Sports

Georgia-South Carolina Preview

By Reece Funderburk  ||  At the start of the season, Georgia was probably the game most Gamecock fans couldn’t wait to play. A shot at revenge back at home where you assumed you’d have won 20 straight games? Yeah how’d that turn out… Despite the outcome leading up to the…

reeceBy Reece Funderburk  ||  At the start of the season, Georgia was probably the game most Gamecock fans couldn’t wait to play. A shot at revenge back at home where you assumed you’d have won 20 straight games? Yeah how’d that turn out…

Despite the outcome leading up to the game however, the result is still the same. The winner will still control their own destiny in the SEC East race.

Here is how the teams currently matchup position wise …

Quarterbacks

Senior Hutson Mason has gone through the same challenges South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson has gone through. Stuck behind arguably the school’s best quarterback in history, Mason waited his turn and is finally getting his chance in the starter role. He comes in with multiple starts but will be making his first trip to an SEC stadium and first trip to Williams Brice Stadium, an atmosphere unlike any other and still remains unproven. Dylan Thompson showed improvement last week against East Carolina but still could improve his consistency. An offense that featured much more running and wide receiver screens helped Thompson get a little more comfortable in the pocket and make quick decisions. He will certainly be tested though against a tough Georgia defense led by former Florida St. Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Running Backs

Arguably the closest position between these two teams, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and South Carolina’s Mike Davis are both stud running backs. Both teams also feature great depth with each squad going three players deep into their stable of backs.  Georgia spelled Gurley until the fourth quarter against Clemson with Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. The Gamecocks have utilized their depth as well this season with Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson getting a good amount of touches in the power run game as well as kick returns. Both teams will have to rely heavily on their run games in order to win but for now, Gurley is still the best in the country.

EDGE: GEORGIA

Wide Receivers

South Carolina got a lot more from Shaq Roland against East Carolina, even if he dropped multiple passes.  He was effective in the screen game and helped move the chains consistently.  Nick Jones is still the favorite target of Thompson and has shown he will be a key factor in games as well.  As for Georgia they will still be without two of their big name players in Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell who both suffered injuries last season.  They will rely on heavily on their run game though and if a shootout occurs, Michael Bennett and the running back check downs will be the targets for Mason.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Offensive Line

Both teams excel at the power run game but the pass protection for South Carolina looked to be a little more solid with the insertion of Alan Knott and the reinsertion of Cody Waldrop back into the starting lineup. While Georgia may not have to deal with as good of a defensive line and could have the better day, in the end talent wins out.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Defensive Line

Georgia Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has reinvented this Georgia defensive line and it showed against Clemson two weeks ago.  Constantly getting pressure or being in the back field, the Bulldogs have improved greatly while South Carolina is still trying to recover from key personnel losses from last season (notably Jadeveon Clowney).  While South Carolina was able to generate an actual pass rush against East Carolina last week, they still have quite a ways to go to be a constant threat.

EDGE: GEORGIA

Linebackers

South Carolina looked much more effective in this position against East Carolina last Saturday.  Skai Moore returning to the lineup helped, but this crew will face possibly their hardest task the whole season in trying to tackle Gurley and the other Georgia backs.  And the way tackles were consistently broken by Texas A&M probably isn’t inspiring much confidence in Gamecock fans’ minds.  As for Georgia, they have two tackling machines at their disposal led by Ramik Wilson, who led the SEC in tackles last season, and Amarlo Herrera,who was third in the SEC.  The Bulldogs will be just fine thanks to their versatility at the position.

EDGE: GEORGIA

Secondary

After two weeks against “air raid” spread formations, the Gamecocks will face a team for the first time this season that’s going to try and run the ball down their throats while using a game manager at quarterback.  Up to this point, it’s been “passing galore” against a Gamecock secondary that is still shaky and looking for answers.  As for Georgia, in the first half the game against Clemson they were torched defensively but strong second half adjustments proved they are more than capable of defending against the pass.  The edge here goes to the unit that has shown to be able to adjust, even if it’s only one game.

EDGE: GEORGIA

PREDICTION

Overall, Georgia outclasses the Gamecocks this year but these two teams always seem to play each other close.  Another thing to point out is Hutson Mason is still unproven beyond being a game manager.  If the Gamecocks manage to take a lead and force the Bulldogs into heaving it down field, the advantage could tilt in South Carolina’s favor.

