COLUMBIA, S.C. — Steve Spurrier officially owns Georgia again.
In the first top-10 matchup in the history of Williams-Brice Stadium, Spurrier's No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks erupted for three touchdowns in the game's first 10 minutes and smothered No. 5 Georgia defensively for a surprising 35-7 drubbing. Spurrier's teams defeated the Bulldogs 11 times during his 12-year stint at Florida through 2001, and Saturday's game was his third straight triumph over Georgia with the Gamecocks.
South Carolina never had defeated Georgia three consecutive times until Saturday, nor had the Gamecocks walloped the Bulldogs by such a substantial margin.
"Obviously this was a special one, beating Georgia for our 10th win in a row and beating a school three years in a row that used to own you," Spurrier said. "They can't say they own us anymore, that's for sure."
The Gamecocks have their first 10-game winning streak ever. They won their final four games last season, including a 30-13 dumping of Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, and are 6-0 this year.
With the upper levels of Williams-Brice shaking behind the record crowd of 85,199, the Gamecocks fed off the energy by taking their first two possessions for touchdowns behind the precise passing of Connor Shaw, a onetime unheralded Peach State recruit. Then Ace Sanders provided the early back-breaker with a 70-yard punt return that made it 21-0 at the 5:18 mark of the opening quarter.
"It was crazy," Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones said. "They came out and took two or three punches, and it was 21-0 in a hurry. It's hard to come back from a deficit like that against a team like that."
Shaw threw for 162 yards, rushed for 78 and accounted for three total touchdowns, easily outperforming Georgia counterpart Aaron Murray, who went 11-of-31 for 109 yards with an interception.
Gamecocks tailback Marcus Lattimore got his third 100-yard game in as many tries against the Bulldogs, amassing 109 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Georgia's freshman tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall never got on track, combining for 25 carries for 76 yards.
"We had too many third-and-long situations early in the game and couldn't establish the running game on first and second downs," Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "We couldn't handle their ends. Their No. 7 [Jadeveon Clowney] made a big impact on that football game."
Said Gurley: "They came out hyped and kept it, and we never got it going."
Georgia avoided its first shutout loss since 1995 with 1:55 remaining on a Ken Malcome 3-yard touchdown.
Trailing 21-0 with 9:25 remaining in the second quarter, Georgia embarked on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ended on downs at the South Carolina 1. A 27-yard pass from Murray to Malcolm Mitchell set up a first-and-goal from the Gamecocks' 4-yard line, but two Gurley runs netted a yard apiece and a third-down throw by Murray into the end zone was broken up.
On fourth down, Murray threw over the middle for Rantavious Wooten, who was stuffed at the 1.
"They played a different coverage, and the ball probably should have gone to the right," Bobo said. "We just didn't get in the end zone."
The 21-0 halftime deficit marked the first time Georgia failed to score in the first 30 minutes since the 2009 loss to LSU in Athens. The Bulldogs entered Saturday averaging 48.2 points per game.
Georgia has an open date this week, while South Carolina visits LSU.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...