Containing Marcus Lattimore a major key for Bulldogs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Greetings from Williams-Brice Stadium. If you’re reading this on your iPhone and are sitting in traffic somewhere in this city, forget it. You’ll never make it.

Mark Bradley, Tim Tucker and I agree, this is the worst venue in the SEC as far as game day traffic. And if you’ve traveled anywhere in this league, that’s saying something.

Georgia hopes it can create some traffic jams today for South Carolina and Marcus Lattimore. The junior running back has killed them the past two seasons, rushing for 358 yards and three touchdowns in two Gamecocks’ victories. Most of his good work has been in the fourth quarter of tight games. The Bulldogs can’t let that happen again tonight.

Here’s some more about tonight’s matchup between No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina.

THREE STORYLINES

1. Can Bulldogs overcome loss of leading receiver? Losing wide receiver Michael Bennett to a knee injury this week was untimely and potentially costly. While he leads the Bulldogs in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, his loss is tempered by the return of Malcolm Mitchell full time to the receiving corps. Mitchell arguably was the Dogs’ most explosive wideout before agreeing to fill in at cornerback the first part of this season. Look for Mitchell’s offensive role to increase significantly.

2. Can Georgia play “Grown Man Defense?” It hasn’t so far. The Bulldogs enter this game ranked 10th in the SEC in total defense and ninth against the run. That’s well below expectations this season, multiple suspensions or not. Now at full strength, Georgia will face a no-nonsense Gamecocks offense that relies on the running of tailback Marcus Lattimore and quarterback Connor Shaw. The Dogs need to show they can stuff the run and force South Carolina to throw the football.

3. Is this an Eastern Division playoff game? South Carolina’s 45-42 win over Georgia last year — and 10 consecutive victories over SEC East opponents — prove that you can be perfect in the division and still not win it. But for all practical purposes this would appear to be an elimination game on the road to Atlanta. Both teams still have to play Florida, and the Gators play host to LSU on Saturday. But the Georgia-South Carolina winner clearly will be in the driver’s seat to reach the SEC Championship game.

A win for Georgia would …

Give the Bulldogs their first 6-0 record since 2005, when they reached 7-0

A win for South Carolina …

Would mean three consecutive wins over Georgia for the first time ever

Matchup to watch

Georgia’s tackles versus South Carolina’s ends. The Bulldogs’ ability to protect quarterback Aaron Murray and establish some semblance of a running game will be paramount for success on offense. Georgia leads the SEC in total offense (536 ypg) and points scored (48.2 per game), but also allowed quarterback Aaron Murray to be sacked seven times. The Gamecocks feature star defensive ends in 6-foot-6 sophomore Jadeveon Clowney and 6-8 senior Devin Taylor. So the Bulldogs’ first-year starting tackles Kenarious Gates and John Theus will have their hands full keeping those guys at bay.

Tweet of the week

“I am so pumped to see how God helps me rebound from this!”

UGA WR Michael Bennett (aka MBennett_82)

Jeff Schultz predicts

Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree returned from suspensions last week, and somehow the Georgia defense got worse against Tennessee. How does that happen? This prediction assumes everybody knows where they’re supposed to be this week. I have more confidence in Murray’s ability to make a play in the fourth quarter than in Shaw, but this game could go down to the last possession. Prediction: Georgia wins.

Each week, the fan who chooses the winners of the most college games could win great prizes. Plus, you get the chance to compete against the AJC’s Jeff Schultz for gridiron bragging rights. Play each week at ajc.com/go/sackschutz2012.

26 comments Add your comment

chase

October 6th, 2012
8:13 pm

I am embarrassed by Georgia’s play so far, they look ill prepared and unable to adjust – I love you coach, but you gotta get them going – NO EXCUSES

Jimmy

October 6th, 2012
8:40 pm

Let’s face it. Spurrier is Georgia’s daddy.

Gamecock

October 6th, 2012
8:46 pm

Im a gamecock fan but the game aint over yet they can bounce back.

Showmeyurtd's

October 6th, 2012
8:57 pm

william hersey

October 6th, 2012
9:52 pm

We pretty much stopped latty but Bobo sucks and we will never win the big ones unless we get rid of him. He is to stupid to change what is not working. He is still trying to run with no time left.

Dawg Heaven

October 6th, 2012
9:55 pm

Why is everyone so surprised? This IS Georgia Football now. We still haven’t won a big game since 2007. First ranked team this year Richt and team are exposed as overrated as usual. Every time I slam CMR and staff, aplogists bash me. Go ahead, start bashing me after another beatdown.

6-18 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

October 6th, 2012
9:55 pm

Hey Chip, remember a few months ago you and I and a little disagreement regarding UGA’s record against ranked teams.

Well on NATIONAL TV, Herbstreit called out Richt and his 2-14 record against end of season ranked teams since ‘08.

And it is truly 6-18 and soon to be 6-19……..so SUCK IT!!!!

Dawg Heaven

October 6th, 2012
9:56 pm

Oh yeah, “wehere are all you Richt bashers now??” Ummm, right here, still waiting for you brainless ‘tards to get a clue.

