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  1. Gamecocks ahead of ‘one of the scariest’ games for Georgia Sept. 07, 2018 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} As Florida’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and one of the SEC’s most iconic players of the last two decades, Tim Tebow built a reputation as a master motivator. One of his speeches, which came after a 2008 loss to Ole Miss, is now memorialized on a plaque at Florida Field. And he’s got some advice for South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley about what to say to his No. 24 Gamecocks before they play No. 3 Georgia on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} “In a game like this, I probably say something,” Tebow said Friday afternoon from Gamecock Park, where he was to film SEC Nation. “I think this is the biggest game in South Carolina’s season. I think it’s their biggest game in the last few years. If you want to say we are going to have a great season, and we can make a push to win the East, this is the game. I think Georgia is going to be better next year and Florida’s going to be better next year, so if you’re going to win the East, you’re going to do it this year and it’s going to start with this game. That’s what I would say if I was Jake. “I’m saying, ‘Listen, most of our legacy is coming down to this game because this game is going to catapult us to the rest of our season.’ Not to make too many big statements, but I think it’s a big one.” The area around Williams-Brice Stadium certainly had a big game feel Friday afternoon. Tebow and fellow SEC Network stars Paul Finebaum and Laura Rutledge were also in town, and Finebaum filmed his popular Paul Finebaum Show from Gamecock Park live on Friday afternoon. When Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp was a guest at 3:45 p.m., about 50 South Carolina fans crowded behind the set to listen in. On the north end of Williams-Brice, recreational vehicles already had begun to fill the visitors RV lot with Georgia “G” flags flying high. The Bulldogs are the defending SEC champions and national runners-up. They are 10-point favorites in Saturday’s 3:30 game, which will be televised by CBS, but Tebow believes the Gamecocks have a chance to pull the upset. “To be honest, I think South Carolina matches up the best with Georgia that they have in a long time,” he said. “I think Georgia is one of the best teams in the country, but I think out of all their games this year, this is one of the scariest. It’s the second game of the season. It’s on the road, and it’s the first test for a lot of young guys.” SEC Nation will film a live show from 10 a.m. until noon from Gamecock Park. When the game starts, Tebow expects South Carolina’s crowd to be a big factor. The game has sold out. “It’s huge,” Tebow said. “I loved playing here. This place can get rowdy sometimes. I think they need to [Saturday]. It’s overall a young team for Georgia, so create that excitement and momentum and hype for your team and rally them to a big upset.”
  2. Will Muschamp updates D.J. Wonnum’s status as Georgia game nears Sept. 06, 2018 South Carolina defensive end D.J. Wonnum is “doing well” two days before the No. 24 Gamecocks’ showdown with No. 3 Georgia, head coach Will Muschamp said Thursday evening. However, Wonnum hasn’t been fully cleared yet, Muschamp indicated. “We will look at him again tomorrow, but we feel good about D.J.,” Muschamp said on his weekly “Carolina Calls” radio show. Wide receiver Chavis Dawkins, who is doubtful due to an ankle injury, is the only other South Carolina player who might miss the game due to injury, Muschamp said. Tight end K.C. Crosby and running back Mon Denson (hamstring) will both play.
  3. SEC Wednesday Conference calls with Will Muschamp & Kirby Smart 09/05/2018 SECSPORTS.COM HC Will Muschamp click the X on the right upper corner to play or replay Here HC Kirby Smart click the X on the right upper corner to play or replay Here
  4. 10 things Georgia said about South Carolina during rivalry week Sept. 05, 2018 THE STATE ATHENS, GA. Kirby Smart is a fan of the Will Muschamp-era South Carolina Gamecocks. The Georgia head coach – and former college teammate of Muschamp’s at UGA – has reiterated that fact for a while now, especially after last year’s hard-fought Bulldogs win over the Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium. The line then – “They will be a force to be reckoned with” – didn’t change much Monday when Smart had his latest opportunity to talk about USC ahead of Saturday’s showdown in Columbia. “They do a tremendous job over there,” Smart said during his weekly news conference. “Watching them progress their program over the last couple of years, they’ve gotten better with each season.“ South Carolina (1-0 in 2018) went 6-7 in Muschamp’s first season and followed with last season’s 9-4 mark. No. 3 Georgia (1-0) is 22-7 in two-plus years under Smart, including an SEC and Rose Bowl title in 2017. Before the two coaches battle each other at Williams-Brice Stadium, they’ll likely try to out-compliment one another in front of a microphone this week. Here are 10 noteworthy quotes from Georgia as its 71st all-time meeting with South Carolina looms: “Last year’s game was probably one of the most physical we played in. It was a really tough, physical game. A lot of breaking the wheels when it comes to running the ball, them and us.” – Smart The 2017 game came at a time when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1. The Gamecocks were within a score at halftime before UGA’s star running back combination of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel helped the Bulldogs pull away for the 24-10 win. “Bryan (McClendon) was a player here and did a