No. 5 Bulldogs ‘Spurriered’ by No. 6 South Carolina, 35-7 (UPDATED)

Georgia coach Mark Richt (R) congratulates South Carolina's Steve Spurrier on the Gamecocks' third win in a row over the Bulldogs. They're now 4-4 against each other. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Georgia coach Mark Richt (R) congratulates South Carolina's Steve Spurrier on the Gamecocks' third win in a row over the Bulldogs. They're now 4-4 against each other. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — It’s starting to look like Steve Spurrier is going to be just as frustrating for Georgia at South Carolina as he was at Florida.

The Ol’ Ball Coach had his No. 6 Gamecocks clicking on all cylinders Saturday night against the No. 5 Bulldogs at Williams-Brice Stadium. In the most-hyped game in the history of this series, South Carolina jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 35-7 victory.

The win was the Gamecocks’ third in a row over Georgia — the first time in the 118-year history of the rivalry they’ve done that — and makes Spurrier 15-5 as a coach against the Bulldogs. He was 11-1 as the Gators’ coach and 4-4 since he’s been at South Carolina. Including his stints in the NFL and USFL, it was Spurrier’s 250th career victory.

“Having it against the Georgia Bulldogs was special,” said Spurrier, who was 1-2 against Georgia as a Florida quarterback. “They are a team that used to beat my alma mater pretty well. I have been very fortunate against a coach as them, not so much as a player, but as coach, so that was special.”

The loss was kind of a double-whammy for the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1) because Florida also scored a big 14-6 win over LSU Saturday in Gainesville. Georgia will need to the Gamecocks to drop two games and then have to beat what could be a Top 5 Florida team to return to the Georgia Dome as Eastern Division champions.

South Carolina (6-0, 3-0) plays on the road at LSU and Florida the next two weeks.

Georgia falls to 3-5 in top 10 matchups under coach Mark Richt and 3-10 when the ESPN College GameDay crew happens to be in attendance. The last time the Bulldogs won one of these marquee games was against Hawaii in Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2008.

The Bulldogs will try to regroup during next week’s off week. They’ll resume play at Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) on Oct. 20.

“Tonight we weren’t very good,” Georgia coach Mark Richt  said. “But the world didn’t end. We’ve still got a lot of things to play for and a lot of good things can still happen.”

The Bulldogs had boldly stated that their goal this year was to reach Miami and to play for the BCS championship. How, then, Richt was asked, can they be expected to rebound from such humiliating loss?

“They’ll be fine,” Richt said. “They’re supposed to dream big; I want them to dream big. They’re good men and they’re going to fight. They’ll come back together and win again.”

The Gamecocks’ offensive charge was led by Georgia native Connor Shaw. The junior quarterback from Flowery Branch who’s best known for his running ability,gashed the Bulldogs’ defense with arm as well. He finished with 162 yards on just six completions – an average of 27 yards per – and threw for two touchdowns. Shaw also had 78 yards rushing and scored an in-your-face touchdown on a 7-yard run with 6:17 remaining in the game.

“He was pretty much reading me,” said Georgia’s All-American outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. “If I got up field he was going to take off running. . . . He’s a good player. He made plays with his feet and he was fast, faster than I thought he was.”

South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore had yet another 100-yard game against Georgia. The junior from Duncan, S.C.,  had 109 on 24 carries and a touchdown, giving him 467 yards and 4 TDs in three games against the Bulldogs.

The Gamecocks finished with 392 yards against Georgia’s once-vaunted defense. After finishing fifth in the nation last season in total defense, the Bulldogs entered Saturday’s game 55th. They will drop again this week

“I don’t think that team is 35 points better than us, or whatever it was,” UGA senior cornerback Sanders Commings said. “We just made too many mistakes tonight; gave up some big plays, had some penalties, turnovers. You can’t win games like that.”

The most impressive part of South Carolina’s victory had nothing to do with Spurrier’s famous “ball plays.” It was defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward’s unit had Carolina on the verge of shutting out the Bulldogs for the first time since they lost to Alabama 31-0 in 1995. Georgia came in leading the SEC in scoring (48.2 ppg) and yards (536 ypg). The Bulldogs hadn’t scored fewer than 41 points in a game all season.