DawgByte

October 6th, 2012
9:57 pm

Tonights nightmare:

1. Out coached
2. Out played
3. Murray can’t win a big game to save his life
4. Jarvis Jones has read his press clippings and taken the last two games off
5. Cornelius Washington is a joke
6. The OL sucks
7. The DL sucks
8. Our DB’s are lame
9. Special teams are horrific
10. Once again Georgia comes out flat in a big game

P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DawgByte

October 6th, 2012
9:58 pm

This Georgia team has NO HEART. I stopped watching the game, because I’m sick of this sh*t!

NC Dawg

October 6th, 2012
9:59 pm

There just aren’t words for this. What an embarrassment!

Outer Banks Dawg

October 6th, 2012
10:30 pm

When we lined up in a power formation, we ran well… When we had a fullback and tight end in the game, we controlled the line of scrimmage enough… But 75% of our running plays were from the shotgun… We ran 4 plays from the 2 yard line out of the shotgun… That’s weak… Merritt hall and Lynch blocking and Gurley could get in every time from the 2…. You can’t run outta the shotgun against top defenses.. You must power the football… Exert your will… Bama powers it and plays a lot of 7 on the line of scrimmage inside and gets 1 on 1 on the outside… The bang it in in the red zone… Control the clock… Shorten the game… Our athletes are there but the formations don’t give them a chance… So frustrating… 4 plays from the 2 when we have Gurley… Block 2 TE, full back and power that thing in and break them… Every time we lined up shotgun spread, the SC defensive coordinator smiled… We could have run power… We did when we tried it but we didn’t stay with it… Florida ran 25 plays in a row on the ground with power formations today… How can you only put 5 on the line against them? Unbelievable

Outer Banks Dawg

October 6th, 2012
10:36 pm

5 on the line of scrimmage… ? Seriously? Double both ends with 2 tight ends… Use the full back… Power running… Hershel would suck if he had to run against the pass rush out of the shotgun… Jesus…. I remember when Georgia ran the power I… our backs run 5 blockers on 7 defenders and they’re 5 yards deep on a slow developing bs read/draw lucky to get the line of scrimmage… Bs… I’ve never been more pissed at the coaches

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6-18 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

October 6th, 2012
10:43 pm

sooooooo, the question is will McGarrity be given the authority from that clown Prez Adams to pay Richt the $1 million buyout and get us a real coach??

The reality is that with a new coach, it usually takes about 3-4 years to rise up to the elite level…but that’s better than this bullish!t

6-18 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

October 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

UGA has dropped out of the top 10….in fact, it’s dropped out or the top 150 after tonight’s performance

Bed wetter

October 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

soft

Defense- who cares about half time adjustments. How about in game adjustments. Hyper aggressive defense keying on lattimore get burned early for 21. Not bad after that but not great.
Running backs – did not think we would be as successful as previous games. Tough yards out there. Marshall had had a couple of really bad series out there. Hard to be overly critical of freshman regardless of how successful they have been. But he did bail out and miss some blocks in pass protection
Offensive line- weak and over powered by a better defensive line.
DB’s – bit early on shaw before he ran past line of scrimmage.
Murray- game is too big for him. He is scared and continues to wet the bed in big games. He is too short. I really thought it would be close and maybe a tipped ball at the line would be the difference.
Bobo- tried his best. Just not good enough. Can’t use a screen pass to offset set pressure because Murray is too short. Successful plays from previous games did not work and he had nothing to go to. That was grown man football and offense needs to grow up fast.
Richt- spurrier continues to show you how to man up. You got man handled. Don’t know how you find any positives in your teams overall performance. I guess we can say that we did not miss an extra point.

Bed wetter

October 6th, 2012
10:57 pm

Has the Detroit lions offense infiltrated Uga. We did have success running in power formations. But running from the shotgun was awful. I work in Columbia and have to work in that crap hole city and listen to the crap over there. I have nothing to hang my hat on after that wuss ass performance.

Aaron Murray

October 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray I never have to play a good defense again. Can you please make the defensive linemen shorter so I can see my receivers? Can you please not let my nerves get the best of me. Can you please tell coach bobo to stop running from the shotgun? Can you please tell all of the Uga fans that I will try my best to break records. I am not Eric zeier and I can win a big game.

Offensive

October 6th, 2012
11:12 pm

I want my money back.

Clowney

October 6th, 2012
11:16 pm

I even took a few plays off. Coach told us ga has always been soft.

Lattimore

October 6th, 2012
11:19 pm

Same old bulldogs

Spurrier

October 6th, 2012
11:21 pm

Suspensions or not, I own uga.

NFL

October 6th, 2012
11:23 pm

Grantham will not be getting a nfl job ant time soon.

Luke Skywalker

October 6th, 2012
11:26 pm

Murray is not yet a Jedi master. But he will mind f you with his performance.

6-19 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

October 6th, 2012
11:35 pm

Hey Chip, I updated my moniker to accurately reflect UGA’s pathetic record against ranked teams, end of season that is…..