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Blog...Carolina Game A Bloodbath Says Richt

College Football News
Posted Sep 10, 2008


“There are a lot of sidebars in this game”, noted Georgia Coach Mark Richt Tuesday afternoon. Playing Spurrier is a classic chess match...

By: BE Coleman

Round Four – South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Georgia will tangle in Williams-Bryce Stadium this Saturday. The SEC’s two most southeastern teams meet for the 61st time at 3:35 PM for a national broadcast audience.

The coach and player that lives within Spurrier wants to see Georgia with a loss more than anything else in this early football season. You can say without question this game is one the “head ball coach” lives for annually.

“There are a lot of sidebars in this game”, noted Georgia Coach Mark Richt Tuesday afternoon. Playing Spurrier is a classic chess match, player pieces are on a board of lush green grass –- unless it’s been raining for days upon days, then it’s a board of thick oozing mud.

Since 1963, Spurrier has been sticking it to the ‘Dog’s in one way or another as a player and as a coach. A 27-10 loss during the 1966 playing season, which Spurrier earned a trip to New York to accept the Heisman Trophy, left him with a bad taste.

As a coach at Florida in the ‘90’s, Spurrier did such things as giving a former Georgia coach Ray Goff, the nickname of "Ray Goof" and intentionally running up the score in a big way over a rival.

In ’94 and ’95 Spurrier coached teams hung 52 points in back to back games against Georgia with 104 points. Clearly, that was then and this is now. While Georgia’s Richt is no stranger to the bigger rivalry games involving Spurrier. The Bulldogs coach refers to Spurrier as –- Coach.

Richt has great respect for the man that has more SEC wins than any other coach still in the game. While Spurrier is looking to get Carolina back on track after last weeks upset in Nashville. The SEC will be looking for win number 99 this week for Spurrier. Richt will be looking to keep Georgia at number two or higher in the BCS chase.

During his weekly press conference Richt said, the players, the staff and I can feel it already, and it is a blood bath for some reason. The game is almost very close not a lot of points scored very often since I have been here.”

“From a talent base we are very similar. They have a lot of Georgia boys, and we have our share of SC boys that are excited,” added Richt. There is little doubt that Richt will have his ‘Dogs jacked to the stratosphere.

Since Richt’s tenure has began at Georgia, the Bulldog and Gamecock contest has been a game that place kickers have been highly involved in the outcomes. Since 2005 sees the two teams final average score difference is only 5.5 points .” This year’s game line is 7 points for Georgia.

SC’s “Succop is a great kicker, their new punter is averaging 47 yards punt, that is legit,” noted Richt. In 2005, Spurrier’s return from the NFL to the SEC, saw Richt’s team winning 17-15. Last season, Carolina gave their coach a 16-12 victory.

While Richt will be bringing Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford to Columbia, he will also be bringing a very new O-Line with him, one that has little to no SEC level experience for the most part.

It seems “we are always breaking a new group of lineman against them,” added Richt. “I don’t know what it is, but their lineman have been huge the last few times we have played.

Spurrier is expected to run a 2 QB system that he used with success in his early coaching career. While everyone was using a one quarterback set for the season, saw Spurrier break the mold and use two in a game together.

Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley bring to the game an aspect that Spurrier likes in each. Richt noted, “Beecher could run well to move the chains and Smelley was more experienced in what Spurrier wants passing.”

SC has a strong suite with their run game featuring Mike Davis. Richt made a clear point by saying, “I am thoroughly impressed with him, and he can play anywhere his body type would allow him to play. He plays with no fear, very physical.”

Both teams are going to bring in SEC caliber defenses, as both teams units are very good. There are a number of Sunday afternoon players represented by both squads.

The head Bulldog noted, “this is our first real test, we have execute well, but we have not been tested yet,” this season. It’s a game we are very excited about, and know it will take all we got,” said Richt.

South Carolina will be looking for its 4th win since 2000 that has seen Georgia take home five straight since 2002 under Richt, who owns a 5-2 record over the Gamer’s.

While Richt made a special note; that each previous opponent for Georgia in 2008 were worthy in their own respects. They are not South Carolina led by Steve Spurrier who is 14-5 all time; as a player and a coach against Georgia.


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