This series has maintained a fairly competitive balance the past ten years. Since 2010, the two teams have split the series winning four games a piece. Georgia has totaled 235 points (29.4 ppg) while South Carolina has amassed 209 points (26.1 ppg) over the eight year stretch.
Georgia is anywhere from a nine to 10 point favorite in Columbia on Saturday. The Bulldogs haven’t won in Columbia on a Saturday since the 2008 season.
There will be multiple recruits attending the game, including five-star athlete Quavaris Crouch.
The implications of this game extend far beyond the 2018 season for South Carolina. A win for the Gamecocks would give them a two-game advantage over the Bulldogs in the SEC East but it would also, at least for the moment, seemingly minimize the gap between themselves and the fast-rising Georgia team.
Georgia has obviously recruited well for a long period of time, but Kirby Smart has the Dawgs on another level right now. Beating him on Saturday could sway some future recruits towards the Gamecocks.
There is also an element of “if not now then when” with this matchup. This could be Carolina’s fourth straight loss to the Dawgs. With the level Kirby is recruiting at, it could be a long time before the Gamecocks have as good a chance to pull the upset as they do right now.
All the stars are aligned for the upset to happen and the ball now lies in the Gamecocks’ court. Can Jake Bentley perform at a high level in a big game? Can they develop a consistent running game against an inexperienced defense?
Will the new-style offense make enough plays to put up points and keep the Dawgs offense off the field? And of course, will the Gamecock’s defensive front seven be able to rush the passer and create havoc in the backfield?
South Carolina has a tremendous opportunity to make a big statement in just the second week of the season. Should they pull of the upset, it would set them up for a big 2018 season and potentially fuel their pull in future recruiting classes.
Time for Muschamp and Bentley to make a statement.
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