That's what Sanford Stadium will be like Saturday afternoon when Georgia hosts South Carolina in a battle between two top-25 schools located about 150 miles apart.
Georgia, having so far faced down injuries and suspensions, is
interested in finally scoring a touchdown against South Carolina and
getting some needed inertia going as it starts a stretch of three
straight games against ranked teams.
South Carolina, after an equally busy off-season that still
NCAA keeping an eye on things, seeks a second straight upset and wants
to prove that its two-game winning streak against UGA - which was one
fumble, a few seconds, and less than 10 yards away last year from
becoming a three-game streak - was no fluke.
"The team that wins has got a chance to gain momentum and
about their chances," says Georgia coach Mark Richt. "The team that
loses has their backs against the wall immediately. So it's a very,
very big game for both teams. It's got our attention, there's no doubt
A primary reason for that was the way South Carolina handled
15 Virginia last week. The Gamecocks won 31-7 and racked up 423 yards
total offense. Virginia, without talented quarterback Matt Schaub,
managed only 170 yards and seven first downs.
The Cavaliers actually led in the game, going up 7-3 early in
second quarter. But all the momentum went to Carolina seven minutes
later when Dondrial Pinkins hooked up with Troy Williamson for a 99-yard
From then on, South Carolina's ability to maintain momentum
completely stifle Virginia is what impressed Richt the most.
"I saw a team that was entirely motivated, a team that
physical offensively and defensively," he said. "They basically wore
Virginia down at the end of the game. By the time it got to the fourth
quarter, it was theirs. That's the sign of a team that's well-conditioned and
South Carolina's chances improve greatly if the Gamecocks can
allegedly simple thing: catch the football.
So many passes have USC receivers dropped that Holtz discussed
in a psychologist. The tally is 17 over two games.
The Bulldogs, though, will be close to full strength to defend
pass, thanks to the return of Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter to the
secondary. Both are key members of Georgia's pass defense alignments.
Georgia is still scanning the dial for the same wavelength.
Clemson, the offensive line blew scores of fundamental assignments. A
week later in a complete team effort, the Bulldogs were flagged a
school-record 18 penalties.
"It's just more discipline than anything else," said
quarterback David Greene. "We just didn't play disciplined football last
The penalty for the penalties?
"We ran," Greene said. "If you had a penalty,
you ran for it."
Georgia should be well-conditioned today.
That, of course, is on the list of 459 reasons Lou Holtz will
show how much of an underdog his Gamecocks are. Holtz, who could make a
multi-million dollar lottery win seem depressing, yanked his team off
the field Thursday because of a bad practice, especially on defense.
"The execution was poor," he said. "Maybe they
are intimidated by
Georgia, I am not sure. The offense had a pretty good week of practice,
but we have digressed since Tuesday."
Said Holtz, according to The State in Columbia: "They
better put a
third digit on the scoreboard. They (might) score 100."
Georgia/South Carolina features Top 25 teams
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