It was a tough night for quarterback Aaron Murray, who came in with the knock of having never beaten a ranked team on the road. Harassed all night by the Gamecocks’ rangy defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor, he completed just 11-of-31 passes for 109 yards and threw an interception. The Bulldogs, who finished with just 220 total yards, scored a meaningless touchdown in the game’s final three minutes with South Carolina’s victory well in hand.

“Very talented defense all over the board,” Murray said of South Carolina’s defense. “They’re up there with the best I’ve ever played. They’re definitely one of the top ones.”

This one was over quick South Carolina shot out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on two long drives and a punt return for a touchdown.

The game could not have started any worse for Georgia. The Bulldogs won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving the Gamecocks the ball to start the game.

South Carolina wasted no time doing something with it. Gaining 62 yards on two pass plays, the Gamecocks covered 76 yards in 2:32 and scored on a 20-yard pass from Shaw to Bruce Ellington. On both passes South Carolina receivers for behind safety Bacarri Rambo.

The Bulldogs got a 48-yard kickoff return from Malcolm Mitchell and seemed poised to answer after a 15-yard run by Todd Gurley got the Bulldogs down to the South Carolina 34. But after a failed reverse, Murray’s pass was batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and intercepted by a diving DeVonte Holloman.

South Carolina made the Bulldogs pay. Utilizing Lattimore in both the running and passing games, the Gamecocks again drove the field. Shaw threw his second touchdown of the night, a 19-yard strike to wide open tight end Rory Anderson. And just like that, the South Carolina led 14-0 with 6:29 still left in the first quarter.

Georgia had to punt after its ensuing possession, and that’s when the Gamecocks turned it into a nightmare night. After bobbling the catch, Ace Sanders recovered and returned the punt 70 yards for a touchdown. It was Sanders’ second punt-return TD this season and it put South Carolina ahead 21-0.

“It stinks,” Murray said of the lopsided defeat. “It definitely hurts a lot. We put a lot into this game. It definitely means a lot. But there’s still a lot of games to play. They’ve got a lot of tough games left and so do we. Right now they’re in the driver’s seat and we have to win every single game to make it to Atlanta. We’ve got to grind and work and we did that last year. But it’s not a good feeling.”

MORE GEORGIA-SOUTH CAROLINA COVERAGE

920 comments Add your comment

Peter

October 6th, 2012
10:29 pm

First but will be glad to trade it for a UGA win tonight

Will

October 6th, 2012
10:30 pm

Talk about a heartbreaking loss.

BobDog

October 6th, 2012
10:32 pm

At the end of the day, the weakness of our offensive line kept us from overcoming the bad start.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:33 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:33 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

gomdawg

October 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

MURRAY CAN NOT PLAY UNDER PLEASURE I LOVE MY DAWGS BUT OUR DEFENSE SUCKS

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay..

sheepdawg

October 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

their coach is really good. maybe we could get him when cmr is finally gone

chilidawg

October 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

Well, that was embarassing…

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:36 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

By the way

Ask Mcgarity when is he going to stop making UGA fans have to donate money to be allowed to get season tickets to watch a team lose to every ranked opponent they play

alex

October 6th, 2012
10:36 pm

braves,tech,dawgs…GO falcons

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:36 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

By the way

Ask Mcgarity when is he going to stop making UGA fans have to donate money to be allowed to get season tickets to watch a team lose to every ranked opponent they play.

Eric C.

October 6th, 2012
10:37 pm

Sad, and this was really a marquee game? “The last time the Bulldogs won one of these marquee games was against Hawaii in Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2008.”

The last really big win I can remember was vs LSU for the SECCG in 2005. That is almost 7 years folks.

Tom

October 6th, 2012
10:37 pm

Was I the only who could see they needed a TE to help block Clowney the whole game?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:37 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

By the way

Ask Mcgarity when is he going to stop making UGA fans have to donate money to be allowed to get season tickets to watch a team lose to every ranked opponent they play…

Scott

October 6th, 2012
10:38 pm

Another Richt team not ready to play. Nice guy, poor head coach. Honey BoBo is not an SEC caliber OC. SC has surpassed UGA in football and that is embarrassing. I think McGarity has some decisions to make.

Mark

October 6th, 2012
10:38 pm

Hats off to Carolina. They were clearly the better team on both sides of the ball. Lets see what character the Dawgs have after this fiasco. Win or lose , I am a Dawg but man, this is frustrating.

