Gamecocks’ QB Connor Shaw shows off against state school

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw accounted for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns in a decisive 35-7 win over Georgia on Saturday night. (AP photo)

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw accounted for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns in a decisive 35-7 win over Georgia on Saturday night. (AP photo)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Saturday’s night’s dominating win over Georgia was special to a lot of Gamecocks, but no one was more pleased than Connor Shaw.

South Carolina’s junior quarterback grew up in Flowery Branch, just 40 miles from Athens, but left the state without an offer from the state university. Saturday he played like a man on a mission.

Shaw played a near-perfect game in the Gamecocks’ zone-read-based offense. He ran for 78 yards on 14 carries and scored on a 7-yard run and passed for another 162 yards and two scores. He completed only six passes, but they averaged 27 yards a pop, with a long of 62 yards.

“We were all hyped up for this game,” said Shaw, who has completed 41 of 49 passes in the least three games. “It was the greatest atmosphere I’ve ever played in. I saw a tweet where Kirk Herbstreit said the Horseshoe was one of the greatest [pregames] he’s ever been a part of, so we’re grateful to the fans.”

Said Georgia coach Mark Richt: “He played an outstanding game. . . . We did nothing to make it tough on him.”

Shaw improved to 13-1 as the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback. He succeeded the oft-troubled Stephen Garcia after he was dismissed early last season.

“Connor is sensational running the ball. That’s his game,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. “He can throw, too. But running Marcus (Lattimore) and running him, we can hit some big [passing] plays. That was key for us.”

There was nothing flukish about the Gamecocks’ production on Saturday. They took their first two drives of the game and drove 76 and 69 yards to score. Twice Shaw ran for first downs on third down.

“We had a great week of preparation and we came out of the gate rolling,” Shaw said. “We found a groove. I think it’s important in a game like this to come out and find your comfort level. We just rolled with it.”

Feasibility studies

There is plausible route for Georgia back to Atlanta. The Bulldogs need South Carolina to lose their next two games, which happen to be on the road at LSU and Florida, respectively. Georgia would then need to win out, which would mean beating the Gators as well.

“We’re definitely not going to give up on that thought,” Richt said.

Georgia won 10 straight last season after losing to South Carolina to play in the SEC Championship game.

Shutout avoided

Georgia used a 12-play, 75-yard drive that consumed 4:22 late in the fourth quarter to avoid its first shutout since losing to Alabama 31-0 in 1995. Sophomore tailback Ken Malcome scored on a 3-yard run and accounted for 45 of the yards on five carries.

“It feels a little better to get 7 on the board,” Richt said. “I don’t think anybody wants to get shutout. That hurts. It’s embarrassing. People start looking at record books for the last time you got shut out. . . . It wasn’t like it made it feel like we had a good night or anything like that.”

The first-half shutout was Georgia’s first since LSU held them scoreless in the first two quarters in 2009. The Bulldogs trailed 6-0 in that one and lost 20-13.

Anything positive?

Here’s a few positives coming from the Bulldogs’ side on Saturday:

  • Junior nose guard Kwame Geathers blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter. It was Geathers’ second blocked kick of the year. He got his hand on a PAT against Florida Atlantic.
  • Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones recorded another sack when he dropped Shaw for a nine-yard loss. That gives him 5.5 this season and 19 for his career.
  • Senior flanker Tavarres King registered a catch in his 21st consecutive game. It was his only reception and went for 16 yards.
  • Malcome ended up as Georgia’s leading rusher with 45 yards. He did it on just five carries for a 9-yard average.
  • Linebacker Amarlo Herrera led both teams with 11 tackles. Nose guard John Jenkins had a career-best 8 stops.

Etc. . . .

Georgia saw its regular-season winning streak end at 15 games. Its last regular-season loss was to South Carolina 45-42 last year. . . . South Carolina’s 10-game winning streak is the longest in school history. The Gamecocks’ 6-0 start is their first since 1988. . . . Georgia opponents have now scored 43 points off of 10 turnovers this season. . . . The Bulldogs were last in the SEC in net punting before Ace Sanders’ 70-yard return for a touchdown in the first quarter. It was the second TD punt return against Georgia since LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu had one in the SEC Championship game last December.


73 comments Add your comment


October 7th, 2012
2:38 pm

I already sent my e-mail to Mr. McGarity this morning telling him I won’t put another penny towards this program until the coaching situation changes. That’s the only thing that matters to the decision makers — lost profits. I would suggest everyone else consider doing the same. Here is McGarity’s e-mail address ( Money talks.


October 7th, 2012
2:45 pm

I hope either South Carolina or Florida make it to Atlanta. If not, we will see Saturday night all over again by the hands of Alabama.


