Sept. 5, 2011
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The Bulldogs made their debut at No. 19 in the Associated Press (AP) preseason top 25 while their season-opening opponent Boise State checked in at No. 5. Georgia was ranked No. 22 in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll.
Dating back to the first AP poll in 1936, Georgia had never opened the season against two top 20 teams (or top 25 for that matter) until this year. The Bulldogs will now play host to the Gamecocks on Saturday after opening the year falling to #5 Boise State in Atlanta. South Carolina, who is picked to win the SEC East, is ranked No. 12 and defeated East Carolina in Charlotte in its opener.
The Southeastern Conference had a record eight teams in the preseason AP poll. Alabama is No. 2 followed by LSU (No. 4), South Carolina (No. 12), Arkansas (No. 15), the Bulldogs (No. 19), Mississippi State (No. 20), Florida (No. 22) and Auburn (No. 23). The SEC has won five consecutive BCS titles.
Expect Another Classic Bulldog-Gamecock SEC Opener
South Carolina has been Georgia's first Southeastern Conference opponent since the Gamecocks joined the league in 1992. This streak will continue on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 13-6 in these games including 7-3 under Mark Richt. Seven of the 10 games between these teams under Richt have been decided by seven points or less with Georgia winning six of them. Georgia holds a 46-15-2 edge in the series history.
South Carolina Series Since 2001
2001: #21 South Carolina def. #25 Georgia 14-9 (Athens)
*A USC TD with 1:22 left proved to be the difference as the Bulldogs failed to score a TD on the day.
2002: #9 Georgia 13 def. South Carolina 7 (Columbia)
*The defense came up big this year as Georgia defeated USC 13-7 without scoring an offensive TD. DE David
Pollack scored a TD after grabbing the ball away from the QB in the end zone, a highlight for the ages.
2003: #8 Georgia def. #25 South Carolina 31-7 (Athens)
*Georgia's Damien Gary returned an onside kick 44 yards for a touchdown to seal the latest victory.
2004: #3 Georgia def. South Carolina 20-16 (Columbia)
*Quarterback David Greene led a fourth-quarter TD drive to help the Bulldogs sneak by the Gamecocks in
Columbia. Paul Oliver clinched the Georgia win by snagging a late interception.
2005: #9 Georgia def. South Carolina 17-15 (Athens)
*Georgia racked up 238 yards rushing for the Bulldogs' fourth straight win over South Carolina.
2006: #12 Georgia def. South Carolina 18-0 (Columbia)
*The Bulldogs pitched an 18-0 shutout in honor of former defensive coordinator Erk Russell who passed away
that week. The only other time a Spurrier coached team had been shut out was in his first year at Duke.
2007: South Carolina def. #11 Georgia 16-12 (Athens)
*All of Georgia's 12 points came from Brandon Coutu field goals, marking the first time a Bulldog team had not scored a TD versus South Carolina since its loss in 2001.
2008: #2 Georgia def. South Carolina 14-7 (Columbia)
*The Bulldogs forced a pair of fourth quarter turnovers to lock down their latest win on the road.
2009: #21 Georgia def. South Carolina 41-37 (Athens)
*USC LB Eric Norwood had a 35-yard INT return for a TD early in the fourth quarter but UGA DT DeAngelo Tyson blocked the game-tying PAT to keep the Bulldogs in front 38-37. With 6:20 left, UGA PK Blair Walsh nailed a 42-yard field goal for a 41-37 lead. USC drove to the Bulldog seven yard line, and the game ended when LB Rennie Curran broke up Stephen Garcia's fourth-down pass with 22 seconds remaining.
2010: #24 South Carolina def. #22 Georgia 17-6 (Columbia)
*USC freshman TB Marcus Lattimore rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns in his SEC debut to lead the Gamecocks to a win in a matchup of two ranked teams. The Bulldogs were limited to a pair of field goals by Blair Walsh. For the first time in three years, Georgia was held without a touchdown. Coincidentally, the last time that had happened was also against South Carolina in 2007.