tremendous job for us. I’ve always had a lot of respect for him as a leader, really good recruiter. He did a great job with receivers when he was with those guys, and now he’s calling plays. He called it in the bowl game, and I thought for a guy that started off slow in the bowl game, he was very patient, committed, called a great game, especially the second half; kind of won that job by the job he did and got a great amount of respect.” – Smart South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon was a senior receiver at Georgia when Smart was the Bulldogs’ running backs coach in 2005. Last January, after given a chance in the Outback Bowl, McClendon was promoted to full-time OC. He debuted last week in USC’s rout of Coastal Carolina. “He’s probably the most underrated player in all of college football, because I don’t know that everybody in the country knows what the SEC knows about Deebo Samuel. I mean the guy is phenomenal.” – Smart If he stays healthy, expect Deebo Samuel to get this kind of praise from opposing coaches all season. USC’s electric receiver/kick return man could be the difference-maker the Gamecocks need Saturday. “I don’t compare this to Notre Dame because our fan base felt like 50 percent of the fan base (at Notre Dame Stadium). It won’t be that way in Columbia, let me assure you. OK? Their fan base will be turned out and have a lot of people there. So that environment is probably not a good analogy for what we’re going into. Because I know, I’ve been there, I understand.” – Smart Saturday’s game marks a second straight season in which the Bulldogs are on the road in Week 2. They beat the Fighting Irish, 20-19, last September before a crowd of 77,622 in South Bend, Indiana. It was estimated afterward that nearly half of that crowd was clad in red and black. Chances are the Bulldogs won’t see that many friendly faces at Williams-Brice. UGA has dropped three of its last four games in Columbia. “It’s just a situation where there’s no plan. You know, we gotta go with how things go and how the flow of the game goes. I thought (Justin Fields) did a good job Saturday in the game, handled things well, but I don’t know what this game is going to dictate, what this game is going to bring. So we’ll see.” – Smart on UGA’s QB situation Georgia played two quarterbacks in its Week 1 win over Austin Peay. Jake Fromm started and got the Bulldogs out to a 10-0 lead before Fields, a freshman, made his debut. Fromm, a sophomore who played in the national title game last season, will likely start again, but Fields, a highly-touted recruit, could see significant time as well. “He reminds me of our Jake, Jake Fromm. He’s very smart, he’s very competitive and he’s going to play really hard out there for that team, put it all on the line.” – Georgia safety J.R. Reed on USC quarterback Jake Bentley Bentley, a 21-game starter, completed 21 of 35 passes for 227 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in last year’s loss to UGA, his lone career appearance against the Bulldogs. “I heard it’s one of the best, if not the best place to play in. I heard they have a great home fan section. I heard them and LSU are like the top places to be at.” – Reed on WBS South Carolina last hosted Georgia on a Saturday in 2014. A crowd of 84,232 showed up to see a 38-35 Carolina win. Two years earlier, over 85,000 were there for a 35-7 Gamecock rout of the Bulldogs. “I knew they blew out Coastal Carolina. You really couldn’t pick up anything. I know it’s similar, but we’ll definitely see when we get out there.” – Reed One expected difference between Carolina of 2017 (with Kurt Roper as OC) and Carolina now? A more sped-up attack. “It’s becoming that (a rivalry). It’s definitely one of the tougher, more physical games that we play. Especially coming over these past years and how the tables have been turned and we’ve been going back and forth. I think it’s a game that we take very seriously. They’re doing the same thing.” – Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter The Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 50-18-2. A win Saturday and they give one side four straight victories for the first time since UGA beat USC five straight times from 2002-06. “Muschamp, him and Kirby, those guys are boys.” – Reed
  5. Coach Will Muschamp on his SEC coaches teleconference today said Gamecocks junior BUCK D.J. Wonnum practiced for the first time this week as he is dealing with an ankle sprain. D.J. Wonnum suffered the injury in the second half of the win over Coastal Carolina. He was placed in a boot by head medical trainer Clint Haggard to reduce swelling and was held out of Sunday and Tuesday practices on purpose
  6. FeatheredCock

    Injury update

    Injury update From Tuesday D.J. Wonnum will practice Wednesday and should be ready to play on Saturday against Georgia, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp told reporters on Tuesday. South Carolina’s star defensive end — who had a boot on his injured ankle Sunday and sat out practice Monday and Tuesday — sprained an ankle during the third quarter of this past weekend’s game against Coastal Carolina. "He's not a guy who is going to take a bunch of reps. He doesn't need a bunch of reps. He knows what we do and how we do things," Muschamp said on Sunday night. "They had a little more swelling than they would have liked on the ankle but we feel like he will be good to go." Wonnum was one of five players Muschamp mentioned during his injury report. K.C. Crosby practiced Tuesday and will be ready to play against the Bulldogs. Chavis Dawkins is listed as questionable, but is doubtful to play on Saturday. Running back Mon Denson, who did not play in the opener against the Chanticleers with a hamstring injury, will play.