SECFAN

October 6th, 2012
10:38 pm

That was embarassing for Ga. Lack of disclipine…..again!

Doesn't matter

October 6th, 2012
10:38 pm

Line isnt issue its scheme and richt has to go along with grantham. Hell Holtzs would be better coach even with those dam fish tank glasses…. not giving up on uga but the coaches kids dont believe in defense scheme. They lose next 3-4to games mark it down

Skokie Dog

October 6th, 2012
10:39 pm

Maybe after this game, we won’t hear any more about Aaron Murray’s Heisman chances. Unfortunately, he won’t look like a good prospect for any NFL team either, so he’ll probably be back for yet another season of big-game losses. This butt-whipping is discouraging but certainly not a complete shock. I guess this was this year’s loss that came from showing up unprepared to play for sixty minutes.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:39 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

By the way

Ask Mcgarity when is he going to stop making UGA fans have to donate money to be allowed to get season tickets to watch a team lose to every ranked opponent they play…..

Disgusted

October 6th, 2012
10:39 pm

Murray must have pictures of Richt………how else could he possibly stay in the game…..

Eric C.

October 6th, 2012
10:40 pm

We’re all Dawg fans, but there comes a point when enough is enough…it ain’t working and it needs to be fixed.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 6th, 2012
10:40 pm

The DAWGS keep getting all of the blue chip recruits……schedule fluff opponents annually for the bulk of the schedule to pad the stats….yet the fans keep wondering what’s wrong…….We all know don’t we?????

JRW7

October 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

YEP, our defense sucks,sucks,sucks!!!!!

Venting

October 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

I’ve been a Ga, fan my whole life and that doesn’t change after tonight, because I’m loyal, but I am going to vent and here’s what I see:

- Attitude is a reflection of leadership… Richt can’t get his players up for a big game

- Our defensive down linemen can’t get penetration or pressure on any QB

- Our players quit and show no heart in the face of adversary (Other than Ken Malcolme at the end)…also a reflection of leadership!

- Aaron Murry is incapable of stepping up and winning in a big game

- Merritt Hall sucks! No where close to D-1 Talent!

- We always get out coached in big games

Just my opinion!

DAWG

October 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

NO TIME,CRAP TEAM AND LOADS OF REGRET.FLORIDA WILL CHEW ON OUR ASS AND THE REST OF THE TEAMS ARE LICKING THEIR CHOPS. I WILL HAVE ONE HUGE GARAGE SALE AND THIS TIME NEXT YEAR I WILL BE SAYING ROLL TIDE, AT LEAST THEY KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME OF FOOTBALL.

Shane

October 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

Murray just gets really rattled in Big Games….Hard to understand why defense is playing so poorly. The o line is a little understandable. Oh well, we could be Auburn,Mizz, or Ark. (Or Tech)I still love the Dawgs. But…..I do think we will never live up to potential with Murray at QB. DGD and all, just always a let down in big games.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:42 pm

Chip Towers

How about asking this $5 million coaching staff when are they going start earning their pay.

By the way

Ask Mcgarity when is he going to stop making UGA fans have to donate money to be allowed to get season tickets to watch a team lose to every ranked opponent they play……….

Eric C.

October 6th, 2012
10:42 pm

Time after time, you believe this big stage game will be different, but it never is

JRW7

October 6th, 2012
10:42 pm

YEP, our offense sucks to!!!!!!

Crazy Uncle Joe Biden

October 6th, 2012
10:42 pm

drunken wife beating will now commence.

Raleigh Dog

October 6th, 2012
10:43 pm

Why does Richt always get out-coached in big games? What is it that his teams lack when it comes to the big stage? When was the last game worthy of a hobnail boot? Why are the special teams so bad? Is Rambo really read to play? He gave up two big ones tonight. The two weeks the defensive stars have been back have been defensive nightmares. Does their coming back create resentment in the locker room? Ogletree’s replacement was playing well. Or was the defense was not really tested till the last two weeks and they gave up 44 and 35. They typically don’t do well in Lexington even with a terrible Kentucky team. Surely they won’t get in there over-confident. Whatever it is, Mr. Richt has had plenty of time to take the team to a higher level. What is really going on in this program?

