With South Carolina’s 35-7 whipping of rival Georgia, the next two weeks become the most important in the history of the program.
The performance that the Gamecocks put on this past Saturday was unprecedented, to say the least. The 28-point victory was the biggest winning margin for the Gamecocks in the history of the series. In addition, the win gave USC its first three-game winning streak over the Bulldogs, and the school has now won 10 straight games dating back to last season – a program record.
Many analysts thought that Georgia would put the Gamecocks back in their place. UGA had the better program that was destined for the SEC championship. ESPN analyst Mark May called USC the “runt” of the SEC.
It was obvious that Georgia did not take the Gamecocks seriously. Right from the start, it looked like UGA was surprised at just how good the Gamecocks, especially the defense, were. All week long, Bulldog fans were sure that their beloved program would put a stop to USC’s recent dominance of UGA.
“I can’t wait to see all of these disappointed faces after the game,” said one Georgia fan before kick-off as she walked by the stadium.
As it turns out, the Bulldog fans dejectedly walked out of Williams-Brice stadium during the fourth quarter with the Gamecocks up 35-0.
This was definitely a statement game for USC. Georgia came into the game as the best offensive team in the conference. UGA freshmen tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, or “Gurshall,” had nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns combined through the first five games.
In the first half, the duo combined for 18 yards on 17 carries against the Gamecock defense. With another win in the bag, the Gamecocks are starting to be taken seriously. On Sunday, USC moved up to the No. 3 spot in the national rankings, its highest position since No. 2 in 1984.
The focus now shifts to the next two weeks. This Saturday, the Gamecocks travel to No. 9 LSU. Two weeks from now, USC will visit the Swamp to take on No. 4 Florida in a game that will likely determine the east.
Before Georgia, the LSU game was one that Gamecock fans expected to lose. But with the dominating USC performance and the Bayou Bengals disappointing season, Gamecock fans have new hope. While it will be a tall task to go to Baton Rouge and come out with a victory, USC is the better team.
Yes, USC, with no SEC titles or even an appearance in a national championship, is better than a LSU team that has 14 SEC titles and three national titles.
If the Gamecocks can get a win at LSU and knock off the Gators, which they did two seasons ago in Gainesville, USC will have the inside track to a national championship berth.
“This is not the old South Carolina,” tailback Marcus Lattimore said. “We can play with you. We can play with anybody.”
South Carolina is for real.
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