Friday, September 10, 2010

Georgia-South Carolina Preview: Can UGA Make It 5 Straight In Columbia?

The SEC East race gets started in Columbia when Georgia travels to South Carolina for a noon kickoff Saturday.

UGA has won 7 of the last 8 meetings, including the last 4 in Williams-Brice Stadium.

Both teams were impressive in their openers, albeit against much weaker competition.

Here are three questions that have me intrigued for this game:

1. How will Redshirt Freshman QB Aaron Murray do in his first road start?
Murray looked sharp in the opener against La-Lafayette, but this is whole different ball game going on the road to face a much tougher defense. He has the pedigree ranking as the third best QB coming out of high school in 2008, but will his lack of experience make him crumble under the pressure of the South Carolina's crowd?

2. Can South Carolina repeat last week's performance on the ground?
The Gamecocks have been woeful in rushing yards the last few years, but had 224 yards against Southern Miss last Thursday. That yardage amount was 103 yards better than their 2009 average. Leading the way was true freshman Marcus Lattimore, the #2 ranked running back recruit last year.

3. Who will make the play that saves or wins the game?
It seems like this game always come down to a fourth down or goalline stand. Last year, the Gamecocks were attempting a go ahead score and UGA LB Rennie Curran knocked down a sure TD pass. The year before South Carolina fumbled going into Georgia's endzone. Four of the last five meetings have been decided by seven points or less.

UGA will again be without their star wideout A. J. Green who has been suspended four games by the NCAA.

Fear not Bulldog fans because TE Orson Charles will become Murray's safety valve and have a huge game. Georgia also gets back their leading returning rusher Washaun Ealey off suspension.

UGA's defense under new coordinator Todd Grantham will stuff the run enough to force QB Stephen Garcia to win the game with his arm.

Georgia 24 South Carolina 17
UGA Covers +3

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