  7. Georgia makes preparations for USC star, ‘the most underrated player in the country’ Sept. 03, 2018 THE STATE ATHENS, GA. The most talked-about football player in Bulldog Country on Monday wasn’t Jake Fromm or Justin Fields. It wasn’t D’Andre Swift or Terry Godwin. Some 170 miles away, Deebo Samuel’s ears had to be ringing. “He’s probably the most underrated player in all of college football,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “I don’t know that everybody in the country knows what the SEC knows about Deebo Samuel.” “He’s definitely one of the top wideouts in the SEC right now,” added Georgia safety J.R. Reed. “He’s a great receiver, man” said defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter. “He’s proved it year-in, year-out.” When South Carolina and the No. 3 Bulldogs meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium, it will mark Samuel’s return to this rivalry after a year’s absence because of injury. In 2016, the star receiver made four catches for 90 yards in USC’s 28-14 loss to UGA in Columbia. Smart, after watching film of Samuel’s 10-touch, 112-yard, one-touchdown performance in South Carolina’s season-opening rout of Coastal Carolina, hasn’t forgotten the challenge Samuel presents to a defense. “Two years ago, he gave us fits in that game,” Smart said. “And then you turn around and say, ‘OK, he had a tough injury to deal with.’ But before he had the injury, he had some of the most electric kickoff returns in the country. You see what he’s already done in this (Coastal) game, you see how explosive he’s been, whether it’s running back, receiver. “And they’re creating ways to find and get him the ball. He’s a 10-touch, 15-touch-a-game guy. They’re going to find ways to get him the ball through the screen game, return game, hand it to him. He’s an electric football player that’s extremely powerful, confident, hard to tackle. “He’ll be a key guy for us. You got to get him on the ground when he gets the ball.” Samuel was labeled an “All-American” and “first-round draft choice” by Coastal coach Joe Moglia last Saturday. The senior has six receptions for 110 yards in two career games against Georgia. The Bulldog secondary, headlined by Reed and preseason All-SEC corner Deandre Baker, allowed 61 passing yards in its 45-0 win over Austin Peay last week. UGA held the Samuel-less Gamecocks to 10 points in a Bulldog win last year in Athens. USC quarterback Jake Bentley still hit six different receivers for 227 yards and a touchdown. Bryan Edwards, who made seven grabs for 62 yards and a score last November, headlines a Carolina WR corps that complements Samuel and is seen as perhaps the strongest position unit on the team. “They’re big, they’re physical,” Smart said. “They throw the ball vertically down the field. I think Jake Bentley does a tremendous job of throwing the touch passes, throwing fade routes, throwing vertical patterns. And they catch them at a high percentage. “I think if you look back over the last few games, they’ve hit a lot of those long balls, and they’ve got big wideouts to do it with. And they’re committed to the run game to the point where you can’t sit there and cover up the pass the whole time. So they take their shots. You gotta cover them.”
  8. FeatheredCock

    2018 Opponent Preview: Georgia

    2018 Opponent Preview: Georgia July 19, 2018 armchairallamericans.com OPPONENT: Georgia Bulldogs WHEN: September 8, 2018 at 3:30 WHERE: Williams Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC) ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Georgia leads 50-18-2 LAST MEETING: Georgia beat South Carolina 24-10 on November 4, 2017 in Athens 2017 RECORD: Georgia finished last year 13-2 and 7-1 in the SEC. Head Coach… Kirby Smart is entering his third year and has an overall record of 17-5. Returning Starters… Georgia is returning 13 starters, with eight on offense and five on defense. How did they fare in 2017? In their 2017 campaign, Georgia had one of the best years in their program. In his second year, Kirby Smart led Georgia to a 13-2 record, which resulted from a division and conference win. Georgia also secured the two seed in the playoff where they defeated Oklahoma in a Rose Bowl thriller. They went on to lose against Alabama in the National Championship. Best Returning Player… QB Jake Fromm, Sophomore As a freshman, Fromm took the starting job from Jacob Eason and led the Bulldogs to the National Championship. In 2017, Fromm threw for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. There’s a lot of speculation that incoming freshman Justin Fields will take the starting job, but it’s hard to imagine Fromm will lose his starting role. Overall Outlook… This game will have a huge impact on who wins the SEC East because this is the toughest conference game for South Carolina. Besides Georgia and Clemson, South Carolina’s schedule is favorable. If Deebo Samuel manages to stay healthy, the Gamecocks can surprise the college football world. A big home win against the national runner-ups for the Gamecocks early on will send shock-waves through the nation. If Georgia wins, they have a clear path back to the playoff. The ESPN FPI currently gives Georgia a 79.1 percent chance to beat South Carolina.
  9. Gamecocks reveal uniform combination for Georgia November 03, 2017 The South Carolina football team announced its uniform combination for Saturday’s showdown against Georgia, the No. 1 team in the country. The Gamecocks revealed the garnet, white, white combo on Friday afternoon with another sharp video from Justin King’s media team. South Carolina-Georgia kicks off at 3:30 on CBS. Senior offensive lineman Cory Helms is expected to return to the starting lineup, after exiting the Vanderbilt game with an injury to the ankle that forced him to miss time earlier this season. For South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, game will be his first trip to Georgia as a head coach. He’s coached there as an assistant at Auburn, but never as a head coach, because Georgia-Florida is always played in Jacksonville, Fla. Earlier this week, Muschamp downplayed the storyline of his return to Sanford Stadium. The Dawgs (8-0, 5-0) are heavily favored in this season’s annual SEC East showdown. They’re more than a 3-touchdown favorite over the Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC). A win for South Carolina would keep the push for an SEC East title alive. The Gamecocks would need the Dawgs to lose again, in order to clinch a spot for the championship in Atlanta, Ga. Also, Kentucky would have to lose a third game since the Wildcats won the head-to-head matchup earlier this season.
