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SEC fans get an interesting matchup this weekend when the South Carolina Gamecocks take a trip to Athens to visit the Georgia Bulldogs in hopes of improving their record to 2-1.
On the whole, it’s been a rough start to the 2015 season for coach Steve Spurrier’s boys. The team opened the season on September 3 against the ACC’s North Carolina Tar Heels as heavy favorites, but a field that was in terrible condition plus a hip injury to quarterback Connor Mitch resulted in a defensive battle on both ends. South Carolina came out of it winning 17-13. Granted, a win is a win, but it was definitely not the way that Spurrier wanted to open the season after going 7-6 (3-5 SEC) last season.
Things did not get better for the Gamecocks the following week, as Mitch separated his shoulder in a 26-22 loss to Kentucky and subsequently went to the hospital after his bruised hip got infected. He is likely out for the season, and South Carolina will roll with junior and former walk-on Perry Orth at quarterback going forward. This team’s offense needs to be jump-started, particularly since the Gamecocks have a potentially great receiver in junior Pharoh Cooper. If he and Orth can build some chemistry on-field and move the chains consistently, then South Carolina could end up having a stronger season than anticipated.
But that means tangling with a Mark Richt-coached Georgia Bulldogs machine that has looked near-unstoppable over the first two weeks of the season. In games against UL-Monroe and SEC rival Vanderbilt, Georgia has outscored opponents 82-28 with graduate transfer and former Virginia Cavalier Greyson Lambert under center. Lambert has looked average over the first two games, throwing for just 257 yards and two touchdowns and while some may see that as a cause for concern, such is not the case for Georgia. This is because the team has a not-so-secret weapon that is probably in the lead for the Heisman Trophy right now.
That not-so-secret weapon is sophomore running back Nick Chubb, who has run for 309 yards and two touchdowns on just 35 carries thus far. That gives him an average of 8.8 yards per carry. For someone just 5-foot-10, 220 pounds, he moves with the power and energy of a military tank.
Along with a shaky quarterback situation, Chubb is likely the reason that the Gamecocks are currently 17-point underdogs for Saturday’s game.
As great as an upset would be, it’s just not going to happen. Georgia is running on all cylinders and South Carolina’s defense is just not strong enough to contain Chubb, having already given up 415 yards and three scores on the ground this season.
Thus, if you were to ask this writer, Georgia will come out on top in this one, 45-17.
Be sure to tune into ESPN at 6 p.m. ET for kickoff!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports