Georgia. Because revenge is a dish best served as a three-point road win.
The Gamecocks have now beaten UGA in B2B seasons for the first time s/’00-’01. UGA is 7-3 in this series. Last year was a bitter loss for UGA. Generally when a team gives up a defensive td, their odds of winning are slim but UGA gave up an amazing 4 defensive and ST td’s and yet still only lost 45-42. Spurrier said after game, “Georgia outplayed us but we won the game. Somebody was looking out for us tonight.” This is their first non-September meeting since UGA’s 1980 national championship season. Both teams are 5-0 and both were peeking ahead to this one last week. SC found themselves down 17-7 at the half at Kentucky but outscored the Cats 31-0 in the 2H. Meanwhile UGA led 27-10 at home vs Tennessee but a couple of fumbles in their own territory set up short UT scoring drives and a 30-30 halftime score. They were able to pull out a 51-44 win as their two frosh stud RB’s Gurley/Marshall each topped 100 yards. UGA is playing with revenge and SC won’t be able to count on as many lucky breaks as last year.
PHIL’S FORECAST: GEORGIA 27 SOUTH CAROLINA 24
I’ll certainly take it.
Shorter Nick Saban: It’s not fair for Ole Miss to try to score on my defense.
UPDATE: Allow Hugh Freeze to retort.
“I think we’re going to get hurt because they’re so big and physical. Obviously I’m for it. I think it’s an equalizer and it’s something I believe in. I have great respect for Nick and what he says but of course we’re going to be on opposite sides of this debate.”
This certainly sucks.
Hate it for Bennett, who’s leading the team in receptions. If Georgia had to suffer an injury, though, wide receiver is probably the deepest position on the team. Conley and Mitchell need to step it up.
What should Mike Bobo focus on the offense doing this Saturday? I’ll give you two hints: Georgia’s situational passing stats and South Carolina’s situational defensive passing stats.
If your answer is anything other than throw the ball on first down, go back and study the stats some more.
By the way, check out Georgia’s stats on throwing the ball inside its own 20-yard line and ask yourself if maybe Bobo should have adjusted his playcalling a little more during that second quarter meltdown against UT.
You know there’s gonna be one. The man enjoys zinging Grantham.
Me, I’m going with a four-wide, single-back set up. Georgia’s busy preparing for a big dose of the zone read, with some I-formation thrown in. What better way to hit Grantham with what he’s least expecting than to spread the Dawg defense out and pick away at it? Carolina’s passing game may not be as prolific as Georgia’s, but there are enough receivers to choose from. Plus, you’ve still got Lattimore in the backfield who can either run against a defense that won’t be able to stack up, or catch the ball against single coverage from a linebacker. There should also be some open space for Shaw to take advantage of if he needs to tuck the ball and run.
What do you guys think?
Herbie mails in his Georgia-South Carolina preview.
Honestly, I can get better insight from a GTP comment thread on an average day. You guys work a lot cheaper, too.
Just Cover notes that the betting line for Saturday’s game has flipped since the summer.
Georgia was a short favorite in the summer over South Carolina. But now its the Gamecocks that are a smidge less than a field goal chalk. This game used to be an early September benchmark, but with conference realignment, its in October this year. This is a matchup of the last two SEC East champs. The winner gets a huge leg up in this year’s race, although both have to dance with Florida later in the fall. You would think with UGA getting two key defensive cogs back from suspension might keep them the favored team here, but maybe bettors are reacting to that D, even at full strength, giving up a boatload of points at home to Tennessee. South Carolina has covered four games in a row, they’ve covered five straight home games and own a 4-0-1 ATS mark in this series since 2007. [Emphasis added.] These games are usually defensive driven, with the Under cashing in 13 times in the last 15 meetings, but the two overs have recently: last year’s 45-42 South Carolina win and 2009′s 41-37 UGA win.
Don’t like that trend line. At all.