Gamecocks shut down Georgia 35-7
COLUMBIA, S.C. Sixth-ranked South Carolina put together one of its most complete efforts of the season on Saturday night against No. 5 Georgia en route to a 35-7 victory in front of a record crowd of 85,199 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Gamecocks rolled up 392 yards of offense and held Georgia to a season-low 224 yards of offense. The Bulldogs entered the contest averaging 48.2 points per game and 536 yards per contest.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. The victory is the Gamecocks' 10th straight, which is the longest winning streak in school history, and it's their 12th consecutive over SEC Eastern Division opponents. The win is also head coach Steve Spurrier's 250th career coaching victory (collegiate and pro combined).
Georgia drops to 5-1 on the year and 3-1 in conference play.
Junior quarterback Connor Shaw and junior running back Marcus Lattimore combined for 349 yards of South Carolina's total offense. Shaw completed 6-of-10 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added 78 yards and a score on the ground. Lattimore carried the ball 24 times for 109 yards and a score, giving him his 11th career 100-yard game and third against the Bulldogs.
Defensively, South Carolina limited Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, as he completed just 11-of-31 passes for 109 yards and threw one interception. The Gamecocks also held Bulldog freshman running back standouts Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall to 39 and 37 yards, respectively. The duo entered the contest averaging a combined 192.8 yards per game.
Sophomore safety Brison Williams led South Carolina's defensive effort with seven tackles and two pass breakups. Sophomore Jadeveon Clowney added four stops, including a sack and two tackles for a loss, and DeVonte Holloman recorded an interception for the only turnover of the game and tallied three tackles.
The Gamecocks fed off of the energy from the record crowd from the start and took the opening possession for a five-play, 76-yard scoring drive. A 42-yard pass from Shaw to Damiere Byrd on the second play of the game set South Carolina up at the Georgia 30-yard line. Three plays later Shaw threw a strike to Bruce Ellington for a 20-yard touchdown pass, giving the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
The South Carolina defense kept the momentum going on the ensuing possession, as Kelcy Quarles deflected a Murray pass into the air and Holloman dove under the ball for an interception at the Gamecock 31. The Gamecocks took advantage of the Bulldog miscue, marching 69 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. Shaw connected with Rory Anderson for a 14-yard scoring strike, giving South Carolina a 14-0 lead at the 6:29 mark of the first quarter.
After the defense forced a three-and-out on the next possession, the Gamecock special teams got involved in the early outburst. On fourth and 8 from the Georgia 30, junior punt returner Ace Sanders fielded a Collin Barber punt at the South Carolina 30 and weaved his way through the punt coverage 70 yards for a touchdown. Adam Yates drilled the extra point to give the Gamecocks a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
The Bulldogs threatened to score late in the second quarter as they went on a 15-play, 80-yard drive to the South Carolina 2. However, the Gamecock defense buckled down at the goal line and stuffed the Bulldogs on fourth and goal to preserve a 21-0 halftime lead.
After stalling on its first drive of the second half, the Gamecocks put the game out of reach with a four-play, 63-yard scoring drive on their second possession. D.L. Moore hauled in a 62-yard pass from Shaw over a Georgia defender to set South Carolina up at the Georgia 1 on the third play of the drive. Lattimore then burst up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Gamecocks a 28-0 lead with 10:32 left in the third quarter.
South Carolina added one more score with a 14-play, 89-yard scoring drive that ate up 9 minutes and 28 seconds off the clock. Shaw finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to push the Gamecocks' lead to 35-0.
The Bulldogs avoided the shutout with a 3-yard touchdown run by Ken Malcome with 1:55 left in the contest.
The Gamecocks return to action next Saturday with a road trip to Baton Rouge, La., to face LSU. Kickoff has been set for 8 p.m., and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN.