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Georgia Football

Final Feelings: Georgia Bulldogs Set to Make Cutlets of South Carolina Chickens

September 15, 2022
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs head to Cootlumbia Saturday for a fight with Shane Beamer and the Chickens. 

Matt’s Final Feelings: Alright y’all. It’s South Carolina week.

The last time I went over to Columbia to cover this game it was one of the hottest days of my life. A giant stadium in the middle of a parking lot. Could it get any worse? 

It doesn’t look like it will be blazing hot on Saturday, but the weather won’t matter anyway. Did you see what the Razorbacks did to the Gamecocks last weekend? They rushed for just under 300 yards, and got after Spencer Rattler all game.

I do think Shane Beamer has them heading in the right direction, but this one is going to be a bloodbath. I expect Kirby Smart’s team to come out aggressive and get points on the board early.
Give me a BIG first half for Steston Bennett with plenty of yards on the ground in the second half.

This should be a big day for Georgia’s linebackers, too. The Gamecocks have plenty of talent on the defensive line, but the five-stars they’ve signed have been playing like three stars lately. I expect Georgia’s defensive line to have their way, allowing Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Smael Mondon, and the rest of the inside linebackers to roam free and get after the ball carrier.

Also, Spencer Rattler was sacked SIX times against Arkansas. Georgia might not get six, but they’ll have him running for his life all game long. The Dawgs are 24.5-point favorites to win, and I think they’ll cover easy. 

I think Georgia beats down Carolina with ease, 42-9.

300 yards passing again for Stetson Bennett. Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington both find the end-zone. Georgia will rush for over 150 yards. Jalen Carter gets a sack. Christopher Smith gets another INT. It’s the first conference game of the season, and the Bulldogs will be ready to play.

The Braves are just half a game back of the Mets right now (noon on Thursday). They’ve been playing bad baseball, but to be just half a game back after a long West Coast trip is fine with me. The Mets will continue to crumble, and the Braves will once again win the NL East.

The Falcons are losers. It’s in their DNA. They simply don’t know how to win anymore. I feel bad for Grady Jarrett and Ryan Kerley, but that’s about it. Poor Ryan thought the Birds were still going to win when they were up by two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Poor, Ryan. One day he’ll learn. Ryan isn’t a loser, but the Atlanta Falcons sure are. 

Other picks…

Listen, Auburn stinks. They STINK. Penn State isn’t great either, but they’ll beat the Tigers by more than 3. If they can’t, James Franklin has to go. Give me Penn State -3

The Aggies are 5.5-point favorites against Miami. Not sure about that one. I think they’ll win a close one but I’m taking Miami +5.5.

Mississippi State is better than people think, but I see LSU bouncing back at some. I think LSU covers and wins the ballgame at Tiger Stadium.

Moving on…

I was a big Game of Thrones guy. Loved everything about it until the final season. On Thursday or Friday, I usually find time to catch up and watch the most recent episode. About four episodes in, I have to say I’m a fan so far of House of Dragon. Looking forward to keeping up with season one.
There you go. Dawgs with an easy win against the Gamecocks on Saturday, and the Falcons are a bunch of giant losers. As expected.



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Ryan’s Final Feelings: 

I’ve eaten a lot of chicken this week. On Wednesday night, I sat down to devour 100 wings with a couple friends. After 18, I felt kind of sick, but I did have a late and heavy lunch, so 18 isn’t my peak. Fat Ryan’s peak was probably in the 30s. The problem is, I need to be sure that he remains dead. 

I believe that South Carolina does envy Georgia. In 2019, when the Gamecocks came to Athens and beat the Dawgs in overtime, that was their national championship. The way those guys acted that day was beyond me. My dorm hall was trashed. We were heckled on the streets. 

Like, congrats on going 4-8, little buddy. That was when my current feelings for them truly sparked. For the rest of this, I’ll keep those particular feelings out of it.

Georgia is several worlds above South Carolina, and I think we will see that in Columbia. The Cocks better be awake and ready to get after it. Is ED a big problem in South Carolina? It probably will be on Saturday (Dean’s edit: I am going to permit this once this season)

Georgia did not play to Georgia’s new offensive standard against Samford. They struggled to score in the red zone, they looked flat and the energy was down. I don’t think they play two straight games like that. The Bulldogs have an opportunity to go to Columbia and strike fear into the rest of the county. Do what you did to Oregon, and there is no doubt you are No. 1. 

On offense, I expect them to show off how dynamic they are. Georgia has barely involved the tight ends in the passing game, for example. There is so much we have not seen yet. 

Defensively, the Dawgs have been impressive. Only allowing three points in two games is unreal. South Carolina does not have that many guys on offense. The Dawgs are fast on defense. They get to the ball quick. 

