Georgia Bulldog fans, rejoice! What happened Saturday in Athens was an unprecedented beat-down of an arch nemesis. The Spurrier Effect was vanquished. Georgia’s 32-point margin of victory in its 52-20 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks was the largest margin of victory for the Dawgs over Steve Spurrier. The second largest was when Georgia beat Spurrier and the Florida Gators by 20 in 1997; the lone victory for Georgia in Spurrier’s 12 seasons in Gainesville. Here are some of the highlights from the impressive win by the Georgia Bulldogs football team on Saturday:
- Quarterback Greyson Lambert went 24-for-25 for 330 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
- Running back Nick Chubb ran for 159 yards on 21 carries (7.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
- Running back Sony Michel had 83 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
- Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell amassed eight catches for 122 yards and one touchdown.
- 576 total yards of offense for UGA and only 258 total yards of offense for South Carolina.
Sweet Victory For Georgia Bulldogs Football Team: Steve Spurrier Down, Southern University Jaguars Are Next
Lambert, who many questioned after a lackluster performance against Vandy, was nearly perfect against the Gamecocks, completing 96% of his passes while breaking both a school record for most consecutive completions without an incomplete pass, and an NCAA record for highest completion percentage in a game (minimum 20 attempts). It’s safe to say he has silenced his detractors with that kind of performance. The running back trio of Chubb, Michel and senior Keith Marshall looked as unstoppable as ever. Chubb continued his Heisman push with his 11th straight 100-plus yard rushing performance. Michel was an absolute monster, showing his ability to both cut on a dime, and power through defenders. Mitchell made several acrobatic catches, and he is currently on pace to shatter his personal season highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, as UGA gained 576 yards.
The Georgia defense also continued to show its ability to frustrate the opposition. Sure, South Carolina was rotating backup quarterbacks Perry Orth and Lorenzo Nunez, but the Georgia defense was unforgiving all night. South Carolina only managed 84 passing yards, and though they gained 174 yards on the ground, at least 50 of those yards came after UGA pulled their starters with a 45-13 lead. It’s safe to say that, even though this South Carolina team is not on the same caliber as the ones that gave Georgia nightmares over the last five years, this win was thoroughly enjoyed by the Georgia players, coaches and fans.
This Saturday the Bulldogs will take on the Southern University Jaguars in what should amount to a warm-up game before the showdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 3. But does that mean Georgia should take Southern lightly? Not at all. Some teams have learned this season (ahem, Auburn Tigers) that even the biggest underdogs can push an undisciplined favorite to the brink. But Georgia does have the edge in all facets of the game against Southern. Here are some stats from Southern’s first three games.
- Record: 2-1 (2-0 in SWAC)
- 38.3 points per game for; 35.3 points per game against
- 170 rushing yards per game (4.9 yards per carry)
- 276.3 passing yards per game
Southern quarterback Austin Howard is coming off a career day against Jackson State in a 50-31 victory where he went 21-for-32 for 395 yards, and added 29 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground on five carries. Running back Lenard Tillery is averaging nearly 95 yards per game on the ground, and has 5 touchdowns this season. Southern’s offense tends to score in bunches against conference foes, but it is unlikely they will find that kind of success against a solid Georgia defense. The Jaguars have given up 462 yards per game on defense so look for Chubb and company to run wild on Saturday. Lambert will have an opportunity to continue his torrid passing against a secondary that is giving up 312 yards per game through the air. But Southern has intercepted six passes this season, so Lambert should not underestimate the ball-hawking abilities of this secondary. Turnovers are what let inferior teams hang around too long, so look for Georgia offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to play it safe when putting together an offensive scheme for this game. Georgia head coach Mark Richt will likely look to keep the throttle on until this game is safely out of hand. Then it will be time to see what the bench players can do in real game action.
Nothing is automatic, but Georgia should win big, which will set up a huge game against the Crimson Tide. That game could potentially make or break the Dawgs’ hopes at going to the SEC Championship this year.