Georgia Bulldogs senior quarterback Aaron Murray led his Dawgs to arguably his biggest regular season win in his four years in Athens, as the native of Tampa Bay, Florida completed seventeen passes on twenty-three attempts and finished the game with 309 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions, which was good enough to be named the Walter Camp Player of the Week.
As impressive as Murray was throughout this win in avoiding pressure and finding an open receiver (like his 85 yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley that sealed Georgia’s victory), fellow Bulldog Todd Gurley did everything possible to make a name for himself against one of the most hyped defenses in the Southeastern Conference, taking 30 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown has well as bringing in two catches for 54 yards and a receiving touchdown. In fact, Gurley was so good against South Carolina that at one point he considered a helmet as optional:
Make no mistake about it: Georgia’s victory over the Spurrier-led Gamecocks is humongous for so many reasons, namely because it gives the Bulldogs the upperhand over South Carolina in an SEC East where Florida is fresh off a loss to the Miami Hurricanes, the Tennessee Volunteers are still in rebuilding mode, and the Vanderbilt Commodores still are not considered a threat to make it to Atlanta. The victory at Sanford Stadium on Saturday also did its part in extinguishing the small fire that was calls from misinformed fans that demanded longtime head coach Mark Richt to lose his job following the team’s defeat at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in Death Valley on August 31st, silencing most of the local sports radio airwaves for the time being.
While at the end of the day you can never be disgruntled when you beat one of the best teams in the SEC, the Bulldogs still have a long way to go if they truly want to make a run in the BCS’s final season, namely on the defensive front. Although it’s completely understandable for the Bulldogs to struggle a bit with the loss of Jon Jenkins, Cornelius Washington, Kwame Geathers, and Abry Jones, Georgia simply could not put reliable pressure on Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw, who they brought down twice in the ball game. Shaw promptly threw for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The defensive secondary is still a work-in-progress for the Bulldogs, which is also understandable due to the starters from 2012 who have departed, but fortunately the Dawgs’ did what it took to defeat the Fighting Spurriers, something that the team has always had trouble with.
Safety Joshua Harvey-Clemons prepares to recover Shaw’s fumble in what would prove to be a game-changing play
As trying as the last two Saturdays have been for the Bulldogs, the team will have two straight weeks of relative ease thanks to a bye week this upcoming Saturday and a matchup with the North Texas Mean Green (1-1 and fresh off a 27-21 loss to Ohio) at Sanford Stadium on September 21st. Although I would hate to say that the Bulldogs could ease their way through these upcoming weeks as they prepare for a huge matchup with the LSU Tigers at home on September 28th, I would find it hard to comprehend how on earth former Iowa State Dan McCarney’s Mean Green stay within five touchdowns of the Bulldogs in their meeting.