  10. Gamecocks And Bulldogs Set For SEC Eastern Division Showdown CBS To Televise 3:30 pm Contest from Athens GCF Staff Report November 03, 2017 South Carolina vs Georgia Game Notes / GameTracker / Live Audio / @GamecockFB GAME INFO Opponent: Georgia Date: Nov. 4, 2017 Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET Location: Athens, Ga. Venue: Sanford Stadium (92,746) Series: Latest the teams have met in a season since 1939; UGA owns a 49-18-2 advantage TV: CBS (Carter Blackburn, Rick Neuheisel, Aaron Taylor, John Schriffen) Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network (Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs, Langston Moore) Satellite Radio: Sirius 134/XM 191 Radio Affiliates Weekly Radio Show Weekly TV Show YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE: The South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) play their final road game of the 2017 season this week when they travel to Athens for a 3:30 pm ET showdown with the SEC Eastern Division-leading and second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0 SEC) on Saturday, November 4. The game at Sanford Stadium (92,746) will be televised nationally on CBS. IN THE BOOTH: Carter Blackburn will serve as the play-by-play voice for CBS, with Rick Neuheisel and Aaron Taylor providing the analysis. John Schriffen will be the sideline reporter. TWO SHY OF 600: It’s been 125 years since the University of South Carolina laced it up for a December 24, 1892 meeting in Charleston against Furman, a 44-0 setback. 2017 marks the 124th season of intercollegiate football at South Carolina. It is the 111th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 598-571-44, a .511 winning percentage. SEC, SEC: The Gamecocks are in their 26th year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their lone SEC Eastern Division title in 2010. The Gamecocks are 89-116-1 (.434) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 34-28 (.548) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season. CAROLINA VS. GEORGIA: This is the 70th all-time meeting between these two bordering flagship state schools. Only Clemson (114) has faced the Gamecocks more often than Georgia. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series by a 49-18-2 margin, including a 28-8 advantage when playing in Athens. Since becoming SEC Eastern Division rivals in 1992, UGA owns a 16-9 advantage in the series, including an 8-4 mark in Athens. IT’S GETTING LATE: This year’s match up will be only the third time since 1980 that the Gamecocks and Bulldogs have met after September (they played on Oct. 6 in 2012 and on Oct. 9, 2016), and is the second-latest date in the history of the series that extends back to 1894, exceeded only by the November 18 game in 1939. ADVANTAGE CAROLINA: The Gamecocks have won four of the seven meetings with Georgia in this decade including three-straight from 2010-12 (17-6, 45-42 and 35-7). Georgia won in Athens in 2013 by a 41-30 count, but the Gamecocks bounced back with a 38-35 win in Columbia in 2014. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings by scores of 52-20 and 28-14. THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Hurricane Matthew forced a scheduling change, as the Gamecocks hosted Georgia in a rare Sunday afternoon game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 9, 2016. The Bulldogs churned out 326 rushing yards on 50 carries in a 28-14 win. Carolina quarterback Perry Orth completed 26-of-36 passes for 288 yards, but was sacked five times. Deebo Samuel (4 catches, 90 yards) and Hayden Hurst (six catches, 86 yards) proved to be a solid one-two receiving punch. THE LAST TIME IN ATHENS: The Georgia offense was hitting on all cylinders as the No. 7 Bulldogs posted a 52-20 win over South Carolina on Sept. 19, 2015, in Athens. Georgia quarterback Grayson Lambert connected on 24-of-25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, while Nick Chubb carried 21 times for 159 yards and two scores as the Bulldogs rolled up 576 yards of offense. South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth made his first career start and completed 6-of-17 passes for 66 yards. True freshman Lorenzo Nunez was a bright spot, earning significant playing time for the first time in his career. He rushed 10 times for a team-high 76 yards. Elliott Fry connected on field goals of 45 yards and a career-long 51-yarder. WELL THAT’S DIFFERENT: After an 11-year stretch from 1998-2008 in which the teams did not score more than 38 points combined, the offense have had the better of it lately. In the last eight meetings, the winning team has scored at least 35 points six times and the teams have combined for over 70 points in five of those eight contests, including a record 87 points in 2011. MAKING A POINT: After playing 34 times from 1971-2008 without scoring 30 points in any single contest, Carolina has tallied 30-plus points in five of the last eight meetings against the Bulldogs. MUSCHAMP VS. GEORGIA: South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp owns a 1-4 record as a head coach against his alma mater. The 1994 Georgia grad lost by a 24-20 count in 2011, by a 17-9 score in 2012 and by a 23-20 margin in 2013 before posting a 38-20 win in 2014, all as the head coach at Florida. All four of those games were played in Jacksonville. He dropped his first game against Georgia as the Gamecocks’ head coach last season by a 28-14 count. This week’s game will mark Coach Muschamp’s first trip to Athens as an opposing head coach. GEORGIA ON MY MIND: This is one game that Carolina co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon had to have circled. A 2005 Georgia graduate, McClendon spent his entire coaching career with the Bulldogs prior to joining Will Muschamp’s staff on Dec. 23, 2015. During his time in Athens, McClendon served as the Bulldogs’ interim head coach and led his team to the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl win over Penn State. IT JUST MEANS MORE: The Peach State is well-represented on Carolina’s roster, as 24 players claim Georgia as their home state. That figures to 22 percent of the Gamecocks’ 109-man roster. DANDY WIN OVER VANDY: A.J. Turner rushed for a career-high 121 yards on just 15 carries as South Carolina rolled up a season-high 212 rushing yards in a 34-27 win over Vanderbilt last Saturday in Columbia. Jake Bentley added two rushing