(Please click here for the game story on Georgia’s loss to South Carolina.)
COLUMBIA – The suspended A.J. Green shared his feelings about Saturday’s loss via Twitter.
“I’m sick,” he tweeted.
“But we will bounce back,” he added. “[W]hen I get back someone will have a price to pay. [T]rust me!!!!!”
In Green’s absence, seven Georgia players caught passes against South Carolina, led by Kris Durham’s three for 76 yards, including a long of 55.
“You can’t replace A.J.,” Durham said. “I tried to step up. We all tried to step up our game. But you can’t replace that. He’s one of the best players in college football.”
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier appreciated some postgame words from Mark Richt.
“I shook hands with the opposing coach, and he said, ‘Coach, you have a heck of a team,’” Spurrier said. “I don’t think anyone has ever told us that before [at South Carolina].”
In his postgame news conference, Spurrier took just a little dig at Georgia’s new defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, a long-time NFL assistant.
“When you have a back like Marcus [Lattimore] and the linemen opened cracks, I’m sure that Georgia defensive coordinator [became frustrated],” Spurrier said. “That little inside zone play, the NFL doesn’t run that play. That’s a new scheme, I guess.
“I’m sure they knew we’d run it, but they certainly didn’t stop it much.”
Lattimore’s 37 carries were the most against Georgia since Auburn’s Kenny Irons had the same number for 179 yards in 2005.
Tailback Caleb King, who got only one carry in the second half of the season opener because of a twisted ankle, got none Saturday.
“He was hobbling most of the week in practice,” Richt said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo conceded that King’s absence “hurt us a little bit” but said he thought Washaun Ealey “was fresh and ran hard” throughout.
Ealey, making his season debut after being suspended from the opener, had 75 yards on 19 carries. But he fumbled near the goal line in the third quarter as Georgia seemed poised to score a touchdown. South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore recovered the fumble at the Gamecocks’ 1-yard line and returned it 13 yards to the 14.
“I saw the end zone and was focused on trying to get in there,” Ealey said. “I wasn’t focused on the ball, and that’s what cost us.”
Outside linebacker Justin Houston had three sacks, the most by a UGA player since Marcus Howard’s three against Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl following the 2007 season.
Houston also had a career-high 10 tackles and a forced fumble.
But the fine individual numbers were ruined by the score, he said. “We lost, so I feel like I lost.”