There’s a good chance that, prior to Steve Spurrier being hired as head coach of the Gamecocks, few Georgia fans would cite South Carolina as a rival. True, the teams had faced off periodically throughout the 20th century, usually resulting in a Georgia win (the record currently stands at 47-17-2 in favor of UGA), but things haven’t really heated up until recent years. And by heated up, I mean South Carolina has started to win more and more of these bad boys, and the game has turned into a date worth circling on the counter.
Let's take a look back at one of the closest, back-and-forth games in the rivalry's history, as we head between the hedges to 2011. Follow along with a YouTube video of the game! All times are accurate, so if you just want to see a specific part, then you have the means to do so. Technology, man.
0:24 “Stephen Garcia and the Gamecock offense”. Brings a tear to my eye.
0:55 Heather Cox remarks that even though Lattimore had a big game versus Georgia last year, he’s likely to have an even bigger game due to the injury of linebacker Alec Ogletree. She didn’t realize how right she would be. Fun fact: Alec’s brother is named Alex. Not a joke.
2:09 Dalton Wilson shout-out!
3:30 Maybe I'm in the minority on this, but I love Bacarri Rambo's name. It's almost as good as former Ohio State receiver and two-time Grey Cup Champion Ken-Yon Rambo. Side note: Bacarri Rambo was suspended for the prior week's game. Shocker.
3:55 Check out these Stevie G. stats from 2010.
We could have had it allllllllllllll, rollin' in the deeeeeeeeeeeeep...
4:30 Garcia throws it incomplete where there wasn't a single Gamecock for about 15 yards. I don't know if he expected Alshon Jeffrey to magically appear there or what.
7:22 Aw, baby freshman Clowney! So young, so full of hype.
7:55 After being sacked six times in the prior week, Aaron Murray almost gets sacked twice in a row. Run, little boy. Run for your life!
9:02 Uga VIII, the bulldog, had lymphoma and passed away, so the interim mascot is Russ!
Looks like Russ has been smokin' some of whatever's been getting these Georgia players suspended.
12:20 Garcia throws it off his back foot, once again to No Man's Land, and is now 2/7 for 21 yards. Sigh.
13:31 Penn Wagers is our lead referee today, continuing the tradition of lead refs having dumb names. Fun Fact: Penn Wagers hails from Harleyville, SC. Well, maybe that's not so fun, but since I'm from neighboring St. George, this makes him like "The Boy Who Lived" or something. Yes, Penn Wagers is a survivor, just like Harry Potter.
15:20 Freshman Isaiah Crowell is now in the game, and promptly rattles off two big runs in impressive fashion. South Carolina got really lucky when this guy was kicked out of UGA, because he might've ended up conquering the galaxy. He was that good.
17:40 Blair Walsh and his country club name kicks the field goal for Georgia, making it 3-0.
19:18 We get a score update on some other games, and who should appear but ol' Tyler Bray, who was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs in favor of Aaron Murray. Funny how that works.
20:10 Stevie G. throws a pick, and is promptly asked "who the fuck are you throwing to?" Or maybe it was "what the fuck are you doing?" Either way, F-bombs were dropped while questioning Stevie's decision-making.
25:45 Some discussion takes place regarding Mark Richt. Apparently, a lot of local papers and fans believed this game to be the most important of his career. He had already won 96 games to this point, including some bowls, but uh, okay.
31:39 To borrow a quote from Brent Musburger, YOU ARE LOOKING LIIIIIIIIVE... at this adorable bulldog taking a nap, as we head into the second quarter.
Key stats thus far: Stephen Garcia 3/10, 29 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT and Marcus Lattimore, 6 carries, 29 yards, 0 TDs.
38:23 Spurrier has seen enough of these three-and-outs from USC, and decides to go for it on fourth down. Color commentator and awful GM Matt Millen think the play "smells like Marcus Lattimore". I wouldn't trust his sense of smell though. The guy thought Charles Rogers smelled good enough to draft.
44:00 Then, after three, yes THREE timeouts, Spurrier changes his mind and decides to punt. The good news is one of those timeouts belonged to Georgia. Yay.
45:45 OH LORD! Clowney just massacres Murray with a sack! That was as hard of a hit as I've ever seen Clowney deliver.
50:38 Vintage Alshon Jeffrey here, as we see Stevie G just chuck it out to the endzone, praying Alshon makes the catch, and he does, barely getting a foot in the endzone. Now, after a Jay Wooten extra point, USC has the lead, 7-6
58:12 Georgia responds with just a mighty fine drive, moving things down the field, chewing up clock, and capping it off with a 26-yard touchdown catch by Rantavious Wooten.
