Sept. 14, 2014
The South Carolina versus Georgia football game has a long history of great moments, and Saturday’s Gamecock 38-35 victory added to the lore of the series which began in 1894. Coach Steve Spurrier picked up his 201st win as a Southeastern Conference coach, tying him with Georgia legend Vince Dooley for second on the all-time list behind Paul “Bear” Bryant. It was also Spurrier’s 16th career win over the Bulldogs, the most by any head coach against Georgia.
“Some wins are better than others,” Spurrier said in his postgame press conference. “Sometimes all you can say is it was our turn to win.”
The historic win pushed the Head Ball Coach ahead of Auburn legend Shug Jordan for the most career wins against the Bulldogs. Overall, Spurrier is 16-6 in his career against Georgia, including a 5-5 record as the coach of the Gamecocks. It marked the first time that South Carolina defeated Georgia in three straight home meetings, and it was also the fourth overall win in the last five meetings of the series.
“Sometimes all you can say is it was our turn to win.”
“To get five here at South Carolina (against Georgia) is pretty neat,” Spurrier said. “I think I might be the winningest South Carolina coach over Georgia too. We’ve had some close ones with them, and tonight was another one as it turned out.”
Spurrier was respectful of the Bulldogs after the game, but that didn’t stop him from poking a little fun at prognosticators who picked the Gamecocks to lose this year’s match-up between the border rivals.
“I knew we had a good chance to beat them when I heard (Paul) Finebaum had picked them to win by about 25 points,” Spurrier said about the SEC Network analyst. “I like Paul Finebaum, I’m just kidding a little bit.”
Even before South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992, this was a great series. Both schools have successfully raided recruits from the other state. Some of the all-time greats to come out of the state of Georgia to play for the Gamecocks include All-American Bobby Bryant (1964-67), two-time All-ACC selection Billy Gambrell (1960-62), South Carolina career receptions leader Kenny McKinley (2005-08), career sack leader Eric Norwood (2006-09), Dan Reeves (1962-64), Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers (1977-80), Sterling Sharpe (1983, 1985-87), all-time winningest quarterback Connor Shaw (2010-2013) and current running back Mike Davis, who is from Atlanta, just to name a few.
“Of course I think it would mean a lot for anybody who’s from Georgia that goes out of state,” Davis said. “You have a lot guys here from Georgia.”
With 25 percent of South Carolina’s 109-man roster hailing from the Peach State, this victory does spark emotions for a lot of other current student-athletes. The opportunity to stay alive in the SEC East with a league win added to the intensity of the rivalry, which doesn’t need much prodding in the first place.
“I felt like this was a personal game for me,” said Rory Anderson, a Gamecock senior tight end from Powder Springs, Georgia. “Last year, things didn’t go as planned. I feel like we were able to bounce back.”
Another game, another milestone for Coach Spurrier and the Gamecocks. Now that the game is over, Spurrier doesn’t dwell on what’s in the rear view mirror, and he’s already looking to help the team improve each week as they prepare for the next opponent.
“Hopefully we can use this as some momentum and start playing a lot better,” Spurrier said. “Hopefully we can start becoming a good looking team. We’re not a good looking team yet.”