touchdowns, the first two of his career, and threw for another in the win. It was the third-straight win for the Gamecocks, their ninth-straight victory over Vanderbilt, and was their sixth win of the season, making them bowl-eligible for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. PLAYING A RANKED OPPONENT: The Gamecocks will be playing their first ranked opponent of the season when they take on second-ranked Georgia. Carolina was 1-4 against ranked opponents in 2016, with the lone win coming against No. 18 Tennessee. The Gamecocks are 2-11 versus ranked foes since the start of the 2014 season, with the other win coming against sixth-ranked Georgia in 2014. BEATING THE BEST: Georgia enters the game as the nation’s second-ranked team. A win over the Bulldogs would mark the second-best victory in Carolina history, based on Associated Press rankings. Five of Carolina’s top seven wins based on the AP rankings have come since 2009, including a win over top-ranked Alabama in 2010. BEATING THE BEST ON THE ROAD: The last time South Carolina posted a win over a ranked team on the road was at No. 5 Missouri on Oct. 26, 2013, while the best road win in school history came at No. 3 North Carolina in 1981. DID YOU KNOW?: South Carolina has played a top-5 ranked team in 11 of the past 12 seasons. GUILTY OF POSSESSION: The Gamecocks have turned the ball over just six times all season. That ranks second in the SEC and tied for fifth in the country behind only NC State (4), UCF (5), Wake Forest (5) and Alabama (5). HEY TURN ME OVER: South Carolina is tied for third in the SEC with 14 turnovers forced (7 fumbles and 7 interceptions). The Gamecocks are plus-8 in turnover margin, second in the SEC and tied for 12th in the country. TURNOVERS LEAD TO POINTS: The Gamecocks are not only winning the turnover battle, but converting those turnovers into points. Carolina has tallied 62 points off their 14 turnovers, while allowing just three points following their six turnovers. ROAD WARRIORS: The Gamecocks are 2-1 in true road games this season and 3-1 away from Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium. They have 2017 road wins at Missouri and Tennessee along with a neutral site win over NC State in Charlotte. Carolina won just one road game between the 2015 and ‘16 seasons combined. BIG ROAD CROWDS: This week’s game will mark the third time this season that South Carolina has played in one of the nation’s 10-largest college football stadiums. The Gamecocks have already traveled to Texas A&M’s Kyle Field in College Station (3rd-102,733) and Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium in Knoxville (4th-102,455) before this week’s game at Georgia’s Sanford Stadium in Athens (9th-92,746). SEEING RED: The Gamecock defense has buckled down in the red zone. For the season, the Gamecocks have allowed just 15 touchdowns on 29 red zone opportunities, or just 52 percent of the time. Overall, Carolina is fourth in the SEC in red zone defense. NO SCORING ZONE: The Gamecocks are allowing just 20.2 points per game this season, sixth in the SEC. If that number holds up, it would be their best mark since the 2012 squad allowed just 18.2 points per contest, and would mark the fourth-straight year in which the Gamecocks have shown improvement, going from 30.4 ppg in 2014, to 27.5 in 2015 to 26.5 last season. South Carolina is one of just nine Division I-A schools that has not allowed a 30-point game this season. BETTER THAN AVERAGE: The Gamecock defense has been better than advertised this season, holding seven of eight opponents to fewer points than their season average, with three teams being held at least 10 points below their season mark. Georgia enters this week’s contest averaging 38.1 points per game. ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A TD: The Gamecocks set a school record with three defensive touchdowns in the win over Arkansas. Skai Moore returned an interception 34 yards, T.J. Brunson returned a fumble 73 yards, then Keisean Nixon returned an interception 45 yards for a score. It was the Gamecocks first game with multiple defensive scores since September 10, 2011 at Georgia, when Antonio Allen had a pick-six and Melvin Ingram scored on a fumble recovery. The three defensive scores were one shy of the NCAA Division I record of four, accomplished four times. The Gamecocks have scored five non-offensive touchdowns this season, three on defense and two on special teams. POINTS FROM ELSEWHERE: The Gamecocks have scored five non-offensive touchdowns this season, two on kickoff returns, two interception returns and one fumble return. That is one shy of the school record of six non-offensive touchdowns, accomplished four times since 1970: 1971, 2010, 2011 and 2012. RAISE THE FLAG: The Gamecocks are one of the least penalized teams in college football. Carolina has been flagged for just 38 penalties this season, an average of 4.75 per game, which ranks third in the SEC and 22nd in the country. Carolina’s penalties have totaled 278 yards or just 34.75 yards per contest, the fewest in the SEC and the fourth-fewest in the nation behind only Georgia Tech, Boston College and Minnesota. MAKESHIFT LINE: Due to right ankle injuries to Zack Bailey, Cory Helms and Malik Young, offensive line coach Eric Wolford has had to piece together several different starting units. Nine players have started on the offensive line this season. For the first time since game 3 against Kentucky, Wolford had everyone available for last week’s game against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks have used six different offensive line combinations in eight games, including four different starters at right tackle. The lone constant has been senior Alan Knott at center, who earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week accolades against Vanderbilt, although Donell Stanley has started every game, five at left guard and three at right guard. MISSING IN ACTION: After having 19 of the 22 starters answer the bell in each of the first three games, injuries struck Carolina. In addition to the issues on the offensive line, wide receiver/kick returner Deebo Samuel is out indefinitely with a fractured leg (suffered vs. Kentucky), while starting Buck Bryson Allen-Williams (shoulder vs. Kentucky), starting running back Rico Dowdle (fractured leg vs. Tennessee) and tight ends K.C. Crosby (fractured leg vs. Arkansas) and Kyle Markway (ribs