I don’t get why there is still any hype for Spencer Rattler. What have you people seen that makes you go, “Wow, this guy is the real deal!” You haven’t. His mobility is overrated. His arm is overrated. He is overrated. He is not that good. He can still prove me wrong, but it does not make sense to me.

Rattler has never seen a defense like Georgia’s. I don’t even have to look at all the games he’s played in college to confidently say that. Rattler, welcome to the SEC. Nothing personally, but I just don’t think you’re that great. Prove me wrong, and I’ll admit I was. 

Give me Georgia 45-6. I feel confident that the Dawgs cover the spread. The Cocks sneak into Georgia territory a couple times and capitalize on two field goals, but Georgia’s endzone will remain untouched in week 3.

Matt doesn’t know it yet, but on the ride back from Columbia, we will be eating chicken. I am looking forward to that. 

Rapid fire picks around the country:

Penn State sneaks by Auburn very late. Auburn sucks, again. 

LSU wins at home over Mississippi State

I’ll take Washington at home over Michigan State. I think the BIG 10 is a little overrated. 

Give me Miami beating Texas A&M in College Station. The Aggies are not very good. I am glad that I was right about them. 

The Falcons falconed so hard on Sunday. Wow. Tank season. I do like Drake London, I think. Get Kyle Pitts the ball more. I’m losing energy. I think we need a top-5 pick. My thoughts are all over the place.

Last weekend’s slate of football was chaotic. A lot of upsets and near upsets highlighted Saturday, and a lot of close and chaotic games highlighted Sunday. It was awesome. The mornings are feeling a little cooler. Football is here, and fall is coming. Let’s go!

One of my professor’s gave the most casual take in class on Tuesday. I was triggered for sure, but I kept my cool. He said that Shaqille O’Neal was not good at basketball, born to play it because of his size and did not have to work hard. Dude. Shaq is an all-timer. Joke of a take. The professor is a smart guy, but man I will never listen to him if he is talking hoops.

That reminds me. I am not close to dunking right now. It’s a wake up call. Time to get back in shape. Sorry to disappoint. 

Dean’s Final Feelings:

South Carolina has been run over the first two games of the season. While that might not be the focus of the Dawgs’ attack of late, it still has to be a major concern for Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks coming into Saturday’s noon kickoff. 

South Carolina is 129th out of 131 teams in rushing defense. That you play Georgia the next game can’t be something you get too excited about if you are a Chicken. But this isn’t last year’s Georgia. The Dawgs are predicated, it seems, more on the pass than the run these days. Back-to-back 300-yard games from Georgia in the air shows that. 

But I would be pretty concerned if I were Beamer and company about Kendall Milton specifically. Arkansas, which is big and bad everywhere, was able to really punish the Cocks with big backs. It is one after the other for the Hogs with their massive lineup in the backfield. 

It might have been a really bad matchup for Carolina. But Milton is every bit as big and bad as anyone the Hogs have. If he gets going, and don’t look now but he started getting going a week ago at 8.5 yards a carry, he’s going to be too much for the Cocks. 

When you watch Arkansas and South Carolina a week ago you saw that the Hogs used their size coupled with a hurry-up offense that often snapped the ball within ten seconds of the 40-second clock running. 

That’s pretty fast these days. It looked like Arkansas thought they could tire USC out, and they did just that - sprinting out to a 21-3 lead. South Carolina showed some toughness rallying to a 21-16 deficit in the third quarter, but the Hogs scored 23 in the fourth quarter - tallying 44 points on the day. 

295 rushing yards allowed later - it is understandable that South Carolina was flat worn down by the end of the game. 

Offensively, South Carolina relies quite heavily on Spencer Rattler. The Oklahoma transfer needed a fresh start after the Sooners self destructed their program after the 2021 season. Rattler threw 39 times and carried the ball 12 times against the Hogs. Carolina is asking him to do a lot, and it might be asking too much. 

No “one” player is going to beat Georgia. As good as Bryce Young was and is for Alabama he was wrecked in game two against the Dawgs in 2021 because he didn’t get protection. Rattler has been sacked an amazing nine times in two games. Now some of those are scrambles that turn out to be losses. 

But still… 

If you’ve carried the ball 16 times, and nine of those carries have gone for losses that’s not a recipe for success. That’s a recipe for Pepsi. And Pepsi sucks. Rattler’s longest run in 2022 is eight yards. A season ago Stetson Bennett had a 20-yard run (UAB), 12 (USC), 12 (Vandy), 9 (ARK), 30 (Auburn), 17 (UK), 20 (Gators), 8 (MIZ), 13 (UT), 14 (Bama I), 20 (Mich) and 14 (Bama II). 

