Auguste ready to face Georgia

Georgia's offense has been nearly impossible to stop. In his last meeting with the Dawgs, Akeem Auguste wants to do some big things. He should see an increase in snaps this week and will have plenty of opportunities to make a play against the potent attack of Georgia.

Akeem Auguste finally returned to action last week against Kentucky, playing around 20 plays defensively and several more on special teams. Auguste felt good following the game and is ready to play as much as defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward will allow him to play when No. 6 South Carolina plays host to No. 5 Georgia Saturday night in Columbia. With College GameDay and the entire country looking in, for Auguste it is just Carolina and Georgia. The winner is in the driver's seat for the SEC East title and the loser will need some help, a la Auburn last season for Georgia.

"We have to play them every year so it's just Georgia and South Carolina to us. That's how we see it. We know that to get to Atlanta, that's our goal, we have to go through them."

Georgia has been lighting up the scoreboard all season, averaging 40+ points per game for the first time in program history five games into the season. The Bulldogs also have 43 plays of 20 or more yards, an eye-popping average of over eight 20+ yard plays per game.

"It's a big test, but at the same time we have to play our game," Auguste said. "We're not going to fall into anybody's hands and do anything different. We're going to play our game and it's going to be the best versus the best."

While freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have been playing at a high level, earning them the name "GurShall" after Heisman Trophy winner Hershel Walker, the Bulldog offense still begins and ends in quarterback Aaron Murray. Now in his third season as Bulldogs quarterback, Murray has improved each season. Though Murray is without leading receiver Michael Bennett, who tore his ACL earlier this week in practice, he still has weapons. Marlon Brown and Tavarres King both average over 60 yards receiving per game and have a combined six touchdowns. Even though Murray has so many weapons at receiver, he's still the same Aaron Murray the Gamecocks have beat the last two seasons.

"They just spread the ball out a lot more," Auguste said. "The first seven passes of the game he's throwing to six different receivers. At the same time, hasn't really much changed about him. He still has the same arm he had two years ago and he still moves around the same. They probably feel like they're a lot better, but we'll see."

While none of the receivers are big and physical like Alshon Jeffery was for the Gamecocks or A.J. Green was for the Bulldogs, they are similar to Carolina's receivers this season.

"Their receivers are fast and elusive," Auguste said. "It's going to be a tough task, but at the same time I think we have some good DB's. They get open and they're real good."

The last time Georgia visited Williams-Brice Stadium it was the Marcus Lattimore store. Lattimore burst onto the scene as a big-time college running back. That is what most people remember about that game, including Auguste.

"32 carries and the defense resting a lot that day," Auguste remembered. "I didn't expect him to go the way he did, but at the same time I believed in him. Once I saw that game it put him on a pedestal."

Georgia begins a brutal four-game stretch in October in which Carolina plays three teams currently ranked in the top 10, finishing the month against a Tennessee team that gave Georgia everything they wanted and more in Athens. The stretch can make or break the Gamecocks and it all starts with a good showing against Georgia.

"We have to put it on their throats," Auguste said. "We can't back down from anybody and not come out like we did in the first half against Kentucky.

"The way we've been practicing, I think we're going to come out on top."


Gamecock Anthem Top Stories