It’s a high noon showdown between the hedges, as South Carolina and third-ranked Georgia meet for the 72nd time. The Bulldogs are coming off a 43-14 win at Tennessee that pushed Georgia’s record to 5-0, 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina had an open date this past Saturday, the second of five Georgia foes this season idle before battling the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks come in at 2-3, 1-2 in the league, having beaten Kentucky 24-7 last time out two weeks ago.
Georgia leads the all-time series 51-18-2 and has won four straight meetings with the Gamecocks. Both head coaches, each former Bulldog defensive backs, and friends going back to their days in Athens and the coaching staff at Valdosta State, started with their programs prior to the 2016 season. In the three prior meetings between Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs and Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks, Georgia has prevailed 28-14 in Columbia, come out on top 24-10 in Athens in 2017 and again 41-17 last season at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Smart’s Bulldogs are riding a 16-game winning streak against SEC East Division foes, the longest run of success for the program since the league split into divisions in 1992. Georgia won 23 straight SEC games from 1980-1983.
South Carolina has faced one of the nation’s most difficult schedules, including a week three battle with Alabama in Columbia that went the Crimson Tide’s way. The Gamecocks lost their season opener to North Carolina and fell at Missouri a week after losing to Alabama. But the win over Kentucky rejuvenated the Gamecocks. Two 100-plus yard rushers and a stellar defensive performance were the highlights for South Carolina.
Highlighting Georgia’s win at Tennessee was the outstanding play of junior quarterback Jake Fromm, who completed 24 of 29 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions with 288 yards. Combined with an impressive ‘three-headed” rushing attack with D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Zamir White, a scoreless second half from the Bulldogs defense and three Rodrigo Blankenship field goals, Georgia was able to pull away from the Volunteers.
For the first time in history, Georgia has started three consecutive seasons with records of 5-0. The Bulldogs are aiming to start a third successive campaign with a 6-0 and stay right in the midst of the nation’s elite unbeatens.
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks are aiming for that season-shaping upset to continuing the turn of the trajectory of the season that began with the win over Kentucky. That victory broke a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats, and Saturday afternoon, the Gamecocks will try and break the four-game skid to the Dogs.