Thornton bounces back from 2001 play

Two years ago it was Bruce Thornton that was beaten on a play that allowed South Carolina to top Georgia en route to a 9-3 season for the Gamecocks.

With that play fresh in his mind, Thornton prepares to play the Cocks one last time in Athens before he graduates.

"Being a 3:30 game on national television gets everyone excited," Thornton said. "We want to do our best."

South Carolina beat #15 Virginia last week to start the season at 2-0. Georgia is off to a 2-0 start as well, but played sloppy last week against Middle Tennessee State.

"We lacked focus against Middle Tennessee," said the senior who was named captain for the second time in his career in Athens last week.

"Being captain means being a leader," he said. According to Thornton, being named team captain is a big deal.

"A lot of great players have come through here and been captain. There is a great legacy with captains here at Georgia. I am just proud to have the "C" on my chest," Thornton added.

Captain or not, Thornton will be looked up this weekend to stop South Carolina's most potent wide receiver, Troy Williamson.

Responsible for six receptions, 150 yards and two touchdowns in two games, Williamson is defiantly Carolina's biggest offensive threat.

Thornton, along with the rest of Georgia's secondary, hopes to shut him down. Georgia is allowing only 168 yards a game in passing offense; that ranks 33rd nationally. Williamson ranks 6th in the SEC in yards receiving per game (75 yards per game).

No doubt, Thornton's maturity and skill has helped lead Georgia's defense to new heights. But the LaGrange native took a lot of heat over the play in the 2001 South Carolina game. However, he looks at it as a learning experience.

"I think that it was a growing process," said Thornton of the play.

"You have to take the good times with the bad. That loss hurt. That's why we took it so personally last year," he said.

"It's just you and that one guy, one on one. The outcome of that play if you mess up is a touchdown. Knowing that, I put it on my shoulders and I try to help us do as good as we can as a unit," Thornton said.

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