COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — All the things that worked so well on offense for No. 5 Georgia in its first five games made little dent on the sixth-ranked Gamecocks.
"We got our tails whipped," Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said after a 35-7 defeat Saturday night, the Bulldogs' third straight in the series.
The loss means the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) will need plenty of help to win the SEC East. First, though, Richt must build back his team's psyche, which took a big-time hit against the rising Gamecocks (6-0, 4-0).
Aaron Murray was 11 of 31 for 109 yards passing, the lowest total of his career. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, the Bulldogs' "Gurshall," managed only 76 yards and zero touchdowns, a week after going off for 294 yards and five TDs in a victory over Tennessee.
"We felt like we had a great rhythm offensively going in the first give games," Murray said.
Georgia's usually stout defense was off balance throughout, both of Connor Shaw's touchdown passes going to wide-open Gamecock receivers who got behind the secondary.
"I don't think this team is four touchdowns better than us," defensive back Sanders Commings said.
The Bulldogs will likely drop several spots when the next rankings come out Sunday. Richt said the team still has a chance to defend its divisional title. "We still have an opportunity to keep fighting and keep playing and getting better and winning," he said. "If we are able to do that, then we still have a chance to get back to Atlanta."
Marcus Lattimore ended with 109 yards and a touchdown, the third straight time he's gone past the century mark on the Bulldogs. Coincidence the Gamecocks have posted their first-ever three game win streak in the series that began in 1894?
The Gamecocks 10th straight victory surpasses a school best set with their 9-0 start in 1984. That team reached No. 2 in the country and were poised for the top spot when No. 1 Nebraska lost, but South Carolina fell to Navy to lose perhaps its best- shot at a national championship.
This South Carolina team showed the brand of championship defense usually found on the SEC's best teams.
Georgia came in with a league-leading 48.2 points and 536 yards a game of offense — and where shut down by the Gamecocks.
Gurley and Marshall kept pounding the line to little effect, held scoreless after combining for 294 yards and five TDs in last week's win over Tennessee. Aaron Murray was 11 of 31 for 109 yards. He was sacked twice and threw one interception.