Lost By A Link

COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina topped Georgia 38-35 on a wild night starting with a weather delay and ending in blown chances and controversy.

How much will this loss effect Georgia as this season progresses? Did this loss, a three-point loss on the road, cost them a shot at the national title?

That's hard to know now in the humidity of September - but one thing in clear: Georgia handed South Carolina a win and may have jump-started the Gamecocks' season, which had been left for dead after a humiliating 52-28 win loss to Texas A&M.

What we do know is that South Carolina, once more, defeated Georgia in Columbia - but not without a controversial ended and a Bulldog sideline that left Columbia limping after shooting itself in the foot so many times on Saturday night.

“We wanted to win, obviously,” Mark Richt said. “But we didn’t seize the moment.”

The most costly Bulldog blunder came after Damian Swann picked off Dylan Thomson to give the Bulldogs a short field at the South Carolina four-yard line. But the Bulldogs went backwards ten yards after an intentional grounding, a Todd Gurley three-yard run and an incomplete pass.

Mark Richt second guessed himself after the game.

“If I had to do it again I would have hammered it down there. I would have hammered it,” he said repeating himself. “We finally got into position to have a glorious moment and we didn’t seize it.”

That’s when Georgia’s best opportunity became another of a series of blunders during the game. Marshall Morgan, who previously had set a conference record for making consecutive field goal, missed a 25-yard attempt.

“I didn’t say anything to Marshall - you just go on to the next play. He missed a couple - which is not normal for him. One of the kicks thought it went right over the posts, but the officials saw it different,” Richt said.

But the Bulldogs got into position to still tie or win the game after its defense forced a fourth-and-short situation at midfield. Steve Spurrier decided to go for it. Thompson sneaked under center, and didn’t get much.

Georgia’s defenders, who had relented 38 points and 447 yards on the night - didn’t give up much. But after much discussion and jostling - the Dawgs’ lobbing and hopes were dismissed by a first down call by the official.

“When they pulled out the sticks it looked short to me. Didn’t it to y’all?” Hutson Mason said. “I am just going by what I saw on the jumbotron. The ball looked short of the sticks. I am not sure if there is a rule I don’t understand. I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

Richt seemed unconvinced of the ruling on the field as well.

“If you had a credit card you might would have been able to fit it in there. Maybe you could put a credit card back in there,” Richt said.

But on a night where the offense scored 35 points on the road, shouldn't Georgia fans question out loud why their defense, which surged in the second half against Clemson last week in Athens, struggled to mightily on the road?

Yes, Richt, Mike Bobo and company should have give the ball to Todd Gurley three times in a row at the four-yard line, but are Gurley and Bobo going to have to score 40 points a game to win again?

Many questions are unanswered at the midpoint of September. But one of them is clear. Georgia's restructured defense needs to play better in order to win what this group thinks it can win... that's riddle still seems unsolved. At least for now.

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