October 7th, 2012
2:47 pm

P.S. Connor Shaw will get knocked out before the season is over because he runs so much. Only problem is he isn’t built like Tim Tebow, and even Tebow got hurt. DJ Shockley got hurt (cost us the game against FLA that year), etc. Also, other schools (like LSU) will have a linebacker or end keying on him and hitting him every play — why couldn’t we figure that out? USC’s offense won’t be very effective without Shaw in the line-up. Shaw getting hurt will be their achilles heal. Just think on the last touchdown Shaw scored — if Jarvis had been keying on him. He would have destroyed Shaw on that play — the same play they ran earlier in the game. Both times, Jarvis bit on the fake. That’s why USC’s offense coach was so pumped up — he fooled us twice. The only thing that should have been on Jones’ mind at that point in the game — how can I get a hit on Shaw.


October 7th, 2012
3:16 pm

AF Dawg, I dont understand why Shaw wasn’t hit everytime he hands off to Lattimore. Its an option offense and someone shouold have the assignment of making sure he does not run. No one did it all night. Option QBs are supposed to get rocked by someone on every play. With that said, all you posters must have never lost a game in your life. Yes we were killed by a better team with maybe 10 players that we wanted, but its still just one game. Lets see what happens for the season. Kudos to Ken Malcome for not quitting!!!!!


October 7th, 2012
3:44 pm

Enter your comments here

sc gamecock

October 7th, 2012
3:51 pm

dont typically respond on opponents sites but just had to make a comment on on thing that was mentioned earlier…the comment on how UGA consistently ut recruits USC according to the experts. Someone made the comment that what good is it to recruit ll 5 stars if they are suspended or kicked off the team in a year or two. I think that is key. We used to recruit based on stars but now it seems we make character just as big a component as stars. Give me a class of 3 to 4 stars kids any day with character versus a class loaded with 5 star egos and a ME attitude. UGA has great talent and even Herbie made the comment last night how many NFL defensive prospects UGA has but they just dont seem to play well as a unit…I think that is what is missing. Any way…good luck the rest of the way…we may need you all to beat FLA for us!


October 7th, 2012
4:15 pm

sc gamecock – Congratulations on your win. Your team showed how impressive they are to the entire country. All the national love is well deserved. Your coach might be an obnoxious jerk, but he definitely can coach.


October 7th, 2012
4:59 pm

“Either these recruiting rankings don’t mean much or SC is doing more with less”

SCs DL was head and shoulders better than what UGA ran out on the field last night and unbelievably they appear to be nearly 3 deep at the position.

I was blasted as a troll last week when I posited that while SC may not have the dominant defense of a Bama, etc…they contest every single play and VERY FEW college teams can hold up to the level required for a whole game.

It was evident even on the one UGA drive last night which ended on the 4th & goal….yes UGA moved the ball but it required multiple nearly miraclous throws\runs\catches and sorry but nearly no college football teams can maintain that level of execution.

Game over.

sc gamecock

October 7th, 2012
5:40 pm

thanks dawggirl…really means alot coming from a rival to hear those words. I always look forward to the UGA vs USC match up each year…one of the most exciting games all year. I agree SS can come across as jerky sometimes (I didnt care for him at all when he was at Fla. :) )unless he is your coach then he comes across as a guy that know what he is doing. I hope we can keep him around for a while but fear he may be in his last 5 years…but we will see. Good luch the rest of the way…I think it will still be a horse race to the end with USC, FLA and UGA.


October 7th, 2012
6:04 pm

I think last night was as much example of “focus” and “want to” as anything else. USC, pre-HBC, was always focused on Clemson. Spurrier arrives any pretty much let USC fans know his focus is the SEC. As our first SEC game of year was always UGA, I think he’s created a culture that GA game is THE game for SC. Realize GA has Auburn, FL, GA Tech and number of other annual rivalry games that their Program is focused on each year. I think by Spurrier getting USC sights elevated on a higher goal (winning against GA and other SEC leading programs), he’s built a culture of success that USC has never known before.


October 7th, 2012
6:07 pm

Worse than that half a hundred the HBC put on y’all between the hedges???


October 7th, 2012
6:26 pm

Well now, georgia knows how General Custer felt at the Little Big Horn. Georgia will lose maybe one or two more games and end up in a crap bowl game. Vandy put on a better show. Bottom line is we S—K as a team along with the generals leadind this dog and pony show.


October 7th, 2012
6:34 pm

Sure…go ahead…make it all about the Dawgs. The Gamecocks won because UGA didn’t offer Shaw. Right. Fact is, Conner Shaw is a better QB than Murray and that was obvious. Georgia supposedly always wins the high profile recruits….and is always going to contend for a national title….until, once again they don’t. The South Carolina program has clearly passed the Georgia program in the SEC pecking order. 3 in a row….and more to come. The Gamecocks will bring a better team to Athens next year than they put on the field last night.

Texas Dawg

October 7th, 2012
7:09 pm

I think AZZKICKINCHICKEN probably hit the nail on the proverbial head as for as USC and Spurrier are concerned. And now I agree with Alpha that the ‘Cocks have solidly bypassed us in the SEC hierarchy. And if we aren’t careful, if they have some patience, Tennessee will, too. I honestly just don’t see a turnaround coming with CMR, in large part because, it seems, that winning just doesn’t matter as much. Because it’s not all about winning and losing to him, I think the team has that same “lack of urgency” mentality so even now, instead of being angry, embarrassed, vowing to get even, they’re still rather flat emotionally. Georgia could be great, but the coaches, the players and, apparently, the administration, are content to just be OK.