59:50 It looks for a moment like Georgia successfully pulls off the onside kick, but it's called back due to offsides on Bacarri Rambo, who also recovered it. See? It works just as rarely as it does in Madden, and you can't pull it off unless you're cheatin'. OOOOOOH I'M TELLING MOM
1:05:30 FAKE PUNT! Melvin Ingram makes some magic happen, and the commentators at first insist it's DeAngelo Smith, until they see that, yes, it's the 276-pound Ingram who runs into the endzone. By the way, Matt Millen believes Ingram is "a hamburger away" from 280, which indicates the size of hamburgers Millen enjoys.
1:16:03 Stevie G. tries to make one last big play happen before the half, chucking it up as the clock hits zero... and it's picked off. So we head into the half with ESPN's microphone troubles, as Heather Cox is forced to hold two microphones, and a confused Mark Richt stands by.
1:18:30 With this game taking place the day before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we get a nice moment of both college bands playing Amazing Grace together.
1:32:30 Bruce Ellington is lined up at QB in the Wildcat formation on 3rd and 7... and is promptly stuffed. Spurrier's cuteness only works some of the time, and by some of the time, I mean 1%.
1:33:25 Ah, a patented Joey Scribner-Howard 42-yard punt with a 37-yard return. I know not all of the blame goes to Joey, but the dude was not a good punter. I feel like it shouldn't be such a problem to find good punters and kickers for a friggin' SEC team.
1:36:20 Crowell catches a screen pass, and outruns Jadeveon Clowney into the endzone for his first career touchdown. The defense has been quietly not-that-good in this game, particularly the secondary, but even the legendary front line has been broken more than a few times.
1:42:00 An absolute nightmare drive for Stevie, with pressure constantly coming and his passing game not improving in the slightest. I love Stevie, but the man can compel one to scratch their head.
1:45:14 On the play right after Stephon Gilmore commits a pass interference penalty, the young man scoops up a fumble and brings it all the way out to UGA's five-yard line, zooming in and out between blockers, and really putting on some awesome moves.
1:47:11 For all his faults, for all his mistakes on the day, Stevie G. flips the clutch button, running it up the middle into the endzone for the touchdown. The guy was tough, man.
1:51:20 Out of nowhere, an Antonio Allen interception that's returned for the TD! Solid pressure on the quarterback, but Allen was in the right spot, had good hands, and immediately knew where to run to get into the endzone.
1:51:46 A hot girl in blackface and a ship captain's hat is disappointed.
Seriously, what is this outfit supposed to be? A reverse zebra that likes yacht rock? I'm getting racist vibes off of this either way.
2:01:18 You want to know why I believe Aaron Murray is going to be an amazing quarterback? Because he came back from throwing a pick to go 8/8 for 85 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown. The cherry on top? He nailed the two-point conversion.
2:13:40 Jay Wooten kicks his first field goal for South Carolina, and it's good! He would go on to miss three extra points throughout the season, and finish 7-for-11 on field goals. He wasn't a very good kicker.
2:18:15 After Brandon Boykin returns the kick for 58 yards, it takes just five plays before Isaiah Crowell runs into the endzone. Mark Richt hugs Michael Bennett in relief. Cue up "michael-bennett-nervous-smile.jpg"
2:19:40 The announcers really want to nail it home that Mark Richt's job is tied to this game, which is kind of hilarious given Georgia's continued success in the ensuing years, and even in the years prior. A little hot to trot there, ESPN.
2:23:15 Nameless play-by-play guy: "Stephen Garcia, he can be so bad and so good." That's a quote for the tombstone!
2:24:30 Stephen Garcia calls the Gamecocks' last timeout, with 4:19 left to go. I'm chalking that up in the "so bad" column
2:27:05 Marcus Lattimore FINALLY ends up in the endzone, carrying a huge pile of man-meat with him.
2:30:37 The gruesome twosome strike on the first play of the drive! Clowney strips the ball from Aaron Murray, while Melvin Ingram picks it up and bumbles into the endzone, making it the first time either team has lead by two scores or more.
2:35:37 Murray throws up a bomb to Tavarres King in the endzone, and he snags it! CC Whitlock did his best to cover King, but size matters baby, and King had the size needed to grab that breathtaking pass. It's 45-42 now, with USC's lead down to just three.
2:39:55 And who should jump up to catch the onside kick? Why, it's our old friend Melvin Ingram! Boy, he really gets around, and for once, I don't mean sexually.
2:45:30 Marcus Lattimore, the ever-reliable man he is, chews up enough clock for it to be a done deal. Mark Richt, if ESPN commentators and UGA fans at the time are to be believed, will be fired, as well as banned from the state of Georgia for crimes against the state.