Don’t let all the hype around Georgia and the worry around South Carolina sway you.  Expect a close and thrilling game Saturday afternoon.

FINAL: GEORGIA 27-24

Reece Funderburk is currently the producer for the “Reynolds and Gunter” show on 560TheTeam Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.  He also hosts own show “The Saturday Morning Blitz” on Saturday morning from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET on WUSC 90.5 FM.  He can be found on twitter @TheSMBlitz.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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49 comments

CNSYD September 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Haters gonna hate.

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GC September 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Gamecock Total Defense ranked 120th. It is gonna get ugly!

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oldcola September 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Clemtech looks sharp. First D1 victory coming up,,,,,,,,,,well, soon.

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E Norma Scok September 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

USC as well… (BTW…ECU is D1A)

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Squishy123 September 12, 2014 at 8:56 am

Vanderbilt is next week.

carls jr September 14, 2014 at 12:18 am

Florida State is next week. Look forward to your prediction, tater. And please tell us we beat Georgia at home and you had to play them on the road. Please say it…just want to confirm that you and your ignorant fan base are just that stupid. Moo U., baby! High Five!

dumbass September 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

actually they are not. they are in the American Athletics Conference, you know the same one that UCF that went to a BCS bowl last year is in or Louisville the year before. Get some facts right. Either way you still don’t know shit as you missed your prediction. USC has 2 wins out of 3 over D1 schools to Clem5ons none which you are about to be 0-2 there, and we have a win over a ranked team to your none

CNSYD September 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Once again the sophomoric little boys hijack my screen name. Apparently they will never grow up. Hope Mace gets back soon so I can recover my avatar.

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Cockenstein September 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Coaching – BIG EDGE: South Carolina

USC 24 – UGA 17

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E Norma Scok September 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Maybe you’ll have another 3rd and 8 and throw for 3.

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oldcola September 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Yeah, and maybe the Cocks will beat Clemtech seven years in a row. You fellows would be advised to worry about your own season.

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E Norma Scok September 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm

USC getting ass pounded like a goat in Iraq has nothing to do if Clemson ever wins another game. And my “worrying about it” certainly won’t change any output of any game.

I’m am looking to seeing the visor and headset fly, though.

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oldcola September 12, 2014 at 12:37 am

I will try to get as wound up in Clem’s games as you are in Carolina’s. It will make football season so much more exciting. I must study up though, does your coach wear a hat?

Squishy123 September 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Or 3rd and 1 and call a 20 yard pass knowing your quarterback will throw it 30.

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Coot September 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

This shit is funny. Homers everywhere

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Smirks September 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

My guess will be 31-24 Dawgs, but I hope USC pulls out all the stops and manages to win.

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Dave Chappelle September 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Finally… an intelligent comment on this thread. Refreshing.

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Sam September 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I am afraid your choice of photographs for this post is a huge Freudian slip. No need to write anything at all. Of course, we all will root for the upset.

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Lifelong Gamecock September 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Why even bother? UGA 38, Carolina 17

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The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

28-24 Carolina

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SCBlues September 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Yay Colonel! We’ve got to stop agreeing so much!

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E Norma Scok September 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

That’s funny right there; I don’t care who you are.

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The Colonel September 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I believe you can all just KISS MY BIG GLOATING ASS!

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Silvio Dante September 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

You tell ’em Colonel!

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Smirks September 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm

You had the spread real damn close, good call!

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The Colonel September 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Still can’t figure it out, that’s the most points Georgia has scored in Williams Brice in a long time.

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John September 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

FITS is skeered to do his own previews now, I guess.

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ScrewedNSC September 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Fits predicts Georgia scores only 27 points….Is that in the first quarter……

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Cush September 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm

48-13 Bulldogs.

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Squishy123 September 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

47-12 Georgia

Georgia – 600 yards of offense

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Same ol' Same ol' September 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Squishy, I hope it’s only this bad. Carolina gonna’ have a drug problem. Dey gittin’ drug up n’ down the field.

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EJB September 12, 2014 at 10:04 am

Kind of like that game the Afghans play where they ride the horses around and snatch up a dead goat and drag it around until a guy on the other team snatches it away from him and drags it the other way and flings it toward a line on the field.

http://www.businessinsider.com/afghanistan-national-sport-2012-4?op=1

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oldcola September 11, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I understand that you pull for a team that beats the crap out of you to have a great season. So, if I were a Clemtech fan, I would be hoping Carolina wins a national championship. You don’t want to lose six years in a row to a terrible team. Right?