October 7th, 2012
7:47 pm

Flowery Branch should be very proud. Great QB playing for one of the greatest coaches in the country—-Steve Spurrier.

UGA players quit. It may be time for Richt to go!


October 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

Truth is that Spurrier let the air out the ball in the second half. They could have put up 50 but he knew it wasn’t worth the risk call everything in the arsenal like he did in the first quarter. It was obvious that UGA was whipped and like a cat with a mouse, he just kept his hand on you while you quealed until you were dead.

Delbert D.

October 7th, 2012
9:49 pm

Perhaps this was part of the plan to play Alabama in the Crystal Trophy Game instead of the SEC Championship Game.


October 8th, 2012
5:45 am

Whipped Puppies: Most patient fan base in America. Who else would stand by and watch passively as four other SEC programs bring in new head coaches and win NCs SINCE Mark Richt was hired. Amazing acceptance of mediocrity.


October 8th, 2012
9:22 am

I’ve got a couple of gripes….
Conner Shaw doesn’t get an offer from UGA. Cam Newton doesn’t get an offer from UGA. And the list goes on & on. I know we can’t offer everybody, but it seems like we select our players by looking at or something. What happened to our coaching staff sending scouts out on Friday nights to watch highschool football for themselves?? When a coach can come into your state & recruit 3-star players & beat your 5-star players, what does that say? It says that they are evaluating talent BETTER than you are, and they are not depending on!!!!!!!!!!!
Another Gripe is… It’s obvious that Mark Richt is promising playing time to our young high-profile recruits, because it’s obvious that Ken Malcome is better than Keith Marshall. Pecking order for RB’s should be Gurely, Malcome, Marshall.
And the last gripe is… When the Heck is Mark RIcht going to realize that NO MATTER HOW MANY SKILL PLAYERS YOU RECRUIT, THEY ARE USELESS WITHOUT A STRONG O’LINE D’LINE????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geezzzzzzzzzzz ALREADY!!!!!!!


October 8th, 2012
10:32 am

Coach Richt exhibits no passion before, during, and after the game. I’m tired of having the same excuses after each loss that our dawgs suffer–out played, back to the drawing board, stay together as a team etc. As a along time fan and grad from UGA, we have no chance of winning big games with the current coaching staff, hell, we have a hard time winning games against middle of the road teams. I have never been so embarrassed for our reputation as a football team. We are over rated, under coached, and looked upon as a joke. Sad, Sad, but the time has come to change things in Athens.

[...] Notebook: Gamecocks’ Shaw shows off against state school [...]


October 9th, 2012
9:27 am

Know one hates losing more than I do. But let me ask a rhetorical question: What do all the “expert” football minds on this blog…those who are “perfect” in their own lives and have never lost at anything,(right!)…suggest…that we fans wring our hands, cry “woe,” sign a petition to replace the coaching staff mid-season with John Gruden…? What rubbish. Stop it! Be adults! We just got whipped. We made a lot of mistakes and SC played flawlessly. But we have a lot of talent on this team and the mistakes are fixable.

I don’t profess to be an expert, but I have played some ball…even at UGA in the 60’s and from where I sit, SC is not that much better than us. They outplayed our guys but they had some advantages too. The most telling comment I read was from Jadevedon. Clowney, who spent half the night in our backfield. He said Murray was showing a tell, tapping the center’s leg before the snap. Knowing the snap is a huge advantage to a pass rusher. Apparently the OLine was also demonstrating a tell before the snap so that the entire SC DLine had the jump all night. They probably would have beaten us anyway, but a second or so more would have given Murray time to calm down and hit more passes and if the Oline which typically has the jump on the D (by knowing the snap) was not telling the DLine the snap count, who knows how maning more running lanes would have opened. If Rambo had maintained possession…it is a different game…if we could have punched the ball across the goal when it was still 0 – 21, maybe we’d have changed the momentum…we will never know.

What we do know is that the season is not over, we have 6 games to play and if we win out, we’ll finish in the top 8 and maybe get a BCS bowl. I’d call that a good season…not the one we wanted and thought was possible..but still a good season. Be a loyal fan…quit the griping… and to the players…get up and hit the next guy in the mouth.


October 9th, 2012
11:59 am

>Georgia used a 12-play, 75-yard drive that consumed 4:22 late in the fourth quarter to avoid its first >shutout since losing to Alabama 31-0 in 1995. Sophomore tailback Ken Malcome scored on a 3-yard >run and accounted for 45 of the yards on five carries.

yup, the dawgs avoided a shutout when their first string offense got past a third string defense. i’m sure that all y’all weren’t ready to ride your coach out on a rail BEFORE this game. talk about fairweather fans.
That said, jarvis jones needs a clue. he may be a hot prospect for the nfl, but it wasn’t evident in the way he played saturday…
the line on this game was 1.5 — i expected better from Ga. i guess it is easy to run up points and yardage when you aren’t playing anybody worthwhile.