Last week both of these teams started out with intriguing match-ups. The Georgia Bulldogs faced the Boise State Broncos in the Georgia Dome and the Gamecocks of South Carolina faced off with the East Carolina Pirates. Both teams struggled but the Gamecocks came out of their game with a win. The Bulldogs on the other-hand did not look good in many aspects of their game (which we touched on here, but will also touch on in this column). There are some important games this week involving SEC teams (Miss State/Auburn and Penn State/Alabama) but this game could decide the SEC East and it's the subject of our weekly "Big Game Preview". Before you read this make sure you check out the Q&A we did early this week with the great South Carolina blog Leftover Hotdog then come back and we will take a look at where the advantages and dis-advantages are for each team.
Stephen Garcia came in the last game against ECU and saved the Gamecocks bacon. Garcia is a 5th year senior who has struggled mightly with inconsistencies on and off the field during his tenure in Columbia. Garcia replaced starter Connor Shaw in this game and went on to score two TDs with his feet and one with his arm. There is no question that Garcia has the confidence of his teammates and he is the QB that they want in the huddle with them.
Aaron Murray struggled against Boise State as he was running for his life for the majority of the game. The biggest aspect that Murray must improve is the sacks he took (six of them against Boise). When Murray was given time he found his receivers as he was 16 of 29 for 236 yds and 2 TD vs 1 INT. In the second half he found Orson Charles on a 36 yd TD and true freshman Malcolm Mitchell for a 51 yd score. I still like Murrays' upside but he's got to get some help from his OL and from his receivers (namely Tavarres King, who would like to forget the Boise game ever happened).
Verdict: Slight Advantage Georgia
Marcus Lattimore is one of the best backs in the SEC (and the Nation) and last year as a true Freshman he pounded the Georgia DL. Lattimore vs the Georgia DL will be one of the most important match-ups of the evening. While Georgia's new-look DL wasn't that impressive they did do a good job in stopping Boise RB Doug Martin and containing the Boise rushing game. Lattimore finished the ECU game with 112 yards and 3 TD.