My biggest worry
Let's say South Carolina gets the ball first, returns the opening kick to our 40 and picks up a TD via an early broken coverage. The chickens could then get their feet under them, the crowd would sense hope, and we would be in for a fight all game.
We have two glaring weaknesses right now. The first is kickoff coverage which I think is tragic, and the CB spot not manned by Asher Allen. In other words, the above scenario is within reason.
What Victory Looks Like
If we get the ball first and don't turn the ball over on our first possession, I think we're going to score in convincing fashion. If we follow that up with quality kickoff coverage, we might see a snow ball effect. With a two TD lead early, their fans will start booing and their players will start laying down.
I talked to the world's most optimistic Gamecock fan on Monday. He said the Vandy loss was a "hope robbing experience." This is a guy who was optimistic even during the 0-21 streak, and he told me that he's never seen the Gamecock fans in such a tailspin.
All joking aside, the Gamecock fans are well known for their boundless optimism. This is especially true entering the Georgia game each year. The convergence of the early date on the schedule and their overheated sense of "This is the Year" result in a madhouse feel for our game.
This year could be different. This is only the third season since 1987 that the South Carolina Gamecocks will enter their game against UGA with a loss.
- 2002 - SC entered with a 1-1 record following a loss to UVA in Week 2. However, they had beaten Ohio State in the Outback the year before. That victory combined with a win over 8-4 UGA in 2001, kept Chicken spirits high.
1999 - SC entered 0-1. They lost to NC State in a monsoon. The loss to the Wolfpack made 11 losses in a row overall. Optimism was very low heading into Athens. UGA won big 24-9 in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.
1989 - SC entered 2-1-1. The tie was at Virginia Tech, and the loss was to a WVU team that went undefeated in '89. Enthusiasm was still pretty high.
The first five minutes of this one will tell you what you need to know. If Katharyn slips a certain someone's "evil" meds into his gameday water, this thing will be over before it starts.
-- Data Source: College Football Data Warehouse
-- Tickets: UGA vs. South Carolina Gamecocks