That’s a dual-threat QB. Rattler has as more interceptions than touchdowns. That fact coupled with the lack of protection (or him holding the ball too long) has gotten the Chickens off to sloppy starts two weeks in a row. 

Special teams have been something to see for our fine-fathered friends. Carolina was in a one-score fight late the third quarter against Georgia State before scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt, and then doing the same in the fourth quarter. That game was full of interceptions, and just not great play generally speaking. 

Down 35-24 with 6:25 to go in Fayetteville, Carolina’s onside kick was returned by a linebacker all the way to the USC nine-yard line. That set up the final Arkansas score of the day. Carolina has been pretty good at punt return. USC is pretty highly ranked against the pass, but it should be noted that Arkansas didn’t bother throwing a ton (18 of 21 attempts), and GSU was straight up horrible throwing it (7 of 29). 

Saturday will be a real test of South Carolina’s ability to stop the pass. We will see… 

With that said, the Cocks don’t do much really well. They look, on paper at least, similar to what Oregon had to offer coming into 2022 - a pretty good QB, with a team that he is going to have to carry to the win. And if we’ve learned nothing more in the last few years - you had better be a hell of a quarterback if you are planning on beating Kirby Smart’s Georgia.

Rattler was a hell of a prospect - he’s yet to prove that he’s a hell of a quarterback. And even if he is on Saturday the question remains who will help him get the job done over 60 mins. Certainly not an offensive line that’s given up nine sacks in two games. Perhaps Carolina’s run game, which is averaging fewer than 60 yards a game, will come alive against Georgia. 

Perhaps I will get back into size 38 shorts sometime soon. 

Look, you can’t give up 200 yards rushing against Georgia State. That can’t happen. Why would you throw? Giving up 295 against Arkansas - that almost seems reasonable considering what happened the week before. 

But this isn’t Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina. Lou Holtz isn’t spitting corn around the corner. Those guys are gone, and the players they had with them, are too. This isn’t your dad’s Georgia, either. 

Georiga wins; I’ll take a backdoor Carolina cover - 24.5 on the road? That’s too much. I’m not that brave. 

Nuttiest Georgia-South Carolina since the Coots’ arrival in the SEC

Perhaps no game Georgia plays has been as predicably nuts over the last 30 years as the fight with the Cocks. Traditionally played as the first real game of the season, South Carolina has given Georgia its best shot often in the game. While many Georgia fans talk about how difficult the game is in Cootlumbia, the Dawgs usually survive a trip to the Chicken Coop.

1993

South Carolina 23 - No. 14 Georgia 21

Brandon Bennett over the top. When the other announcer’s call of arguably the biggest play in program history… well, that tells you something about your program (and its not good). The play, which was the culmination of a fourth-quarter drive, was South Carolina’s real arrival into the SEC. A season before the Chickens went 5-6 in their first season in league play. 

The play was the beginning of the end for Ray Goff, who was coming off a 10-2 season in 1992. He failed to win more than six games in his final three seasons as head coach. 

1995

Georgia 42 - South Carolina 23

Georgia was down 14-7 at the half, but Robert Edwards ripped off a school-record five touchdowns in the second half. He should have scored more - fumbling the ball into the end zone in the first half. The Dawgs’ offensive explosion overshadowed a great defensive performance - allowing the Gamecocks only 29 yards on 33 carries. 

2000

South Carolina 21 - No. 10 Georgia 10

Lou Holtz watched a week before as fans of his team ripped down goal posts after his first victory as head coach. It had come after a run of 21 consecutive losses for South Carolina. A week later, Carolina shocked No. 10 Georgia in Columbia thanks to a swarming defense. Georgia QB Quincy Carter was a turnover machine - throwing an astonishing five interceptions. 

“Obviously, we have some real problems offensively," Georgia coach Jim Donnan said after the loss. "From my standpoint, this is a real letdown.”

Donnan was let go at the end of the season. 

2002 

No. 9 Georgia 13 - South Carolina 7

The Bulldogs had survived Clemson in the season opener, but had a week off before facing the Chickens in Columbia. The game, which was broadcast on CBS, featured only one offensive touchdown. Billy Bennett’s 22-yard FG in the first quarter was the only scoring in the game until a frantic fourth quarter. 

Corey Jenkins was trying to get the Coots out of their own end zone when little-known David Pollack flew around the right side of the line to make one of the most remarkable plays in the Mark Richt era. 

Pollack nearly sacked Jenkins, but managed to grab the ball as he was falling. Steve Shaw’s whistle blew, and he signaled a touchdown. It was wild. Georgia was up 10-0 in the rain. 

