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September 7, 2013
ATHENS - Regarded as the top-two teams in the SEC East, USC and Georgia went toe-to-toe at Sanford Stadium on the campus of the University of Georgia Saturday afternoon. The game was filled with momentum shifts with Georgia taking advantage of the home atmosphere.
The Gamecocks were looking for their fourth in-a-row against Georgia while the Bulldogs needed desperately to break the streak. This one would go in favor of the home squad who was able to string big plays together to defeat the Gamecocks 41-30
The Gamecocks won the opening toss and moved the ball effectively before the drive stalled in the UGA red-zone. They settled for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The 'Dogs scored the next 17 points which included an on-side kick and a three-and-out from USC forcing the Gamecock defense to play a majority of the 1st quarter.
UGA offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called a good first half mixing the run and pass and keeping the Gamecocks defensive unit off-balance. USC was able to overcome a two-touchdown deficit due, in large part, to the arm of Connor Shaw. The Georgia product making his first and only start at Sanford Stadium was 9-13 for 114 yards in the half that included two strikes to wide receiver Nick Jones, the second coming with just seconds remaining in the half.
The 3rd quarter saw the Gamecocks go scoreless which included a 4th and 5 conversion from Shaw. He, however, fumbled on the same play. The Bulldogs would outscore the Gamecocks 10-0 in the 3rd.
Mike Davis swung the momentum back in favor of USC with a 75-yard run down the Georgia five-yard line at the end of the quarter putting the Gamecocks in a position to sneak back to within four of the 'Dogs. The Gamecocks did not capitalize as the defense continued to give up large chunks of yardage at crucial moments in the game.
The story of the night was the big-play ability of Georgia. From an 85-yard touchdown pass on third-and-long to the fumble recovery of Shaw's fourth-down converson to Keith Marshall catching a swing pass and heading up the sideline for a big gain to the Gamecocks' inability to score on four plays inside the Georgia 5, it was South Carolina's defense that did not play well tonight. Bobo took advantage of several quick snaps while Jadaveon Clowney and Co. were not set and were able to move the ball effectively throughout the ball game.
The Georgia Bulldogs move to 1-0 in the SEC, 1-1 overall. The Gamecocks drop to 0-1 in the SEC, 1-1 overall.
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