On Saturday evening, the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks played one of the most exciting games in the history of the series between the two schools.
In a game that was expected to be a defensive struggle with a lot of poor offense, the teams combined for 78 points, 735 offensive yards and 418 return yards.
This game made fans from both teams want to kiss the TV one minute and then throw it out the window the next.
If a play could be made in a game of football, it was made in this one.
There was a 100-yard kick off return for a touchdown, two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, a fake punt, four sacks, five fumbles, a safety and a blocked PAT just to name a few.
There were several things that stood out to me as I sat on the edge of my seat for most of this game.
1) Joe Cox CAN play quarterback
A lot of people in the media and on message boards put down Georgia's starting quarterback for the way he played against Oklahoma State. Some of that attention was well deserved and some was not. I believe with the way he played against the ‘Cocks (17 out of 24 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and one pick) he quieted some of his critics.
I think that he played poised while the Dawgs were down early and made the plays he needed to make down the stretch to ensure victory.
2) Richard Samuel will be UGA's tailback all year
Samuel proved that he should be UGA's tailback from here on out. He ran hard behind his pads taking on all defenders and breaking tackles for yards after contact. It was not easy to tackle him and many times it took more than one Gamecock defender to bring him down.
He carried the ball 20 times for 87 yards and touchdown on his way to averaging 4.7 yards a carry. The Dawgs could have probably given the ball to Samuel on first, second and third down and never would have had to punt.
3) Willie Martinez needs to go
Over the last year I have defended Willie Martinez saying that it was injuries that made our defense play the way it did last season. Now I can honestly say that it is time for the Georgia defensive coordinator to go.
I watched South Carolina play NC State two weeks ago and they looked like a team that would not be able to move the ball on a decent defense.
The defense did what they could in the red zone and played well in the front seven, but when you have Gamecock wide receivers running around catching balls with nobody around them for 10 yards, something has to be done.
4) Mike Bobo’s play-calling is coming around
One thing that I can say is that Bobo—UGA's offensive coordinator—used all the weapons that the Dawgs have this year against the ‘Cocks. I was excited to see them use Branden Smith on the reverse where we finally got to see him separate himself with his speed.
UGA seemed to mix the run and pass up well, but I think Georgia still needs to run the ball more to utilize its offensive line. I think as the season goes on, Bobo will realize this and we will see Samuel up over 100 yards multiple times.
5) Georgia's Special Teams are SPECIAL
The Dawgs special teams played awesome all night long. The only blemishes would have to be Smith’s fumble inside UGA's 10-yard line and the snap over Drew Butler’s head for the safety.
Brandon Boykin seperated himself from the other return candidates with his performance on kickoffs (four returns for 187 yards and a touchdown).
I know that the blemishes hurt, but if we did not get the kick return yards we did, the game would have been a blowout for the Gamecocks.
Those are the things that stuck out in my mind, you might have seen some more things and if you did please feel free to comment on what you saw.