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September 9, 2008

Is Williams-Brice really a House of Horrors for UGA?

Image: 2005 2006 UGA vs. SC game (AJC)

Each year we hear about how tough it is to play South Carolina. Particularly road games in Columbia. I've been to 17 Georgia vs. South Carolina games including all of the games since conference expansion plus the 1989 game in Athens.

In my 8 trips to Williams-Brice Stadium, I've seen Georgia go 6-2. Have the games been physical battles? Yes. Have they been tougher than necessary? Yep. Has UGA played consistently well? No.

But we've won with great frequency. In fact, the average margin of victory in our six wins during that time frame was over 11 points. Yet, you'd think we won every game 7-6 from reading the message boards. Over our entire history, our winning percentage vs. these guys is over 80% at home and it's still greater than 70% in Columbia.

I looked at Georgia's overall and road record in the SEC since conference expansion in 1992. The only places where the Bulldogs win more consistently than Columbia are Nashville, Fayetteville, and Starkville. Hmmmm....If we changed the name of the Gamecocks home town to Columbiaville, we'd never lose.

Overall Road Road Win %
Alabama 3-2 2-1 0.667
Arkansas 5-1 3-0 1.000
Auburn 7-8-1 5-2-1 0.688
Kentucky 14-2 6-2 0.750
LSU 2-2 1-1 0.500
Mississippi 10-3 4-2 0.667
Miss State 4-0 2-0 1.000
S. Carolina
11-5 6-2 0.750
Tennessee 5-11 3-5 0.375
Vanderbilt 14-2 8-0 1.000

In my opinion, it really doesn't matter how well the Chickens play. If Georgia plays well, we're going to win this game going away. The two games that we've lost in Columbia since conference expansion were 1996 and 2000. In those two games, Georgia surrendered 10 total turnovers.

Other games have been slowed by incredibly poorly timed mental miscues such as:
    2002 - Tyson Browning fumbles in the South Carolina red zone on his first career carry.
    2004 - UGA surrenders a safety and David Greene throws a pick six early.
    2006 - Three INTs by Matthew Stafford keep the score from being even more out of hand than the 18-0 scoreboard indicated.
Protect the ball, play focused, and Dawgs win big. Screw around with these jokers, and it's a sure fire headache.

See Also:
-- Data Sourced via College Football Warehouse
-- Georgia vs. South Carolina tickets - Stubhub



Anonymous said...

How is that image from the 2005 game if Stafford is throwing the ball and it's not in Sanford?

Unknown said...

thanks. fixed it.


Muckbeast said...

South Carolina is one of those weird teams that I cannot remember ever feeling like they just beat us.

As PWD mentions, the losses all seem to have things like insane numbers of turnovers, combined with horrendously mistimed turnovers for points.

I don't mean they can be taken lightly. They are a solid team. But as PWD says, this is all about whether the Dawgs show up and play their game or not.

Blogging about Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds:

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Hopefully last year's game proved to the Dawgs that a half-assed effort isn't enough to beat the Gamecocks anymore. My biggest worry is that we go into this one paying to much attention to South Carolina vs. Vandy and not enough to Georgia vs. South Carolina.

C. Paul said...

PWD Quote: "Screw around with these jokers, and it's a sure fire headache."

Yep - this game is all about us not them. A Top 5 team goes into a place like Columbia-ville and takes care of business. This is the real USC going into Pullman, this is Oklahoma traveling to Waco.

As PWD states, we are our own worst enemy in this game.


Anonymous said...

We always seem to start poorly aagainst USC. Special Teams nightmares also seem to play a big role. ( Coutu missed 2 or 3 FGs last year)They have a good secondary but I don't think they can match up withus across the board. They load the box on us and Stafford will pick them apart

dean said...

2 advantages this year from last year; 1) We didn't play a over-hyped, high powered offensive team before the chickens (no disrespect to CMU)so I don't think we'll be mentally and or emotionally worn out for this game like we seemed to be last year after the OSU game. 2) Carolina had to prepare for 2 BCS conference teams and not cupcakes. Therefore Spurrier hasn't had the luxury of game-planing for us for 2 or 3 weeks prior to the game. Not that he hasn't some but not as much as he has in the past.

I'm expecting an ugly, defensive game for the first half or so then our depth should start to wear them down and we should pull away late in the game. I'm thinking something along the lines of 28 or 31 to 10.

Anonymous said...

IS anybody else a little worried about our secondary play?

C. Paul said...

Anon 10:53

I'm not worried about the secondary as a whole - just a few minor things:

* Depth at S - I cringe when I see R. Jones returning punts

* B. Evans - seems to be in the wrong spot more times than not.

A larger concern (but still not major), is the kickoff coverage. I despise giving the other team the ball on the 35-40 consistently. If we're going to pooch, then let's do it. If we're going to let B Walsh kick the sh** out of it, then let's do it.

All minor points right now....

Anonymous said...

Bryan Evans scares the crap out of me starting @ CB. He can't cover his own face and NEVER wraps up when tackling. He always tries to get the 'big hit', thinking he's a 220 lb safety. His fundamentals are terrible and, even with his speed, he can't recover.

my 2c


Josh M. said...

The opening line is UGA (-7), and I just sold my little brother to traffickers. The two are not necessarily related.

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