coleryan Posts:13315 Followers:19
On 09/02/2013 09:15 AM in NCAA Football

South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs: Preview and Pick

South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs: Preview and Pick

In week two of the college football season, two teams with very high expectations will meet on the field in what is strongly considered the best conference in college football, the South Eastern conference. The top ranked South Carolina Gamecocks will face off against the Georgia Bulldogs in what will easily be one of the best games of the week.

South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs Odds

The Georgia Bulldogs lost to the Clemson Tigers in the first week while the Gamecocks easily beat the North Carolina Tar Heels, but that did not sway the lines makers. They have opened up the line for this game with the Bulldogs listed as (-3) point favorites. This game will receive plenty of betting action leading up to kickoff and may move depending on who the wise guys are backing.
The pressure to win this game falls directly on the shoulders of the Bulldogs. With one loss already, a second loss would cripple their chances of winning a National Championship. Georgia's Todd Gurley ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns and was the lone bright spot in the loss. One of the ugliest moments of the game is when wide receiver Malcolm tore his ACL while celebrating a touchdown and he will miss the remainder of the season.

Georgia struggled in several areas with poor penalties and special teams mishaps that took points off the board.
For South Carolina, although they won, their best player All-American Jadeveon Clowney was highly criticized for a lack of conditioning. In a muggy weather game, Clowney had to take several breaks and will enter this game with a chip on his shoulder as he tries to prove to the media and to the world that he is in shape. The offense looked like they were in midseason form.
Mike Davis ran 75 yards for a touchdown while Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson each threw long scoring touchdowns to pull away from the over matched Tar Heels.

The college football betting trends reveal some interesting angles for this game. South Carolina is 5-0-1 against the spread (ATS) in the last six games against the Bulldogs as Steve Spurrier seems to have formed the perfect game plan to beat the Dawgs. Georgia however is 12-3 straight up in the last 15 games and 9-1 straight up in the last ten games at home.
Georgia will be excited to be at home for this pivotal game and realize that if they want a shot at the championship, it all starts with the game against the Gamecocks.

South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs Pick

With plenty of time to go before game day, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to kickoff.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 9-4-0
coleryan Posts:13315 Followers:19
09/03/2013 03:10 PM

We all knew Georgia's younger, less experienced defense would look shaky against Clemson's high-powered offense. We knew there would be hiccups, blown assignments, coverage breakdowns and plenty of growing pains. When you lose 12 players who either started or saw significant playing time from the previous season, all of that is perfectly natural.

What shouldn't have been natural were all the missed tackles and hesitation by Bulldogs defenders in Clemson's 38-35 victory over Georgia on Saturday. That goes beyond inexperience. It goes back to the basics with technique, and that has to be troubling for Georgia's defensive coaching staff because a very physical South Carolina team is heading to Athens, Ga., this weekend.

Go back and look at the tape. The Tigers were given extra chances for extra yards all night. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is a big guy who has a tendency to be slippery at times, but he was way too slippery Saturday night. He shredded tackles with ease to either deliver one of his patented clutch passes or leg out a few more yards with those tree-trunk legs.

With help from some poor tackling on the part of the Bulldogs, Clemson registered 13 plays of 10-plus yards. Four of those plays went for 20 yards or longer, three went for 30-plus yards and one went for more than 40 yards.

That last play might have defined Clemson's offensive success against the Dawgs. Shortly after Georgia RB Todd Gurley ripped off his impressive 75-yard run in the first quarter, Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins immediately countered with a 77-yard catch-and-run to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead. On the way to paydirt, he trucked a helpless Damian Swann at midfield before turning on the jets toward the end zone. Watkins finished the night with six catches for 127 yards, with 102 of those yards coming after the catch.

From there, the Tigers' offense had its way with Georgia's defense as missed tackles and broken tackles extended drive after drive. The Tigers finished the game converting 7 of 16 third downs.

There wasn't enough push from a new-look defensive line, either. The Dawgs have better depth on the line, but they registered just six tackles for loss and one sack against Clemson. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins, the Dawgs' best pass-rusher, had just one tackle for loss and couldn't overcome constant double-teams.

Making matters worse, Roderick McDowell had 22 carries for a career-high 132 rushing yards in his first start for the Tigers. He didn't score a touchdown, but he averaged 6 yards per carry. As a whole, the Tigers beat up Georgia's front seven with 197 rushing yards on 46 carries.

It wasn't a pretty sight, and the Dawgs know they can't have a repeat performance -- not with South Carolina looming. McDowell looked impressive against the Dawgs, but now this defense must try to tackle South Carolina's Mike Davis, who rushed for 115 yards on 12 carries and had a 75-yard touchdown run in the Gamecocks' 27-10 win over North Carolina.

