The best of South Carolina and Clemson and Furman and perhaps anybody
from the Carolina Panthers who live south of the line.
And take on Georgia. Not a bad idea, because the two major college
teams have a serious and convincing 0-2 this year against the Bulldogs.
Granted, it's still hard to figure out what Clemson and South Carolina
have to offer. Clemson's clearly not very good, and USC is off a solid
win over an overrated team that didn't have its quarterback.
Georgia? Well, there are certain things one can glean even from
competition that's not all that stellar.
This is a smart team coached by a smart group. Thomas Davis is a
first-team all-SEC defensive player no matter where he plays. Michael Cooper has the wiggle. David Pollack is a pest
even when he's 15 yards from the ball, which isn't very often.
And Neil Callaway is doing some kind of job with a young offensive
line that is in mid-season, veteran form. The only bad sack Saturday was
when Greene had enough time to order a pizza and failed to get rid of
the ball. It opened some awfully big holes for Cooper, Ronnie Powell,
and Kregg Lumpkin.
There's enough depth at receiver to not miss Fred Gibson, for Reggie Brown is nearing the potential discussed a few years ago. And never
forget about Damien Gary. There may be enough depth everywhere not to
For the second time in three weeks, Georgia turned what was supposed
to be a tough, competitive game into a clinic that made life absolutely
miserable for the folks to the east.
It may be time to state it officially: Georgia's program is in the
position to simply reload, it's now the Southeastern Conference favorite
this year, and it's worth taking seriously as a national championship
Sorry, Nation, gotta call it that way.
There just wasn't much Georgia did wrong. Yet the Bulldogs weren't
completely overwhelming. Sure, they were overwhelming the Gamecocks, but
South Carolina's game plan and execution weren't exactly impressive in
Quarterback Dondrial Pinkins became the major running threat, and
that's never encouraging.
The offensive line found a way to slow down David Pollack: hold him.
The USC receivers didn't drop many passes, only because Pinkins was
under serious heat and often just heaved it to an open cameraman or
trainer. Uga VI was an unintentional intended receiver at one point.
Sure, this was another game where Georgia could've easily had more
points. But the Bulldogs grabbed a big monkey by the ears and flung it
from their collective back by having fairly little trouble in the red
A procedure penalty erased a touchdown pass on Georgia's first visit.
"I was thinking, 'Oh, shoot, maybe we're not going to score down
there,'" said head coach Mark Richt with a slight chuckle. "As
they raised their hands - touchdown - I said, 'Thank you.. Finally.' We
score and there's a penalty. So I'm thinking, 'We're not gonna score a touchdown
Patience, my son, patience. Perhaps comforted by the ease of that
drive - penalty notwithstanding - the Bulldogs had no trouble the next
time they got down there, which was on the next possession.
Fact is, Georgia had little trouble with anything South Carolina
offered, save for some lack-of-tackling by backups late in the game that
led to the Gamecocks' only score. But it's always wise to get
And anyway, Damien Gary brought back a botched squib kick for a
touchdown, so that almost erased Carolina's score.
Thus, another expected test was barely a pop quiz, although there's a
monster midterm in Baton Rouge awaiting.
"We haven't been in a situation where we've been behind or had someone
come back on us and take away our momentum," said Richt. "We don't
how we'll handle adversity. So far, we've played well enough to stay out
That in itself makes life a little easier. And life in the Classic
City's not too bad right now.