“It’s a big, big game right now,” the Macon Telegraph quotes Georgia head coach Mark Richt saying. “When you start playing this deep into the conference season and you’ve got two undefeated, it’s huge.”
There are fans who would argue even that is an understatement. Please take note: If you live outside of Georgia and South Carolina, do not call, email, text, Facebook or knock on the doors of people inside Georgia and South Carolina between the hours of 7 and 11 p.m. on Saturday.
They will be busy.
The states' two undefeated SEC teams will face off in an increasingly intense rivalry that will determine bragging rights around these parts for another year, and maybe a lot more than that.
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Who's got the edge this year? Hard to say. Georgia's coming off a nailbiter against weaker conference foe Tennessee, though a column in the Athens Banner-Herald suggests the close call was a good thing. Nobody's been lulled into a false sense of security, anyway.
Georgia will bring a potent, sometimes explosive offense to Columbia on Saturday. As an Associated Press story earlier in the week put it:
The No. 5 Bulldogs have been running their own version of the “Fun ‘n’ Gun” offense through the first five weeks of the season, lighting up opponents with a dizzying array of weapons.
Someone the Bulldogs won't be bringing, though (at least not in pads), is wide receiver Michael Bennett. The sophomore, who'd already racked up four touchdowns, injured an ACL in practice and will be out for the season.
The Bulldogs will also be bringing fewer South Carolinians back across the border with them. The Telegraph's Seth Emerson reports that Georgia's recruiting success in the Palmetto state has diminished with the rise of South Carolina's own program:
It used to be that the Bulldogs could regularly raid their neighbors to the north for talent like Richard Seymour, A.J. Green, Prince Miller and others. But lately the Gamecocks have been able to keep that talent home: Marcus Lattimore, Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor are the core of the Gamecocks' talent base, while the Bulldogs pick their spots.
So what factors will determine who comes out on top? Here are five things to consider from the Saturday Down South blog.
What do you consider to be the big factor going into Saturday's Georgia-South Carolina game? Tell us in the comments.
You might also be interested in reading:
- College Football Scores: SEC Week 1
- College Football Scores: SEC Week 2
- College Football Scores: SEC Week 3
- College Football Scores: SEC Week 4
- College Football Scores: SEC Week 5