Davis might stand only 5 feet 9 inches, but he weighs 215 pounds and resembles a bowling ball on the field. His height makes him that much tougher to bring down at times because he's so low to the ground. He's a real bruiser and is impervious to weak arm tackles and poor form.

The Georgia defense will get better. The Dawgs have too much talent, and more experience is going to help. But these youngsters are headed right back into the fire against South Carolina. The first trial didn't go so well, and if Saturday is going to be any better, Georgia's defense has to toughen up and get back to the basics.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 9-4-0
coleryan Posts:13315 Followers:19
09/04/2013 03:25 PM

Losing a football game is never easy, but it’s not the end of the world. That’s the Georgia Bulldogs mentality after losing their season opener to Clemson on Saturday night. The Bulldogs played with enough energy and intensity to win, but because of penalties, turnovers and inconsistent play of the offensive line, they came up a bit short.

After the game, head coach Mark Richt said that nobody is ready to jump off a bridge and that once in a while you get beat by a really good team.

That is true, but the Bulldogs once again had a chance to rise to occasion in front of a national audience and failed to do so. But they can’t dwell on the loss anymore because the South Carolina Gamecocks are coming to Athens on Saturday, and the Bulldogs need to have the same fire as they did last week.

But can the Bulldogs keep the intensity up after the tough loss to the Tigers?

They will have to if they want to stay in the SEC East race. South Carolina has had the Bulldogs number the last three years, and after a dominating performance against North Carolina last week, the Gamecocks come into the game with a lot of momentum.

The one Bulldog that fans will not have to worry about being ready is Todd Gurley who was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Gurley rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the loss vs. Clemson. He was also named National Running Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

The linebackers or the Bulldogs will also have the intensity when they face South Carolina. Ramik Wilson lead the Bulldogs with 13 tackles and Amarlo Herrera was right behind him with 12. And both outside linebackers, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd brought pressure from the outside against Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, despite not getting any sacks.

And with this game being the home opener for the Bulldogs, they will be ready because they have done a good job protecting their home turf. Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have only lost once at Sanford Stadium, and oddly enough that loss was against the Gamecocks in 2011.

Regardless, Richt believes the Bulldogs will bounce back from the Clemson loss and will play better on Saturday against their SEC rivals.

So when it comes down to it, the Bulldogs will have the intensity going when the play the Gamecocks. They are tired of losing to them and would love to get a win to get a leg up on the SEC East. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 11th in the AP Poll, so they still have a chance to play for the BCS title.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 9-4-0
coleryan Posts:13315 Followers:19
09/05/2013 02:16 PM

ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer was not impressed how Aaron Murray played in Georgia's game versus Clemson this past week. That may be hard to believe considering the Bulldogs' senior quarterback completed 20-of-29 passes for 323 yards and Georgia rolled up 545 yards and 35 points against Clemson. But Palmer believes those numbers should have been much better and the Bulldogs should have won the game.

"I put that game on Aaron," said Palmer, who played quarterback for the Gators from 1997-2000. "He just left so many huge plays on the field. He’s got to make better throws. He just wasn’t very accurate. He just wasn’t putting the ball in the strike zone. They could have had 800 yards of offense in that game. I’m being dead serious."

Palmer pointed to three plays in particular that bothered him. Murray made a poor throw to Chris Conley on a flanker screen early in the game, let another pass get batted down on a screen pass to Todd Gurley and threw low and behind to Michael Bennett on a scramble play that left Bennett wide open in the middle of the field. All three he said should have been huge gains if not touchdowns.

"If he hits Bennett in stride on that scramble play he might score on that one, too," Palmer said. He’s just got to make better throws. If you didn’t watch the game and saw the box score you’d assume he played really well. But he’s got to play better and he'd be the first to tell you that. Listen, he made some big-time throws in the game and he was getting some pressure. But with his skillset and as much football as he's played, being the leader he is on that team, in a shoot-out game like that against an offensive team like Clemson, he’s just got to step up and make those plays."

Murray acknowledged that he was "off" a bit with his throwing accuracy against the Tigers.

"There were a couple of balls here or there that were just off,” he said. “Instead of a 10-to-15-yard play, they could’ve been a 25-to-30-yard play. I have to make sure the guys can not only catch the ball, but also give them a chance to make plays after the catch.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 9-4-0
coleryan Posts:13315 Followers:19
09/06/2013 07:21 PM

One of the biggest games of the week with stars all over the field, this will be by far one of the best games to watch in my book. Georgia is the desperate team in this battle after losing to Clemson in the opener and will be happy to be at home. Mark Richt is saying all the right things and he seems to have his team in the right frame of mind.

The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games and will play with some added intensity. SC has done well against Georgia in the past but this will be a different Bulldogs.

PICK: Georgia -4

  • Last 7 Days Record: 9-4-0