Early game feature – South Carolina v. Georgia

This matchup is one of the two games with both teams ranked in the top 25, we’ll cover the other in a later edition.
South Carolina comes into this game as the 24th-ranked team in the land, while Georgia comes in as the 3rd-ranked team. Both teams faced inferior opponents (the so-called ‘cupcakes’ that Popular Mechanics once said about a big-6 conference team) in Coastal Carolina (not to be confused with Eastern Carolina who generally do very well) and Austin Peay, both from the FCS division.
As a result, I think that statistics coming into his matchup have very little real-world value. In addition, this is an SEC conference game and a rivalry game — and as I noted in my TCU-SMU matchup — rivalry games can mess everything up. That being said, the statistics are not in South Carolina’s favor, with the overall record being 50-18-2 in Georgia’s favor, and even with that dominance, Georgia are only 11 pt favorites. I do think that playing at home could be a big to South Carolina if they are able to keep it close. Georgia is coming off a good season after scraping by #2 Oklahoma (in 2OT) in the CFP and eventually losing to Alabama, also in overtime, but both the fans and players will want more. The first step for them getting back to the CFP is to take care of games where they are favorites, especially on the road.
Although normally discussed ad nauseam I just can’t find a “trap game” narrative in this match up. I think both teams will come into this matchup focused and willing to work hard in order to pick up the win. Georgia to “right the wrongs” of last years overtime loss to the Crimson Tide, and for the Gamecocks to earn some legitimacy. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game is decided by only a touchdown, and if that ends up being the case, I think there is a definite advantage to playing the game at South Carolina. South Carolina will have to keep their fans involved in this game, and the easiest way to do that — is to keep the game close enough that they feel like they can will their team to a victory. I think that both sides come in with very talented quarterbacks though Georgia’s QB is highly acclaimed (Fromm) and South Carolina’s is hardly mentioned (Bentley).
Both teams need to work hard to limit the turnovers because they both have enough firepower to score quickly on a mistake, and that might just be enough to swing the game. Overall, I’m expecting a close, fun game so find your spot on the couch, put up your feet and enjoy!

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