vs. Missouri) will miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing surgery. MY QUARTERBACK IS A BENTLEY: Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley is the key to the Gamecock attack. The 6-3, 220-pounder is hitting on 61.4 percent of his passes this season (148-for-241) for 1,759 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He completed a career-best 16-consecutive passes earlier this season against Kentucky, four shy of the school record of 20, set by Connor Shaw. He ranks third in the SEC in passing yards per game (219.9) and fourth in total offense (227.5), while his 13 TD passes ranks tied for fourth. Bentley, who is 10-5 in 15 career starts, has thrown for over 300 yards twice in his career. He set the school record for bowl games and Birmingham Bowl records for passes completed (32), yards passing (390) and total offense (381) while throwing three TD passes against USF in 2016. ON TARGET: Quarterback Jake Bentley has completed 63.3 percent of his career passes (273-of-431). That has him ranked second on the Gamecocks’ career completion percentage list. He comes into this week’s game having thrown 136 consecutive passes without an interception. MORE ON JAKE: Quarterback Jake Bentley shared 2016 MVP honors with Deebo Samuel, despite playing in just seven contests. Bentley has thrown for 3,179 career yards, becoming the 14th player in Carolina history to throw for over 3,000 yards. Chris Smelley is 13th on the list with 3,210. FAMILY AFFAIR: Quarterback Jake Bentley comes from a football family. His father, Bobby, is the Gamecocks’ running backs coach and previously was a highly-successful coach at Byrnes (S.C.) High and at Presbyterian College. Jake’s step-brother, Chas Dodd (Rutgers), and brother, Shuler Bentley (Old Dominion/Murray State), both have played quarterback in college. Chas is on the Carolina staff as a GA in the weight room. BORN TO RUN: The Gamecocks are without the services of Rico Dowdle, who suffered a broken leg in the win over Tennessee. While Dowdle’s absence will be felt, the running game will be in the capable hands of A.J. Turner and Ty’Son Williams. Mon Denson, a 5-10, 209-pound sophomore, becomes the third back in the rotation, and has proved to be effective in limited duty this year. A.J. TURNS UP: After rushing just 20 times for 60 yards through the first six games, redshirt sophomore A.J. Turner (5-10, 184) has picked up the load in Rico Dowdle’s absence, carrying 29 times for 207 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, including a career-best 121-yard effort on just 15 carries against the Commodores, the first 100-yard rushing game for a Gamecock this season. He also caught four passes for 24 yards against the ‘Dores. Turner logged 497 yards and three scores on 116 carries last season, including a 113-yard effort against Texas A&M. THE PRODIGAL (TY’)SON: After spending the 2015 season at North Carolina, then sitting out 2016 as a transfer, redshirt sophomore running back Ty’Son Williams, from Sumter, S.C., has led the Gamecocks in rushing three times this season. He came off the bench at Mizzou to lead the team with 14 rushes for 78 yards in the win. He made his first collegiate start against Louisiana Tech and responded with 95 yards on 13 carries, a 7.3-yard average, including a 35-yard touchdown burst in the fourth quarter, the longest by a Gamecock this season. He logged 14 carries for 73 yards, including a 34-yard burst, at Texas A&M. After eight games, he is the team’s leading rusher with 353 yards on 68 carries, a 5.0-yard average. MISSING DEEBO: Deebo Samuel did it all for the Gamecocks through the season’s first three games before suffering a broken bone in his leg against Kentucky. In the opener against NC State, he returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a score, and caught five passes for 83 yards including a pair of scores, finishing the day with 185 all-purpose yards. At Missouri, he returned another kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, scored on a 25-yard rush and caught five passes for 45 yards, accumulating 167 all-purpose yards. He was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after both the NC State and Missouri contests. Samuel hauled in five passes for 122 yards, including a 68-yard scoring strike on the game’s first play from scrimmage against Kentucky, before suffering the injury. MOVIN’ ON UP: Bryan Edwards played an excellent second fiddle to Deebo Samuel, but has now moved into the first chair in Samuel’s absence. Edwards has caught at least four passes in six of eight games this season, totaling 35 catches for 435 yards and one score. He ranks fifth in the SEC in receptions per game (4.4) and is 11th in receiving yards per game (54.4). His best effort is a six-catch, 122-yard performance against Louisiana Tech. The 6-3, 215-pounder from Conway, S.C., has 79 career receptions for 1,025 yards. ORTRE FINDS THE END ZONE: True freshman wide receiver OrTre Smith has three touchdowns among his 15 receptions this season. His first career reception was a 9-yard TD pass late in the game against Kentucky, then he caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against Louisiana Tech before hauling in a 13-yard scoring strike at A&M in the third quarter. HE MAY BE SHI, BUT HE’S NOT AFRAID: Shi Smith has also stepped up in the absence of Deebo Samuel. The true freshman had his best game as a Gamecock at Texas A&M, catching three passes for a team-high 86 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown pass for his first career score. He had a season-high five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown against Vanderbilt. For the season, Shi has hauled in 20 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. DIAMONDS AREN’T FOREVER: Hayden Hurst played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization after being selected in the 17th round of the 2012 draft. Now a 6-5, 253-pound junior, the 24-year-old Hurst turned in the school’s best single-season receiving numbers for a tight end in 2016. His 48 receptions and 616 receiving yards topped the previous marks of 38 catches, set by Doug Hamrick in 1970, and 576 yards, set by Danny Smith in 1987. He also was selected a permanent team captain in 2016, becoming the first sophomore in school history to earn that distinction. He was a 2017 first-team mid-season All-SEC selection by The Athletic. FROM HURST