Normally the week of Thanksgiving is reserved for ill will towards the Clemson Tigers. In 2020 nothing has been normal, and that is true with the college football season. South Carolina will not face their instate rival this season. But their biggest SEC rival does come to town during the holiday week. South Carolina will look to repeat its upset win over the Georgia Bulldogs from last season. The 2019 game was one of the most notable Gamecock victories since they’ve joined the SEC. These two teams have split the last 10 meetings, and there is always an extra layer of excitement when these rivals get together.
Top Five Gamecock Victories Over The Georgia Bulldogs In SEC Play
South Carolina has enjoyed some big time wins over their border rival in the series history. Anytime you beat a rival school its worth celebrating, but some Gamecock victories mean more than others. There are some wins that will come to mind for an older generation, such as the back to back games in 1978 & 79. The fabled 1984 team and the Fire Ant defense stifled the Bulldogs in a 17-10 defensive struggle. Since joining the SEC, the Gamecocks are 10-18 against their closest conference rival.
5) South Carolina Gamecocks 20 – Georgia Bulldogs 17 (2 OT) (10-12-2019)
This game goes down as one of the biggest Gamecock victories because of how highly rated the Bulldogs were at the time. They were ranked third in the country when South Carolina came to Athens and pulled off the upset. Israel Mukuamu had three interceptions including one he returned for a touchdown right before halftime. His big day earned him National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Ryan Hilinski found Bryan Edwards for a long touchdown pass for South Carolina’s only offensive score of the day. Parker White hit what would be the game winner in double OT, before Georgia missed their attempt to tie the game. This was a huge win for Will Muschamp’s team, but unfortunately they could not hold on to that momentum the rest of the season.
4) South Carolina Gamecocks 23 – Georgia Bulldogs 21 (9-4-1993)
The Gamecocks opened their 1993 campaign with a trip to Athens. The team in garnet and black took a lead into the half on the strength of a 41 yard touchdown pass from Steve Taneyhill to Toby Cates. They scored again in the third to take a ten point advantage into the final quarter. Georgia then stormed back to take a 21-17 lead after two late scores. The Gamecocks got the ball back on their own 45 yard line with just under three minutes remaining.
A 34 yard catch and run by Stanley Pritchett set them up inside the 20 yard line. Tight end Boomer Foster got them inside the five. Brandon Bennett was stopped on first and second down as the clock ran down under 20 seconds. On his third attempt as the clock ran down under five seconds, Bennett leaped over the pile and into the end zone as time ran out. Both the winning and losing calls by each team’s legendary radio announcers have gone down as one of most memorable moments in their perspective careers.
3) South Carolina Gamecocks 45 – Georgia Bulldogs 42 (9-10-2011)
In terms of the pure quality of the game, competitiveness, big plays, and late drama, there is an argument for this game to be atop this list. The fun really started with a South Carolina fake punt in the second quarter. Defensive lineman Melvin Ingram showed off his speed and versatility on a 68 yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks scored twice on defense, once on the fake punt, and had offensive scores from Stephen Garcia, Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore. After having a coming out party against the Bulldogs the year before, Lattimore backed it up with another huge performance against this rival.
Safety Antonio Allen had his second defensive touchdown in two weeks with a 25 yard interception return. After a slow start, this contest exploded in the second half. The two teams combined for 39 fourth quarter points in Athens that day. Freshman Jadeveon Clowney made his first impact play in garnet and black with a strip sack late in the fourth. Ingram recovered the ball in the end zone to seal one of the wildest Gamecock victories ever.
2) South Carolina Gamecocks 21 – Georgia Bulldogs 10 (9-9-2000)
In the grand scheme of this program’s history, this could be looked at one of the biggest wins in South Carolina history. Lou Holtz’s team had just ended a 21 game losing streak in the season opener. Bulldog quarterback Quincy Carter was among the early season Heisman contenders that season. His campaign fell apart that day in Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecock defense picked him off five times, and held him to just 108 yards passing. Derek Watson scored all three South Carolina touchdowns. This game served as a notice of intent to the SEC. The Gamecocks were trying to change their status from conference doormat to a team that can contend. This defensive domination of rival Georgia was the first step in changing the program’s perception.
1)South Carolina Gamecocks 35 – Georgia Bulldogs 7 (10-6-2012)
Ask anyone who was there, and they will tell you this is the most memorable night they ever had at Williams-Brice Stadium. This was Steve Spurrier’s team at the height of their powers. For one night the sixth ranked Gamecocks were the best team in the country as they blasted the fifth ranked Bulldogs. The defense was dominant, allowing only a consolation score late in the fourth quarter. D.J. Swearinger and Clowney led a unit that refused to let Georgia accomplish anything of note on offense. Connor Shaw threw for two scores and ran for another. The highlight of the night was an 70 punt return for a score by the dynamic Ace Sanders that essentially put the game away in the opening quarter. South Carolina played as well on a big stage as they ever had before on that beautiful October night.