A cheap seats review of Georgia football’s blowout of South Carolina reveals a new tailgate game and a seemingly new Dawg quarterbac
Walking around campus, I saw a few Gamecocks scattered here and there, wearing their finest in garnet and black. The atmosphere felt subdued compared to previous years’ match-ups between Spurrier’s Cocks and the Dawgs. A wrinkle in this year’s matchup: the Brian Schottenheimer–Steve Spurrier storyline. Schottenheimer, of course, was a backup quarterback for Spurrier’s Gator’s from 1994-1996.
I saw a new tailgate game which looked to be a mix of frisbee golf and cornhole. Basically, toss the frisbee and try to get it in the trash can. I will just say that getting hit by a stray frisbee hurts worse than a stray beanbag.
I prevented a couple of Athens newbies from getting open container violations. No worries – they were Bulldog fans, but I could tell they didn’t come to games that often, because they didn’t know where to go, and they almost walked in front of a cop with an open Coors Light before I stopped them.
I also had to explain to some folks why concessions takes the tops off the bottles. I’ve yet to see it anywhere but Columbia, South Carolina (2006 and 2014) but I guess capped water bottles could be considered weapons.
By the time I got to my seat, the flip-flops my stomach was doing weren’t calmed at all knowing Auburn was down 24-0 at halftime, and Notre Dame up 13-7 on that school in Atlanta. When the Dawgs came out to start warming up, first year Strength & Conditioning Director Mark Hocke came out to fire up the team, but he got the crowd fired just as much.
The first offensive drive was a culmination of our season – we got a field goal, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. The highlight of the second quarter was Sony Michel‘s work on his first touchdown drive. A close second was Karaoke Cam with Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby. A1A, Beachfront Avenue, anyone?
I haven’t had much to say about Schottenheimer’s play-calling because he hasn’t shown us much yet this year, and mama always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut. So I have. I finally saw something good – we scored with less than two minutes left in the half. That NFL play calling experience coming in handy?
NCAA record-holder Greyson Lambert was a completely different quarterback than we saw in the first two games, looking more like a video game quarterback than the backup from Virginia in the first two games.
There was nothing special about our special teams, that’s for sure. Just when we had marched down the field to make it 24-10, we let the Cocks get past the 50, and then tacked an extra 15 yards to the run with a penalty. Halfway through the second quarter, Marshall Morgan had two tackles.
The Dawgs sent Spurrier and the Cocks into desperation in the second half, forcing them to go for it on 4th and 1, with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, down by 25, in their own territory. Unfortunately, they made it, but they don’t get too much more on that drive.
Lambert had the offense moving along until the fumble by center Brandon Kublanow. After watching the replay on my phone, I noticed we were trying to run a hurry up offense when the Gamecocks defense wasn’t set yet, and it looks like our team wasn’t ready yet either. Thankfully, the South Carolina offense still didn’t have an answer for the Dawgs’ defense, and went 4-and-out deep in their own territory.
When South Carolina was forced to punt on 4th and 3, with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, I yelled, “Watch for the fake!” Anyone else? It is Spurrier, after all.
I noticed after Devin Bowman was called for a hands to the face penalty, and put South Carolina in scoring position, that South Carolina had no penalties. A targeting call was called back, and Georgia declined an offside penalty on a PAT in the third quarter. Then Atkins got another personal foul penalty on the touchdown that same drive.
After the Gamecocks’ last score, Lambert went to work again and we saw a vertical passing game come alive again, and we were able to run some clock off too by handing off to Nick Chubb. I did wonder why we still had starters in at this point, but maybe Mark Richt and Schottenheimer want to beat Spurrier as bad as we do.
When South Carolina finally had flags thrown, we got our pick of penalties and settled for the pass interference call over the offside. When the flags really started flying was on two ineligible receivers downfield against Georgia, an offensive pass interference on Mitchell, and then an unsportsmanlike conduct on South Carolina. That drive took as long as the entire third quarter because of all the flags and extracurricular activities. The Gamecocks ended up with 3 penalties for 35 yards on that one drive.
By the last drive of the fourth quarter, we had the equivalent of our Thanksgiving Day freshmen team out there. We even had Brice Ramsey punting. That sent our entire section looking up and down the roster to figure out who was in at punter.
It was a fine welcome back to Sanford Stadium for Terrence Edwards (honorary captain), Garrison Hearst (honorary Caller of the Dawgs), Rennie Curran, Aaron Murray and Chris Conley. Expect us to return to the vanilla playbook next week against Southern. I just hope Southern brings The Human JukeBox! One can only hope that the Redcoats and the Southern University Marching Band can replicate what NC A&T and UNC did during Week 2.
I know why I was nervous before the game. We had not shown much to impress anyone, but neither had South Carolina in a close win over UNC, and a loss to Kentucky at home. Spurrier coming to Athens after a loss never sits well with me, and this year was not an exception. I guess one sign should have been that South Carolina returned tickets.
I really don’t understand why any Georgia fans left early. How often have we put 50 on Spurrier? Savor the moment inside Sanford Stadium and see the final score of 52-20 on the scoreboard. I did!
As for the lack of coverage by national media outlets, who cares? Just keep winning.