TO FIRST?: Hayden Hurst had back-to-back 76-yard receiving games, catching a career-high six passes at Texas A&M and a career-long 62-yard touchdown reception versus Arkansas, to move up on the all-time Carolina charts for a tight end. He became the school’s all-time leader in career receptions by a tight end with 79 in the win over Vanderbilt, passing Danny Smith’s mark of 78, which stook for 30 years. He ranks third in career yards receiving by a tight end (1,050). GETTING IN THE SACK: The Gamecocks have recorded 17 sacks this season, with four coming in the season opening win over NC State and seven coming at Tennessee, the most in a game since 2012. Carolina recorded a total of 21 sacks in 13 games in 2016. Here are the individual numbers: WONNUM RECOGNIZED TWICE: Sophomore Dennis “D.J.” Wonnum, has been selected as the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice this season. In the win over Arkansas, he was credited with four solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, broke up two passes and had a quarterback hurry. He led a Carolina defensive line that limited the Razorbacks to just 106 yards rushing on 32 carries. At Tennessee, he logged six tackles, all solo stops, including a pair of sacks for a dozen yards. The Carolina defense held the Vols to just 253 yards of total offense, including just 120 yards after the first quarter. Wonnum is tied for sixth in the SEC with 8.5 tackles for loss and leads the Gamecocks with 4.0 sacks. SAWYER STRIPS TOPS THE NATION: Senior defensive lineman Dante Sawyer leads the nation with four forced fumbles this season. The school record for a season is six, set by Bill Currier in 1976 and matched by Emanuel Weaver in 1981. TACKLING MACHINE: Sophomore T.J. Brunson is the Gamecocks’ top tackler and ranks tied for 12th in the SEC with 59 stops, or 7.4 tackles per game. Brunson made his first start as a Gamecock memorable. The 6-1, 230-pound linebacker from Columbia, S.C. posted a game- and career-high 16 tackles in the win over NC State. It was the most tackles in a game for a Gamecock since Antonio Allen logged 16 stops against ECU on Sept. 3, 2011, a game that was also played in Charlotte. He also has logged double-digits in tackles against Kentucky with a dozen. Brunson logged just 12 tackles during the 2016 season. SKAI SOARS: Skai Moore is back after missing the entire 2016 season following surgery to address a herniated disk in his neck. The 6-2, 221-pound linebacker from Cooper City, Fla., was the Gamecocks’ leading tackler in 2015 with 111 stops, tying for third in the SEC with 9.2 tackles per game. He also led the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and with four pass interceptions, tying for fourth in the SEC. Moore became the first Gamecock to reach the century mark in tackles since 2006, while his 111 tackles were the second-highest total recorded by a Carolina player in the last 25 years. He led the team in tackles for a third-consecutive season, becoming the first player to do so since 1992-94. He currently ranks second on the squad and tied for 18th in the SEC with an average of 7.1 tackles per game. MOORE FROM SKAI: Skai Moore can become the first player in school history to lead the team in tackles in four seasons. That accomplishment is rare across the country, having been done just 14 times previously. He currently trails T.J. Brunson by two tackles (59-57) for the 2017 team lead. A BAKER’S DOZEN: Skai Moore has a pair of interceptions this season, getting one against Kentucky, then returning another 34 yards for a score in the win over Arkansas. He has logged 13 career picks, which ranks second on the school’s all-time list, one behind Bo Davies’ school record of 14. ALL THE WHITE STUFF: True freshman Parker White, who also handles the kickoffs, is trying to fill the big shoes of Elliott Fry, the school’s all-time leading scorer. White is 14-for-14 on PATs and 9-for-17 in the field goal department, but has hit six of his last seven attempts. His first career made field goal was a 31-yard game-winner in the final seconds against Louisiana Tech. THIS IS CHARLTON YOUR PUNTER: Redshirt sophomore Joseph Charlton, has averaged 44.0 yards, sixth in the SEC and 23rd in the country, over his 32 punts, with 11 measuring over 50 yards, including a career-long 73-yarder at Missouri, the longest punt by a Gamecock since Marty Simpson had a 79-yard punt in 1992. More importantly, the Gamecocks are averaging 41.1 net yards per punt, fifth in the SEC and 16th in the country. THE RETURNS ARE IN: Rashad Fenton has enough kick returns to qualify as the school’s all-time record-holder for kick return average at 26.4 yards, surpassing Kent Hagood (24.7 from 1981-85). Fenton has 554 yards on 21 returns while Hagood logged 519 yards on 21 returns. BREAKDOWN DEAD AHEAD: The breakdown of the Gamecocks’ 109-man roster features 12 seniors, 21 juniors, 30 sophomores, 16 redshirt freshmen and 30 true freshmen. FRESH FISH: South Carolina has played eight true freshmen. Those newcomers include Sherrod Greene, Brad Johnson, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith, Damani Staley, Aaron Sterling, Chad Terrell and Jamyest Williams. Greene, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith and Williams have started. WINNER, WINNER: The Gamecocks face a dozen opponents that combined to win 61.6 percent of its games last season, going 98-61 overall. That ranked as the fourth-highest opponent winning percentage among FBS teams. The opponents have not disappointed, logging a .611 winning percentage (58-37) thus far in 2017. THEY PAY TO SEE THEM PLAY: South Carolina is averaging 78,180 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) through four home games, 15th in the nation. TOTING THE SHEEPSKIN: The Gamecocks have four student-athletes who have earned their undergraduate degree. The quartet includes Ulric Jones (interdisciplinary studies), Skai Moore (interdisciplinary studies), D.J. Park (criminal justice) and Dante Sawyer (interdisciplinary studies). WORKING OVERTIME: The Gamecocks are 2-3 all-time in games decided in overtime. They won their first overtime game at Missouri, 27-24, in two overtimes on Oct. 26, 2013 in Columbia, Mo., and won in “The Swamp” over Florida by a 23-20 count in 2014. All three overtime losses have come against Tennessee by a field goal: a 23-20 setback on Sept. 27, 2003 in Knoxville, and a 27-24 loss in Knoxville on Oct. 27, 2007 and a 45-42 loss in Columbia on Nov. 1, 2014. UP NEXT: The Gamecocks finish their 2017 SEC slate on Nov. 11, when they host the Florida Gators. Florida leads the all-time series by a 26-8-3 count, including an 11-6-1 advantage in Columbia. Carolina has won four of the last seven contests after winning just four of the first 30 meetings between the two schools. From USC Sports Information
