Georgia had its back against the wall.
Coming off a season-opening loss to Clemson, the Bulldogs couldn’t afford to start out 0-2 by losing to No. 6 South Carolina at home on Saturday.
But Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley made sure No. 11 Georgia would stay alive in its quest for a BCS title.
Murray threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns and Gurley rumbled his way to 115 rushing yards as the Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks, 41-30, in what was arguably the most entertaining game of the young season.
It was maybe the biggest win of Murray’s illustrious career, too, as he made several clutch throws to stymie South Carolina and get revenge for a 35-7 shellacking at Williams-Brice Stadium last season. With the win, he stays alive in the Heisman race after getting bested by Tajh Boyd in week one.
Meanwhile, Gurley continued to show why he’s one of the best backs in the nation, grinding out 92 first-half yards to set the tone for the Georgia offense.
South Carolina didn’t go down without a fight. The Gamecocks stormed back after being down, 17-3, early in the game. Mike Davis showed he may be a superior back to the departed Marcus Lattimore, as he notched his second-straight 100-yard game with 149 yards and a score on 16 carries. Quarterback Connor Shaw also had an outstanding game, throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns while adding 75 yards on the ground.
The Gamecocks will have to bounce back next week against Vandy if they are to stay alive in the SEC East.
As for the Bulldogs, they are now 1-0 in the SEC and have the potential to shrug off that opening loss and win out. At this point, the Sept. 28 matchup with LSU looms especially large, as the Tigers may be the only thing standing between Georgia and its third-straight SEC East title.
Georgia Tech lost a game to Hurricane Irma, a Sept. 16 trip to Central Florida. Georgia State also had a game canceled due to Irma — Saturday’s scheduled game with Memphis, which was axed to makeup the Memphis-UCF game that was supposed to be played Sept. 8.
So if Georgia Tech lost a game, and Georgia State lost a game, and the Atlanta schools stadiums’ sit just 2.2 miles away from each other, wouldn’t it make sense to try to get them together?
The sides tried, but the effort isn’t going to work.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Tech and Georgia State officials attempted to find a date that worked for both sides, but one simply is not available.
Georgia Tech attempted to arrange the game for Oct. 7, the Jackets’ original bye week, but Georgia State has a conference game against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 7. Georgia State is off on Nov. 18, but Georgia Tech visits Duke that day. The rare Championship Saturday makeup isn’t even possible (provided Georgia Tech doesn’t win the ACC Coastal) because Georgia State hosts Idaho on Dec. 2, in what is Idaho’s final game as a Sun Belt member.
Incidentally, Georgia Tech and Georgia State have never met on the field despite being two miles apart. Perhaps this episode will spur the Atlanta neighbors to invite the other over to play sometime down the line.
A clear cut sign when a coach is feeling the heat is when he scolds the media for focusing on negative stories instead of sharing the plethora of positive news happening all around the program.
In a purely unrelated note, Butch Jones is 3-1 this season with a tight win over Georgia Tech, a Hail Mary loss to Florida and a way-closer-than-it-should-have-been escape over Massachusetts on Saturday. The Vols host No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, and a loss there will almost certainly doom Tennessee to a 10th straight season without winning the SEC East, including all five seasons of the Jones era.
Jones was asked about an injury to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, who suffered a broken orbital bone. Asked about a rumor that Tuttle was injured by a teammate, Jones launched into a rant that included chastising the media for “fake news.”
I think it’s safe to say Jones is wound just a little tightly these days.
Washington has been chugging along quite nicely in the early portion of the 2017 college football season, but the Huskies may have to continue through Pac-12 play without a key wide receiver on the field. Chico McClatcher, a junior, could potentially be done for the remainder of the season after breaking his ankle Saturday night against Colorado.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen announced McClatcher will be out for an undetermined amount of time, but the fear is a broken ankle could keep him out for the rest of the season.
In three games this season, McClatcher caught 10 passes for 128 yards. He did not play in a Week 3 game against Fresno State. On Saturday against the Buffs, McClatcher caught four passes for 44 yards in the 37-10 victory in Boulder.
Petersen did note McClatcher can still preserve a year of eligibility by utilizing a possible redshirt to his advantage.
Alabama and Clemson appear to be on a collision course for a third straight meeting in the College Football Playoff national championship, and the Crimson Tide and defending national champion Tigers remain the top two favorites to win the national championship this season, according to the latest updated odds from Bovada.
Alabama’s odds have moved to 19/10 after being 2/1 last week. Right behind Alabama is Clemson at 9/2 a week after having 11/2 odds. Despite having one loss on their record already, the Ohio State Buckeyes remain in the thick of the race as well with the third-best national title odds after four weeks of play. Ohio State is listed at 7/1 by Bovada, staying ahead of USC (15/2) and Oklahoma (8/1) despite a head-to-head loss to the Sooners in Columbus in Week 2.
Penn State comes in at 10/1, followed by Michigan at 12/1. Georgia is on the rise as well with 14/1 odds to stay ahead of Washington (16/1). The biggest drop of the week was by Oklahoma State, who fell from 9/1 to 20/1 after a home loss to TCU. The Horned Frogs jumped up from 75/1 to 33/1 this week.
Bovada also updated their Heisman Trophy odds, with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley moving to the top of the board.