ESPN.com’s Brett Edgerton can tell you why you’re wrong:
Is this a bizarro world for Steve Spurrier or what? The man who rocked the college football landscape with his Fun ‘n Gun offense at Florida is now just firing blanks. Since his South Carolina team rose to No. 6 in the BCS last October, Spurrier is a stunning 1-7 (his worst eight-game stretch with Florida was 5-3). That includes a six-game losing streak in the SEC. In his 12 record-breaking years in Gainesville, Spurrier’s longest SEC losing streak was two … and that happened just once (1992).
Two of the losses during that streak are at the hands of Vanderbilt, a team he was 12-0 against at UF, including a 71-13 whipping in his final season. The ones that have to hurt the most, though, are against Georgia, which Spurrier seemed to take great pleasure in beating during his tenure in Gainesville. As Florida coach, the Darth Visor was 11-1 against the Bulldogs, averaging 36.3 points in the series. As South Carolina coach, Spurrier’s teams are 1-3 against the Bulldogs and have totaled 38 points, including just seven Saturday. His four lowest career outputs against UGA are his four meetings as Gamecocks coach.
So after going 23-1 against Georgia and Vandy as the Head Ball Coach at Florida, Spurrier is just 3-5 against those foes at Carolina. Anyone feel like golfing?
Understatement of the day: “We obviously need to go back to the drawing board a little bit…” Tommy Tuberville, Starkville, Mississippi.
There’s a natural tendency on the part of us fans to overanalyze the ugly part of an ugly win – and yesterday’s was pretty much the textbook definition of ugly – that I think would be best to avoid here. The reality is that what we saw in Columbia is something that we’ve seen before and will no doubt see again under Richt. You can’t expect a team of 18-22 year olds to play at a high level of performance week in and week out. What counts is that they got the win. Any way you look at it right now, all of Georgia’s goals for this season are still intact. That’s a lot more than you can say for the ‘Cocks today.
With that out of the way, here are a few observations I took from the game.
- It really is hard to overemphasize the level of offensive futility that’s characterized this game this decade. It’s the fifth straight year the winner has failed to score twenty points. Given that, I was a little surprised at how Danielson brushed off Richt’s decision to go for two when the score was 12-7. Had Richt elected to kick the extra point, the OBC is playing for field goals instead of a TD in the fourth quarter. In the end, it was the biggest call of the day.
- Speaking of Danielson, while he was right to draw attention to the problem Georgia had all game finding someone to match up with Jared Cook, he missed the stat line of the day, that of Moe Frickin’ Brown: 7 catches, 130 yards, 18.6 ypc, 1 TD. Those were all career numbers for Brown.
- Too bad Garcia didn’t play more. Every time he dropped back to pass, you couldn’t wait to see what might happen.
- If you want to know how a pass defense like Georgia’s looked in the second half could hold a D-1 football team to seven points on the day, just look at the stat of the day – South Carolina had a grand total of eighteen yards rushing.
- Georgia dominated time of possession (35:13 to 24:47) and ran more plays than Carolina did. Yet, as Danielson noted, it was the Dawg defensive line that looked gassed in the late fourth quarter. If you want to be troubled by something, that’s probably as good a place to start as any.
- Brannan Southerland can’t get back fast enough.
- More A. J. Green, please.
- It’s probably heretical for me to say this, but I was more impressed with Moreno’s TD run than I was with the Hurdle.
- Talent matters. The defense was running on fumes for much of the fourth quarter, Spurrier threw everything he had at ‘em from a playcalling standpoint, Bobo and Stafford were clearly frustrated with Carolina’s defense (which, don’t forget, was damned good) but in the end there was still enough to keep the ‘Cocks out of the end zone when it counted. You can fix schemes. You can work on conditioning. Talent you either have or you don’t.
- Last but not least, let’s not forget about the contributions of Brian Mimbs and Blair Walsh. Mimbs’ last two punts pretty much saved the game; Walsh looked like the epitome of a cool customer drilling his first two collegiate field goals on an enemy field. Well done, gents.