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September 7, 2013
ATHENS - A look at some notes and tidbits surrounding Saturday's USC-Georgia game that took place -- mostly -- away from the playing field.
Missing Hampton. Junior cornerback Victor Hampton was suspended for the first half for violating team rules. Hampton wasn't scheduled to start against Georgia after sustaining multiple injuries against North Carolina last Thursday. He was also relieved of his special teams this week. Sophomore Ahmad Christian recorded his first career start at cornerback in Hampton's place. Bruce Ellington saw action as the punt returner in lieu of Hampton.
Starting Stadnik. Clayton Stadnik got his first career start at center in place of Cody Waldrop. Waldrop, injured last week against North Carolina, took some snaps before the game but didn't appear ready to play. Stadnik had a few high snaps in his first game, including one that nearly sailed Connor Shaw near the beginning of the second half.
Clash of the titans. Today's game marked the ninth time South Carolina and Georgia were both nationally ranked while facing each other. Before today's game, the Gamecocks held a 5-3 edge in those games and a 4-0 edge in the ones played in Columbia.
Tables turned. South Carolina entered the Georgia game ranked ahead of the Bulldogs for just the second time since 2002. The other time was in 2011, when the No. 12 Gamecocks escaped Athens with a 45-42 win.
Numbers game. After moving from No. 3 to No. 11, then to No. 13, true freshman wideout Pharoh Cooper is settled in back at No. 11. He's expected to keep that number for the remainder of the season.
Captains. South Carolina's captains were Sharrod Golightly, Chaz Sutton, Ronald Patrick and Connor Shaw. Georgia was represented by Todd Gurley, Garrison Smith, Justin Scott-Wesley and Arthur Lynch.
Going bowling. In attendance were representatives from three bowl games. The Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl, and Chick-Fil-A Bowl sent two reps apiece.
The League. A scout from the Atlanta Falcons was in attendance.
Fan on the field. Georgia is serious about stopping streakers. Three hours before kickoff, the security team ran a drill where their on-field staff swarmed and took down another employee who ran toward the 50-yard line wearing a highlighter-yellow shirt. In just seconds, he was wrapped up and "escorted" off the field. So watch yourself next time you get ideas in Sanford Stadium. They have it down to a science.
Walk it out. Georgia comes out to a "Dog Walk," similar to South Carolina's "Gamecock Walk," Clemson's "Tiger Walk," and really every other major college football team's entrance. Already dressed in their game uniforms, the 'Dawgs enter the stadium through a horde of fans and the 375-member Redcoat Band, then walk onto the field through a tunnel of cheerleaders. Though most South Carolina players were done with warmups and off the field by that time, a few, including Jadeveon Clowney and Shon Carson, stuck around to stare down the Bulldogs as they entered the stadium.
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