DAWG with two bags still over his head

October 6th, 2012
10:43 pm

Unprepared for yet another big game. How long are we going to let Richt steal $3 million/year?

not serious

October 6th, 2012
10:43 pm

Puppies not ready for big time football.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 6th, 2012
10:44 pm

Seriously why are people blaming Murray

HELLO

RICHT is 2-14 vs ranked teams since 2008
Richt is 0-10 vs the top 10 since 2008

If I remember Murray wasnt playing in 2008 nor 2009

Doesn't matter

October 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

All it takes to get coach out is boosters stop throwing money around. Richt has no fire about him look at saban gotta seperate church and football game lol

JRW7

October 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

YEP, CMR is a good coach, but not a great coach!

ApopkaDawg

October 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

This embarrassing loss left no doubt who has turned their program around and who is still grasping at straws. This blowout has set the UGA program back 4 years. It will take that long before sports writers take a chance and rank the Dawgs in the top 10 again. I feel like a Cubs fan now (I would say Red Sox fan, but their team actually came through). It seems like every time we get excited that this may be our year, we are embarrassed on a national stage once again. If this is all we can put together for a “prime time” game, I just assume not play in them. Good luck recruiting against Spurrier now. Half his team is already from Georgia.
Well, once again we will limp along the rest of the season. Probably lose to UF. Outback Bowl, hear we come again. Next time we go 5-0 against cream puffs, I’m going to just say “No”! No, we aren’t going to Atlanta. No, we are not good enough to contend with Alabama (and apparently SC). No, we are not going to be considered BCS contenders by any sports writer with half a brain. I could go into everything we did wrong tonight and our list of underachievers, as well as the lack of preparation from our coaching staff, but it won’t matter. If there is one thing that I have learned over the last 5 years of the Richt era is that nothing will change. We will all get the “we just have to start getting ready for the next game” and “this thing isn’t over” speech. And CMR would be right. This East is not locked up, but once again we have proven on a national stage that we are not ready to run with the elite teams of this conference. We have been surpassed by SC. We are now and will be for the foreseeable future, a mid level SEC team.

PapaSid

October 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

Could we please have no more references to Murray being the best quarterback in the SEC? He’s no better than 3rd, and probably closer to 5th.

Eric C.

October 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

Sometimes, you want the coach to pop a vein in his forehead and not look like he just smoked a j with the suspended players.

takeowndawg

October 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

Coach Friend, Shawn Elliott is a real OFFENSIVE LINE COACH, YOU AREN’T. Job # 1, Richt, find us an OFFENSIVE LINE COACH!!!!! Carolina’ o-line dominated our Pro bound defensive line the entire night..,, and they are freshmen and sophomores……Elliott, is the real deal. Very impressive. Conner Shawn was not even close to be sacked, all night long. Find us a line coach, Coach Richt……

JRW7

October 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

You can blame this loss on CMR!

smitty

October 6th, 2012
10:48 pm

Awful. Disgraceful. SC is a superior team in every way including coaching. So where do we go from here? Apart from hoping Sc loses twice and we beat FL — both now looking not very likely — we seem headed for maybe 8-9 wins and a second-rate bowl. For the forseeable future. That’s not acceptable.
Never. Coaching change? What do you suggest?

JRW7

October 6th, 2012
10:48 pm

Turn out the lights, our Season is OVER!!!!!!

The G-MAN

October 6th, 2012
10:48 pm

I think that CMR should resign. Clearly his team was not prepared. Coach Spurrier out coach him for the third striaght year. As much as I hate to say this, if you give coach Spurrier the Georgia team, we would have at least two championship by now. Shame on CMR and all his staffs.

DAWG with two bags still over his head

October 6th, 2012
10:49 pm

Based on my correspondence my McGarity, he’s drinking the Koolaide as well. He thinks everything is fine. Stop paying the extortion fee for tickets and they’ll get the message. Might as well fire Richt and McGarity at the same time, both are not SEC-calibre talent.

Eric C.

October 6th, 2012
10:49 pm

Our defensive line has gotten little pressure all year…way overrated. And Jarvis has been non-existent against two good SEC offenses.

fBFan

October 6th, 2012
10:49 pm

gurshall hahahahahahahahahahah!

dawg52

October 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

dont understand how game after game, year after year, big stage after big stage…….we fall FLAT ON OUR FACE…….even MY optimism is shot to hell