1. Game Ball: Steve Spurrier
For the first time, the View from the Upper Deck Game Ball Award is going to a coach. The Head Ball Coach has taken the University of South Carolina’s football program to unfathomable heights. In a game like this, where no one player clearly outshone his teammates, and not for any reason but the fact that every Gamecock played to the best of their abilities, credit needs to go to the man who made it all happen. Steve Spurrier took over this program on when it was in shambles and has recruited and coached the Gamecocks to its first Top 5 national ranking in almost 30 years. So maybe this award is going to Spurrier not just because of what he did in this one game, but also because of what he has done for this great university during his career here.
2. Run, Marcus, Run!
Marcus Lattimore ran for 109 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown. Connor Shaw ran for 78 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Overall, Carolina ran the ball 51 times (including scramble plays). After the first drive, it was clear the offensive game plan was to run the football right at Georgia’s vulnerable run defense and make them stop us. The 230 rushing yards, coupled with the fact that Connor Shaw only attempted 10 passes, just go to show that Georgia once again could not stop the Gamecocks’ rushing attack. Many fans around me were questioning the conservative play calling, but at the end of the game, it was clear the conservative approach was the right one.
3. Defense set the tone early
After Carolina’s opening scoring drive, Georgia had a big kickoff return close to midfield. The ensuing drive at first seemed to show how close the game was going to be, with Georgia effectively moving the ball. Everything changed when the big D-Lineman Kelcey Quarles batted Aaron Murray’s pass into the air at the line of scrimmage. The game seemed to hang in the balance as the ball began to fall. DeVonte Holloman made an incredible diving catch for the interception, giving South Carolina the ball back with a chance to take an early two score lead. From then on, it was sheer domination. The Gamecock defensive line simply demolished Georgia’s O-Line, regularly putting Aaron Murray on his back. The Freshman Phenom duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were held to a measly 76 yards on 25 carries. Keep in mind, Georgia was leading the SEC in total offense and scoring offense. This really puts in to perspective how dominant the South Carolina defense was.
4. Smokin’ Aces: The New Quick Hits Title
- For the first time in the history of the rivalry, South Carolina has won three consecutive games against Georgia.
- South Carolina has won 10 consecutive games. This breaks the record of 9 set in the 1984 Black Magic season and is currently the longest active win streak in the nation.
- The attendance record at Williams-Brice Stadium was broken last night, with a crowd of 85,119 people. Williams-Brice’s capacity is 80,250.
- Ace Sanders continues to impress, with a huge punt return for a TD that seemed to be the breaking point for Georgia.
- For the first time ever, South Carolina won when Lee Corso put on a Cocky head.