  11. Gamecocks focusing on one thing that can stop Bulldogs run game November 01, 2017 The Bulldogs offensive attack is not complex or subtle. Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) has marched to a perfect record behind a quartet of running backs that recall the school’s glory days. The top two backs – Nick Chubb and Sony Michel – are among the top five rushers all-time in school history. Their Nos. 3 and 4 backs – D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield (the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield) – each average more than 7 yards per carry. “They are NFL backs,” South Carolina safety Chris Lammons said. “If we want to win this game, we have to stop those guys.” The Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) rank sixth in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 137.6 yards per game on the ground. The Bulldogs rush for 284 yards per game, the second-highest total in the SEC this year behind Alabama. “There’s no question this will be our toughest task as far as the type of offense we’re facing, the physicality that Georgia plays with, the elite backs that they have and the perimeter guys and skill kids that they have, so there’s no doubt this will be our toughest test of the year,” Muschamp said. That’s why Muschamp is preaching physicality to his team this week more than usual, if that’s possible. “We have to get their cleats out of the dirt,” defensive end D.J. Wonnum said. If the Gamecocks can slow down the run, they might be able to pull off the upset. The Bulldogs, who are quarterbacked by freshman Jake Fromm, pass for 162.6 yards per game, which ranks last in the conference. “They can’t pass,” Lammons said. Or it might just be that they don’t have to. Georgia throws the ball 17.5 times per game, which ranks last in the SEC and 124th in the country. “All they are going to do is see who is going to stop the run, basically,” Lammons said. “They are running the ball. We just have to make tackles, can’t miss tackles because if you miss tackles on their backs, they can pop a big one.” The Bulldogs average 6.01 yards per carry, which ranks eighth in the nation. “They have a good coach, and the offensive line is pretty good. The backs themselves are really good. You combine all three and you have an issue,” South Carolina linebacker T.J. Brunson said. “It’s going to be fun trying to stop the run. It’s going to be a challenge, and it’s something I feel like we’re going to do a pretty good job of.” Georgia runs mostly out of a one-back set utilizing power running schemes and stretch routes, but decoding the play is not the problem, the Gamecocks say. “I think, as much as anything,” Muschamp said, “it’s a mentality of understanding the edge you’ve got to have going into a game like this.” Which is physical, in everything. THE STATE
  12. Scouting USC’s next opponent: Georgia Bulldogs October 29, 2017 TV: CBS Radio: 107.5 FM in the Columbia area Line: Georgia by 22.5 Three story lines 1. The tall task: Georgia is good. Really, really good. South Carolina will go to Athens a big underdog against a talented team that has simply been crushing teams. USC will have to play extremely well to have a chance, and even that might not be enough. 2. A dream realized: Georgia took a common sort of risk that has felled many a program when they fired a consistently good coach in Mark Richt. That often backfires. They hired a first-time head coach in Kirby Smart, and it looks to be paying off as the Bulldogs are on the short list for best team in the country. 3. Ground up: It’s not fair to reduce things to one aspect, but how each team runs will say a lot about this game. The Bulldogs average 6 yards a carry, and if USC can’t lower that, it’ll be a long day. USC has found some success on the ground of late, and that will have to continue if the Gamecocks are to keep UGA from teeing off on Jake Bentley. Three players to watch 1. Running back Nick Chubb isn’t getting quite the hype he once was, but he’s still a monster of a back. He’s got 765 yards and nine TDs, runs over guys again and again and pairs well with Sony Michel (629 yards on 8.5 per carry). 2. Quarterback Jake Fromm hasn’t been asked to do too much, but he can manage the heck out of the game and take advantage of play action. He’s thrown for 1,263 with a rating of 171.9 at the helm of an explosive passing offense, with Terry Godwin (23.1 yards per catch) as a key downfield guy. 3. Linebacker Roquan Smith is the centerpiece of a very strong defense, especially against the run. The 225-pound linebacker has 61 tackles, one sack, two pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries. Scouting report ▪ For a team with Jim Chaney running the offense, a Nick Saban disciple at the helm and the backs available, it’s a little surprising the Bulldogs run from the shotgun as much at they do. That said, they’ve been lethally effective parleying that power and a play-action passing game into big numbers. ▪ When they do go under center, they showed at least one nifty end-around run. ▪ Fromm gets the rep of a “game manager,” but he makes some really impressive throws. It’s fair to argue they’re easier because of the talent around him, but he still produces when called upon. ▪ Chubb is a load, and Michel often looks like a standard Power-I back despite the stats of a burner. ▪ The wide receivers are vintage Georgia: big, fast guys whose physical profiles and top-end skills probably outpace their raw production. ▪ Smart is a defensive guy and his multiple 3-4 scheme does a bit of everything. Georgia is not shy about letting outside linebackers work in space against the pass, but also has a range of nickel looks. ▪ The Bulldogs like to go to a spread-out dime look in third and long, and dial up a range of exotic pressures. ▪ Georgia doesn’t get to the quarterback all that much, but it has been nails against the run and only slightly vulnerable to big passes. THE STATE

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