Saturday, the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs will roll into Columbia to take on the Gamecocks at 12:00 in Williams Brice Stadium. But before that matchup, let’s take a look back at some of the key moments in this old border battle’s history.
1980: #14 South Carolina travels to Athens to face #4 Georgia on ABC with Keith Jackson on the call. Freshman running-back Herschel Walker and eventual Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers faced off against each other for the only time in college. Rogers rushed for 168 yards and Walker rushed for 219. Eventual national champions Georgia escaped with a win over the Gamecocks. Final Score: Georgia 13 South Carolina 10
1984: Mike Hold comes off the bench for injured starting quarterback Alan Mitchell and immediately hit Ira Hillary on a 62-yard pass in the 4th quarter. Hold would score soon after and the Fire Ant Defense would finish off the Bulldogs from there. The Gamecocks defeated the Bulldogs 17-10 on their way to their best record in school history to that point. Final Score: South Carolina 17 Georgia 10
1988: On a typical hot September day in Columbia, the 14th ranked Gamecocks and 6th ranked Bulldogs faced off on national TV. This day would be remembered for Robert Brooks’ incredible one-handed touchdown catch and the Gamecock defense suffocated the Bulldogs. Final Score: South Carolina 23 Georgia 10
1989: The last meeting between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs as non-conference opponents came 9 days after Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina. The Gamecocks got their only win in Athens during the 1980s in Sparky Woods’ first year as Carolina head coach. Final Score: South Carolina 24 Georgia 20
1992: South Carolina’s first game as a member of the SEC. The Gamecocks jumped out to a 6-0 lead only to see Garrison Hearst and the Bulldogs run off 28 points. Final Score: Georgia 28 South Carolina 6
1993: This is one that is still in the hearts and minds of all Gamecock fans. Trailing 21-17, South Carolina was on the doorstep of the Bulldog end zone in the final seconds. After Brandon Bennett was stopped trying to leap into the end zone with the clock running out, Bulldog radio announcer Larry Munson pleaded with the Bulldog defense to “LAY DOWN, YOU GUYS.” The officials were able to line the players back up for one final snap and Bennett successfully soared over the Bulldog defense into the end zone. Munson would say “Bennett, a great athlete, leaped over the pile and broke our hearts with two seconds to go. We couldn’t keep ‘em on the ground long enough.” Final Score: South Carolina 23 Georgia 21.
1996: Duce Staley runs wild and the Gamecock defense got their revenge on Robert Edwards from the 1995 42-23 loss in Athens. It would be the only home victory over the Bulldogs in the 1990s for the Gamecocks. Final Score: South Carolina 23 Georgia 14
2000: The Quincy Carter Pick 5 game. South Carolina had not won an SEC game since 1997 and had just ended the nation’s longest losing streak the week before. Derek Watson scored three times and Charlie Strong’s 3-3-5 defense ended Carter’s Heisman campaign quickly to begin the 2000 season. Final Score: South Carolina 21 Georgia 10.
2001: Bulldog Nation had revenge on their minds as a primetime national TV audience tuned in for the top-25 showdown in Athens. South Carolina scored on their first possession of the game and their last possession of the game as the defense once again turned in a stellar performance, this time holding the Dawgs out of the endzone. Phil Petty connected with Brian Scott for a touchdown on third down when it looked like the Gamecocks were setting up for the go-ahead field goal with just over a minute to play and the Gamecocks had back-to-back wins over the Bulldogs. Final Score: South Carolina 14 Georgia 9.
2005: Georgia nemesis Steve Spurrier made his return to college football in 2005, this time as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks were big underdogs but went to Athens and nearly pulled off the upset. A missed extra point following Johnathon Joseph’s pick 6 in the second quarter proved to be the difference. Final Score: Georgia 17 South Carolina 15.
2007: Shades of the 2001 game, the Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to only field goals all night and upset the 12th ranked Bulldogs in Athens on their way to a 6-1 start to the 2007 season, only to finish 6-6 and miss the postseason altogether. Final Score: South Carolina 16 Georgia 12
2010: True freshman running back Marcus Lattimore would rush for 182 yards and two touchdowns as once again the Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to no touchdowns. Longtime AJC writer Mark Bradley would tweet after the game “”I saw Herschel. I saw Emmitt. I saw Bo. Now I’ve seen Marcus Lattimore.” Final Score: South Carolina 17 Georgia 6.
2011: In a change of pace, the Carolina-Georgia game turned into a shootout in Athens. The Gamecock offense, defense, and special teams all scored that day highlighted by Melvin Ingram’s fake punt for a long touchdown in the second quarter. True freshman Jadeveon Clowney introduced himself to college football by sacking Aaron Murray and forcing a fumble that Melvin Ingram would recover and score on to seal a huge win over the Bulldogs for the Gamecocks in route to their first of three consecutive 11 win seasons. Final Score: South Carolina 45 Georgia 42
2012: In what was possibly the biggest game in the history of Williams Brice Stadium, College Gameday was in town for the showdown between 5th ranked Georgia and 6th ranked South Carolina. The game was over before the first quarter ended as a raucous Williams Brice Stadium saw the Gamecocks race out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter behind Ace Sanders’ punt return for a touchdown. Carolina led 35-0 late in the game before Georgia managed a touchdown to avoid the shutout. Final Score: South Carolina 35 Georgia 7
2014: South Carolina’s last win over the Bulldogs in Columbia came on a rainy but wild afternoon in Columbia. The Gamecocks came in 0-1 in the SEC after an embarrassing 52-28 loss to Texas A&M to open the season. The Gamecock offense stayed one step ahead of Georgia all day and the Carolina defense found enough stops, including forcing a short field goal miss by Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan that would have tied the game late in the 4th quarter. Carolina ran out the clock and got another win over a top-10 ranked Georgia team. Final Score: South Carolina 38 Georgia 35
2019: Carolina traveled to Athens to face 3rd ranked Georgia as heavy underdogs. The Gamecocks were 2-3 on season and the Bulldogs were undefeated and on their way to their third consecutive SEC Eastern division title. True Freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski was injured in the 2nd quarter and the Gamecocks turned to sophomore quarterback Dakereon Joyner in a difficult spot. This day belonged to the Gamecock defense, however. Cornerback Israel Mukuamu picked off Jake Fromm three times and the Gamecocks pulled off a stunning upset in Athens. Final Score: South Carolina 23 Georgia 20