Updated: Gamecocks finish off throttling of UGA

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UPDATED 10:26 p.m. ET: Apparently, the SEC East has come down to a two-horse race.  And an Oct. 20 showdown in Gainesville.

Earlier today, No. 10 Florida easily handled No. 4 LSU — at least defensively — to remain perfect at 5-0 on the season.  A few hours later, No. 6 South Carolina did the same to No. 5 Georgia, only much more impressively.

Leading 21-0 at the half, the Gamecocks were never threatened the rest of the way as USC came away with a dominating 35-7 home win over the Bulldogs to remain tied with UF atop the East standings at 4-0.  And, in every way, shape and form, USC took UGA to the proverbial woodshed.

The Gamecocks totaled nearly 400 yards of total offense, while defensively they held the Bulldogs to no points and under 150 yards prior to a meaningless 75-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that netted UGA its only points of the game.

There is still work to be done, especially for USC, prior to the late October match-up that could very well decide the East’s representative in the SEC championship.  The Gamecocks will travel to Baton Rouge to face a Tigers squad that will no doubt be champing at the bit to shake off their first loss of the season, while the Gators head to Vanderbilt to face a Commodores team that pulled off a road upset over Missouri Saturday night.

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The hype was at a fever pitch in Columbia, South Carolina, with the No. 6 Gamecocks hosting the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs in a game rife with SEC East and BcS ramifications.  GameDay was there, and the trek to the stadium took upwards of a couple of hours to navigate just a few miles, so packed the area was.

And then the hosts had to go and ruin the party, albeit in a good way for the locals.

With just a little more than a quarter of play in the books, USC is taking it to their guests, carving up the Bulldogs to the tune of 21-0.  And said carving is being accomplished in literally every phase of the game.  To wit:

— Offensively: the Gamecocks had rolled up nearly 200 yards of offense (185) with just over 14 minutes left in the second quarter, with 10 first downs and no punts.

— Defensively: conversely, the USC defense had allowed just 39 yards of UGA offense through the same time frame.

— Special teams: Ace Sanders raced 70 yards for a punt return touchdown that put the ‘Cocks up 21-0.

Certainly there’s a lot of time left for UGA to mount a comeback, but it’s certainly looking early on like USC is the cock of the SEC East walk.

Injury will sideline Cal’s Cameron Goode for remainder of the year

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Unfortunately, Cal’s worst injury fears have been realized yet again.

In the Bears’ season-opening win over North Carolina, Cameron Goode sustained what’s only been described as an unspecified lower-leg injury.  The redshirt sophomore linebacker did not play in the past two games because of the injury and won’t play again this season, Justin Wilcox confirmed Wednesday.

“I really feel for him because he puts a lot into football,” the head coach said. “He’ll go through that window of not being able to play this year. It’s a pretty short window, then he’ll start working on what’s next.”

It’s expected Goode will be fully recovered by the start of spring practice.

This marks the second-straight season his year has ended prematurely because of injury.  Last year, he started the first nine games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Goode had returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener before going down with the leg injury.  He also returned a pick for a score last season in the win over Ole Miss.

Recently-retired Minnesota RT Nick Connelly loses three-month battle with cancer

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There’s incredibly sad news coming out of the Minnesota football program Thursday afternoon.

In an absolutely heartbreaking missive posted to Twitter, Chuck Connelly, the father of former Minnesota offensive lineman Nick Connelly, revealed that his son lost his three-month battle with cancer Wednesday.  Or, as the elder Connelly put it, “[o]n Wednesday Sept. 19, 2018 Heaven needed a right tackle and Nick Connelly got the call.”

Connelly was just 22 years old.

The younger Connelly was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in June of this year.  A very rare form of cancer — WebMD states just that just 1,200 cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, with nearly 60 percent of those coming in patients over the age of 40 — and is recognized as the fastest growing human tumor.

In late October of last year, Connelly, who had started the first five games of the 2017 season at right tackle for the Gophers, announced that he was retiring from football because of the effects of multiple concussions.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Connelly’s family, friends and former teammates for their loss.

Western Kentucky losing RB Marquez Trigg to transfer

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Another day, another FBS player has made an in-season move away from their now-former program.

Marquez Trigg wrote on his personal Twitter account this week that he has decided to transfer from Western Kentucky. “I will graduate in December and transfer to pursue other opportunities for my 5th year of college football,” the running back wrote.

While the redshirt junior gave no specific reason for the departure, a steep drop in opportunities this season likely played a significant role.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2015, Trigg ran for 465 yards combined in 2016 (298) and 2017 (167) on 122 carries. This season, his nine carries in three games netted him just 12 yards.

Trigg totaled four rushing touchdowns during his time with the Hilltoppers, two each during the last two seasons. He also caught 12 passes for 59 yards out of the backfield last season.

Urban Meyer confirms surgery for Nick Bosa

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With a key road trip to Happy Valley looming, this isn’t the news Ohio State or its fans wanted to hear.

During his return to his weekly radio show Thursday, Urban Meyer confirmed that Nick Bosa underwent surgery because of what the head coach described as a “core muscle injury.” The standout defensive end suffered the injury, believed to be either a groin or abdominal issue, in the Week 3 win over TCU.

The brother of Joey Bosa had already been ruled out of the Week 4 game against Tulane, and there’s no timeline for a return.

While Bosa, one of the top defensive linemen in the nation and a likely Top Five pick in the 2019 NFL draft, won’t be missed this weekend, the same can’t be said for No. 4 OSU’s Week 5 matchup against No. 10 Penn State.

As far as replacing Bosa in the short-term, the Columbus Dispatch wrote that, per Meyer, “Jonathon Cooper and Chase Young are expected to start at defensive end on Saturday against Tulane.” The head coach also “mentioned freshmen Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday as players who could see increased action” because Bosa is sidelined.