South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs
College Football: Saturday September 12, 2009 7 PM EST
The Line: Georgia -7
Buckle up the chinstraps and be prepared to trade helmet paint as two SEC teams meet in one of the longest and nastiest rivalries in college football resumes for 2009.
Georgia returns home after surrendering a lead late in the second half in Stillwater to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and opening their season 0-1.
Joe Cox looked fabulous on the Bulldogs' first drive, but the entire Georgia offense never got rolling afterwards. AJ Green got few chances to do anything and the running game failed to create a need to stack the line to stop them. The Dawg defense fought the good fight to keep the game close but then were on the wrong end of of a strange call that all but cemented the win for Oklahoma State. Many thought Georgia would be a good "under the radar" team for this season but after opening the season with a loss it will be an uphill battle to fulfill even those modest expectations.
If you wanted to see exciting offense, last Thursday's Night's college football opener featuring South Carolina and NC State wasn't the place to be.
The 7-3 defensive struggle featured few penalties or turnovers and it was the result of ineffective offenses and effective defenses. We didn't learn a lot about the South Carolina offense and starting QB Stephen Garcia because when the total offensive output of the night is 256 yards is still enough to win, it's obvious they didn't make many mistakes. There is plenty of room for improvement on offense and they will need to do so or the South Carolina defense will eventually bend and then break.
The games between these two are generally close regardless of records or where they were picked preseason. South Carolina is just 1-4 against the spread in their last four games as an underdog but they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five as a road underdog between 3 1/2 - 10 points. Georgia is 1-4 against the spread in their last five as a home favorite and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games against SEC teams.
I think this is just another hard hitting low scoring SEC style game where points will be at a premium. I think I would rather start with seven of them.
Mitch's Pick: South Carolina +7