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Squishy123 September 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Another braindead dirtpecker, who assumes because someone says something not wearing garnet glasses that they’re automatically a tater. This is what happens when you go to public school in SC.

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easterndumbfuckistan September 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

South Carolina needs to keep the D off the field and let the O play do long drives that eat up clock. If they can manage the clock and keep the score low they can win the game.

Carolina 21-17

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt September 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Call me crazy but I’m betting on the dirt peckers to cover the spread if not win outright.

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SC Political Digest September 11, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Very cliche and pedestrian thought process. Playing it safe, and much like most media. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but not much reason to give this any more credence than any other status-quo jockeys.

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Thomas September 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm

You are way off Reece. Get a real job and grow up. Sports writing and fantasy sports is really wasting the life you have been given. Since you couldn’t even do 5 push ups, one pull up, and never played football your opinion is girly. Thompson can’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle when it is clear and dry, he certainly won’t fare better in the wet and rain. And you can’t run the ball from the shotgun with Davis, wet or dry. Them’s is facts.

Rain. Gurley loves the rain.

Georgia will empty the stadium by halftime. Ga 52 USC 12

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Squishy123 September 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Fuck USC fans typically do that anyway, its tradition.

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oldcola September 12, 2014 at 12:48 am

We certainly hope the Clem faithful will hang around for the fourth quarter of this year’s Carolina-Clemson game. Of course, Pickens is a long way from everywhere so some understandably may want to get on the road early. Remember two years ago when Dylan hit that old bass fiddle?

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E Norma Scok September 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

When that’s all you got, I guess you gotta crow about it.

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Squishy123 September 12, 2014 at 8:54 am

I think USC fans leave early because of the neighborhood their off-campus stadium is in, walking around an industrial park next to a shady neighborhood at night can be dangerous.

BTW – Wasn’t that school just rated in the top 20 universities?

Clemson University is now ranked among the top 20 national public universities, according to U.S.News & World Report’s annual guide to “America’s Best Colleges” for 2015.

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yuketyyukPickenS September 13, 2014 at 1:52 am

Hayseed U. Git yer pickups up often the side o da rode, wud ya? Weeze knows Clempsun’s foks thinks its sho is some high feluuten school now, Weeze almost bettern nigras since 18 and 97, afta dat der Benedick Colluge jump up an beat usn to da draw, daze 1870 but anyways, yessuh. But doze olds timers from SC knows theze still ole bumpkins now jus wit a polyblend button down own. A par o costa sunshades don’n makek you narn a jimmy crack corn. Wash da back o yore neck, Justin, it darn got grit in de folds. I loves squinting up at da sun in da mown in. doze you? Dem hogs is lookin good as gravy yassuh. Pluss Ma dern got hern ernge cell phone cover to matchern herz Clem sweatshirt. Fo da game days on the TV. In Greer ya knows.

Squishy123 September 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

I hear Clemson is a top 20 public university, where’s Dirtpecker U. with it’s fancy top ranked International business school? 55, the rest of the campus must really suck to draw it down that far. Tier III law school (Tier III is bottom of the barrel) and the second best medical school in the state (there are only two). Football stadium in an industrial park, most of the campus buildings have that classic 1970’s architecture straight out of The Brady Bunch.

Silvio Dante September 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

Reece, thinking you have a real job and are all grown up now. Thomas, you are the anti-Nate Silver. That’s a lot of wrong in one post.

Just remember boys: Rain. Gurley loves the rain.

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goodell never saw video=LIE September 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

georgia 44 carolina 45 game of the century

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TontoBubbaGoldstein September 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Sakerlina 31
Georgia 20
[!]

Sakerlina’s not as bad as they looked in their first two games. Georgia isn’t as good as they looked in the final 10 minutes of the Clemson game.
Sakerlina will lose to either Florida or Tennessee and Georgia will win the East (unless Mizzou backs into it again…)

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Smirks September 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Well I’ll be damned! 38-35! Go Cocks! Ahahahaha!

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Bill Clinton September 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm

YOU SUCK! GO GAMECOCKS!
38-35 GAMECOCKS WIN!

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