“I don't know how it happened,'' Pollack told reporters after the game. "When I hit it, and I noticed it kind of stuck to my hand.”

On the very next drive USC scored the game’s only offensive touchdown. At 10-7, Georgia was going to have to hang on. The game seemed more settled when Bennett added another FG. But on the final drive of the game USC came flying down the field to win. The Dawgs dropped what could have been two game-clinching interceptions. Those missed opportunities would nearly cost the Dawgs the game. With a minute to go, Carolina was first and ten at the UGA 11. 

Three runs in a row made it fourth and short from the Georgia two-yard line. On fourth down in the shadows of the Georgia end zone, the Chickens lined up in a shotgun, and it all went down hilll from there. David Pollack shot through the line to force a quick pitch from Jenkins to Andrew Pinnock, who was trying to catch the ball at the eight. 

But he fumbled. White jerseys with Silver Britches swarmed, and Georgia was on its way to the program’s first SEC title in two decades. 

2004

No. 3 Georgia 20 - South Carolina 16

“Every time we come here, it's really no fun at all,” Georgia coach Mark Richt told reporters after the game. Richt’s No. 3 Dawgs survived Cootlumbia once more - this time after getting down 16-0 in the first half. David Greene, who had a pick six in the first half, steadied himself and accounted for 213 yards and well as the game-winning 22-yard pass to Reggie Brown in the visitor end zone at Williams-Brice Stadium. 

2007

South Carolina 16 - No. 11 Georgia 12

Steve Spurrier was up to his old tricks - frustrating the Georgia Bulldogs. With QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia didn’t score a touchdown on the Gamecocks in the 16-12 loss. Stafford nearly hit WR Tony Wilson with a game-tying touchdown, but Wilson dropped the ball in the end zone. 

Georgia went on correct issues and win the Sugar Bowl later that season, but the loss to the Chickens likely cost Georgia a shot at playing in the BCS National Championship. 

2009

No. 21 Georgia 41 - South Carolina 37

Georgia probably didn't deserve to win this game, but it did to the chagrin of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. The game, which was back and forth, and forth and back, came down to the a goal line stand from the No. 21 Bulldogs, which were trying to avoid going 0-2 to start the 2009 season. 

It looked like Georgia was clear of the Cocks after getting up 38-23 with 9:04 to play in the third quarter. But two FGs, a safety and a pick six got USC within a point of the Dawgs. On the final drive of the game South Carolina drove the ball from its own 19-yard line to the Georgia 13. That’s when Georgia LB Rennie Curran made back-to-back tackles to set the final two plays of the game. USC QB Stephen Garcia couldn’t connect with Tori Gurley on third down. On fourth and ball game, Curran broke up a pass intended for Gamecock TE Weslye Saunders, and Sanford Stadium exploded. 

After the Bulldogs won, ESPN’s crew captured two Georgia State Patrolmen were captured fist bumping in celebration right in front of Spurrier as he looked on in frustration.

2011

No. 12 South Carolina 45 - Georgia 42

Much like the 2009 game, USC and UGA went back and forth exchanging the lead a slew of times before a decisive fourth quarter that saw Carolina score 17 points. 

South Carolina used three non-offensive touchdowns to power their way to a 45-42 win. Antonio Allen’s 25-yard pick six, Melvin Ingram’s 68-touchdown on a fake punt and his five-yard fumble recovery with Carolina clinging to a three-point lead clinched the game. 

2014

No. 24 South Carolina 38 - No. 6 Georgia 35

Georgia scored 35 points on the road, but lost to South Carolina in a game that was delayed nearly an hour and a half because of weather in the area. South Carolina entered the fourth quarter with a 31-20 lead, but UGA rallied and had an opportunity to at least tie the game late. That was squandered by a grounding call on Hutson Mason, and a missed 28-yard FG by Marshall Morgan. 

2019

South Carolina 20 - No. 3 Georgia 17 (OT)

No. 3 Georgia’s offense stalled the entire game, as the No. 3 Bulldogs lost a shocker to South Carolina in Athens in overtime. South Carolina DB Israel Mukuamu’s 53-yard interception for a touchdown just before the half gave the Chickens a 17-10 lead and all the points they would need in regulation. 

Rodrigo Blankenship’s miss from 42 yards out sealed the Dawgs fate that day. The game was likely the beginning of the end of UGA offensive coordinator James Coley’s tenure calling plays. The Bulldogs scored over 30 only once the rest of the way in 2019. Still, Georgia won the Sugar Bowl to close the 2019 season. South Carolina (4-8) did not participate in a bowl game. 

 
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