1. Aaron Murray didn’t exactly grab his star-making moment by the throat. Delivering a tipped interception on Georgia’s third snap was the worst possible start for the quarterback who still hasn’t presided over a victory against a team of substance. (Florida 2011 doesn’t count.) Murray had maybe his worst night as a Bulldog, completing 11 of 31 passes for 109 yards. In his defense, his line couldn’t block South Carolina’s defensive front. As offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said: “When a guy’s getting hit, he has a tendency not to trust his protection.”
2. The “Gurshall” groundswell got, er, grounded. Freshmen tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 76 yards on 15 carries — this after each had 100-yard games against Tennessee. Again, the Gamecocks’ defensive line overpowered Georgia up front, often pushing blockers backwards into the guys for whom they were supposed to be blocking. “We couldn’t handle their ends,” Bobo said, and then this: “I thought we would be able to run the ball a little bit better.”
3. The Georgia defense didn’t trip the light fantastic, either. South Carolina gained 392 yards while throwing only 10 passes. (Six were completed, for a staggering 162 yards.) That’s what happens, said Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, when the running game works and you can throw off play-action at your leisure. The Gamecocks rushed for 230 yards — 109 by Marcus Lattimore, who had his third consecutive big game against Georgia, and 78 more by Shaw. “For us to get where we want to go, we’ve got to improve,” said Grantham, telling no lies.
By Mark Bradley