USC Week: Over/Under Revisited

COLUMBIA – Dean Legge takes a look back inside the numbers of Georgia's match up with South Carolina.


"150 yards rushing… Georgia's top running back, Thomas Brown, struggled last week to find his rhythm. He must do so quickly this week. Brown was missing holes and just did not have a great running game. There are two Bulldog backs that are eager to get the carries he doesn't, so now is the time for Brown to play the way he did in August. If Georgia can get to the 150-yard mark in yard run they will have done what they needed to win."

Brown and Danny Ware looked solid Saturday night. It seemed the Bulldogs could run whenever they wanted to – and did. By the end of the first half Georgia had racked up 94 yards on 19 carries. It was even more impressive considering that Carolina all but shut Mississippi State down completely last week, and the Gamecocks were going up against Georgia's second-string quarterback. Head coach Mark Richt praised Brown for his efforts on Sunday. Georgia finished the game with 198 yards rushing – another big year on the ground for the Dawgs against the Cocks.

"6… The Bulldogs have won the last four meetings, but three of those four contests were decided by six points or less. Carolina's last win came by a 14-9 margin in Athens in the 2001 season. The only non nail biter in that time was Georgia's 31-7 thrashing of the Cocks in 2003. Also, with last week's win over Mississippi State, South Carolina has extended its SEC winning streak to a school record six straight games."

This game was not nearly as close as those in the past. Georgia took and early lead and never looked back. Every time the Gamecocks were knocking on the door to score Georgia turned them away. The Bulldogs did so by forcing an astonishing five fumbles – some in the red zone. South Carolina's record SEC winning streak remains at six.

"30… … Nine times in 13 contests, Steve Spurrier's teams have scored at least 30 points against Georgia. Spurrier's teams are undefeated in those games. However, Spurrier-lead teams have split their other two contests with the Bulldogs, including last year's 17-15 loss in Athens."

Spurrier was adjusted, frustrated and generally disgusted after the game with his team. The shutout was his first suffered since the late 1980s. Spurrier's offense was reduced to throwing side-to-side and running draws to get yards. Carolina never could move the ball on the ground against the Bulldogs, as Carolina crawled to only 35 yards rushing. The low point of the night came when Blake Mitchell missed a shotgun snap from center because he was not paying attention. The negative play resulted in a longer field goal, which clanked off the goal post.

"2… That's just about the break-even spot for Georgia in turnovers. They can not survive turning the ball over more than twice in this game – two would be difficult enough to recover from. Georgia has caused some game-altering turnovers in this game, too. They won the game in 2004 by forcing a fumble late in the game, and the same way in 2002. It never seems, however, that Georgia gets a slew of turnovers going there way. The turnover story always seems to favor the Gamecocks."

Georgia turned the ball over three times, but only one was significant. On the other hand, every one of South Carolina's turnovers seemed to come at the most inopportune time.

"0… That's how many points the Gamecocks allowed last week – their first shutout since 2000 when they did the shutout trick against Mississippi State. Carolina is not expected to shut the Bulldogs out, but their defense combined with Georgia's poor offensive showing last week should give Bulldog fans some concern about Georgia's ability to score points."

Zero was a part of the story for sure last night as it hung on the Carolina side of the scoreboard all night. South Carolina never really threatened to take the lead, and was forced to try to score touchdowns at the end of the game rather than kick field goals because of their defect.

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