a hundred again.
However, while the defense gave up 35 points and over 400 yards, it also got some key stops in this game. Carolina gave Georgia the ball right back on the ensuing drive after Brandon Wilds lost a fumble on a botched option pitch, but the Carolina defense forced one of the first of several field goal attempts, keeping Georgia from taking a two-TD lead. Carolina would mount another impressive drive on the ensuing possession to retake the lead. After UGA added a field goal to Carolina's touchdown and field goal in the second quarter, Carolina took a surprising 24-13 lead to the half.
Georgia got the ball first in the second half and had a successful drive that ended in a touchdown. However, for the first of two times in the second half, Carolina quickly responded to Georgia's touchdown by scoring another of its own. Shon Carson quieted the naysayers by setting up the drive with a long kickoff return. Whereas the passing game served Carolina well in the first half, it was the running game that was so successful in the second half, as the offensive line had a great half opening big holes for Mike Davis and especially Brandon Wilds, with Wilds making up for his early fumble by having one of the best games of his career based on his second-half performance. In the fourth quarter, Georgia got the game within three on a touchdown with a two-point conversion, and Carolina again responded with a quick touchdown drive.
The game ended in epic fashion. Georgia got the game back within three with another touchdown, and the Dawgs looked to be in control when they intercepted a Dylan Thompson pass and returned it to the South Carolina four on the ensuing drive. However, the Gamecocks forced a field goal, and unbelievably, Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan, who earlier in the game broke the conference record for consecutive kicks made, missed the chip shot by inches.
The Gamecocks then took over, but the drama wasn't over yet. Carolina sought to run out the clock with the ground game, and after getting one first down, UGA forced a fourth-and-inches. The Gamecocks went for it, and Dylan just barely got enough on the QB sneak to get the first down, after which Carolina took a couple of knees to wind out the win.
I'll be back in the morning with more analysis, but for now, let's chat about the game in the comments thread.