A roundup of the AJC’s extensive coverage of Georgia’s 45-42 loss to South Carolina:
Chip Towers’ game story, which notes the Bulldogs are 0-2 for the first time in 15 years:
. . . Georgia lost to South Carolina 45-42 in a roller-coaster of a game that featured seven lead changes and big plays galore. More often than not it was the 12th-ranked Gamecocks who were executing the spectacular, usually at precisely the right moment.
With the victory, the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) get a leg up in the SEC East. The Bulldogs fall to 0-2 for the first time since 1996.
The Bulldogs’ more inspired play — they were lackluster in a 35-21 loss to Boise State in the opener — is unlikely to get the critics off the back of coach Mark Richt.
Mark Bradley’s column, which notes how much things have changed for the Bulldogs since 70-X-Takeoff:
It was there for Georgia, the second-biggest game of Mark Richt’s stewardship, same as the biggest game this coach has worked had been there that cold day at Auburn nine years ago. His Bulldogs needed one drive to win. On Nov. 16, 2002, the prize had been Georgia’s first SEC East title. On this warm and frenzied Saturday, the prize was ….
A sliver of job security? Yes. A hushing, even if only a temporary one, of a roiled Bulldog Nation? Sure. A leg up on another SEC East title? Absolutely.
One drive to win. At Auburn, it had come down to fourth-and-14, to 70-X-Takeoff, to David Greene throwing and Michael Johnson leaping over Horace Willis. That was the victory that made us believe Richt’s Bulldogs could win any game, degree of difficulty be hanged.
But that was then, and this, sorry to say, is now. And now we can say of the same coach — the same but different — that his team can manage to lose almost any game, the excellence of its effort notwithstanding.
Tim Tucker’s story on Isaiah Crowell’s Sanford Stadium debut:
. . . On his first play between the hedges, the celebrated freshman tailback ran for 15 yards. On his second, he ran for 28 yards, breaking two tackles in the process and substantially raising the decibel level in the stadium.
So that’s what the recruiting analysts were talking about when they ranked Crowell the nation’s No. 1 tailback prospect in the 2011 signing class.
It was the start of an ultra-eventful Sanford Stadium debut for Crowell, who in Georgia’s 45-42 loss to South Carolina on Saturday had 158 yards offense (118 rushing and 40 receiving), his first and second collegiate touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) and his first collegiate fumble (costly).
“I loved it,” Crowell said of playing between the hedges for the first time. “It was a good experience.”
Tucker’s story on four plays that lost the game for Georgia (and what Aaron Murray had to say about them):
Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes, but those were not the four plays on his mind in the aftermath of Georgia’s 45-42 loss to South Carolina on Saturday.
“We pretty much gave them 28 points on a fake punt, a fumble, a pick and another fumble,” Murray said. “Those four plays really killed us.”
Towers’ notebook, including items on Georgia’s late-game onside kick strategy, Amarlo Herrera’s start at inside linebacker and this quote from Richt about throwing his head phones and play cards at one point during the game:
“I guess I just wanted to show people I could get mad. I threw them pretty far, too.”
A compilation of post-game reaction, including this from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier:
“I’ve never won a game like this that I can remember. Georgia outplayed us. Give them credit, they outplayed us, but somehow or another we won the game. Sometimes it happens like that. Somebody was looking out for us tonight.”
And Brant Sanderlin’s photo gallery, including this postgame meeting between Richt and Spurrier: