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South Carolina Faces A Season-Making Moment Just Three Weeks Into 2014

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/10/2014 9:00:38 PM

It’s just the middle of September, with a lot of football to be played in the coming months. Yet, the South Carolina Gamecocks already find themselves in a must-win situation.

Georgia Bulldogs @ South Carolina Gamecocks – Saturday, September 13

Sport betting line: Georgia -6

Why Georgia Will Win

When you go over the various details of this game, it becomes clear that Georgia is playing better and is much more the in-form team at the moment. The Bulldogs were very strong against Clemson in their first game of the season, especially in the second half, when they shut out the Tigers and took full control of the line of scrimmage. Georgia pushed back Clemson and won in the trenches, using no tricks or gadgets to move the ball and prevent the Tigers from doing the same. Georgia just played harder and was faster to the ball than Clemson. The Bulldogs set up their blocks and, on defense, got off the attempted blocks the Tigers were trying to make. Georgia steamrolled in that second half, and that’s the kind of performance which can fire up a team and give it a lot of confidence. It’s not just that Georgia won, but that the Bulldogs did so with more power, more stamina, more depth, and more toughness. When teams win like that, they realize that if they just keep working hard, good things will happen. Georgia should be in a great frame of mind heading into South Carolina.

The Bulldogs will be facing a team whose defense does not look very good. The Gamecocks allowed 52 points in their season opener. Giving up more than 50 points at home was unthinkable for South Carolina in previous seasons, especially with guys such as Jadeveon Clowney in the lineup. You can see how much weaker South Carolina’s defensive line is without him this season. Georgia is in position to take advantage of this and build its offense around running back Todd Gurley, a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender with the ability to bust tackles after the first point of contact.

Why South Carolina Will Win

The Gamecocks are playing at home, and Georgia hasn’t been able to win on the Gamecocks’ home turf in its last two tries. The Bulldogs haven’t yet tested themselves on the road this season, so while they should be confident going into this game, it’s not a certainty that their confidence is going to last in a difficult environment. South Carolina has also made some improvements on defense. This defense has to show a lot more against Georgia, but after the complete disaster against Texas A&M, it is clear that the Gamecocks are moving in the right direction. They allowed only seven second-half points to East Carolina last week, and the Pirates came into that game with a very solid passing offense. If the Gamecocks’ defensive line plays well and can maintain its focus for all 60 minutes, Georgia will have trouble scoring.

Who Will Win?

The Bulldogs have not liked playing the Gamecocks on the road in recent years, but they have the perfect road-game formula in place: run and stop the run. Georgia’s power on the line of scrimmage is probably going to win this game for the Bulldogs.

College Football Betting Pick: Georgia -6

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