COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns and No. 24 South Carolina's maligned defense stood strong on a fourth-quarter goal line stand to topple No. 6 Georgia 38-35 on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) had a first-and-goal on the Gamecocks' 4 down three points with 5:24 remaining. But Hutson Mason was called for intentional grounding to set Georgia back and the usually reliable Marshall Morgan missed a 28-yard field goal.
Todd Gurley ran for 131 yards and a touchdown, yet the Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) kept the Bulldogs' star from making a bigger impact.
The victory was South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier's 201st as a SEC coach, tying him for second alltime with Georgia great Vince Dooley. It put the Gamecocks back in the SEC East race.
Officials announced the delay about 30 minutes before the scheduled kickoff, then waited through several lightning strikes and storms until the weather system moved through the area.
The teams had a 10-minute warm up period before heading to their sidelines for the kickoff.
NCAA and Southeastern Conference rules call for at least a 30-minute wait once a lightning strike is detected in the area. Neither team had been out on the field to warm up.
The sixth-ranked Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) have lost in their past two trips at South Carolina (1-1, 0-1).
In ESPN’s weekly college football poll #1QFor128, the coaches were asked if they had a son playing college football, and you were no longer coaching, which current FBS coach would you want him to play for?
There was a five-way tie for sixth place between Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Oregon State’s Mike Riley, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.
In all, 44 coaches received votes.
Of the coaches from the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12), Stoops received 14 percent of the votes, followed by Richt and Snyder with 8 percent each.
Kill, Richt and Shaw received the most votes from the coaches in the Group of 5 conferences (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) with 8 percent each. Cutcliffe received 7 percent from the Group of 5 coaches, followed by Meyer, Stoops, Sumlin and Texas’ Charlie Strong with 5 percent each.
Of the 128 FBS coaches, 98 participated in this week’s poll.
UMass at Vanderbilt, FSN
When these teams met last season in Foxborough, Massachusetts, it was a competitive game before a Vandy team that would win nine games locked down a 24-7 victory. UMass gave Colorado a scare before falling 41-38 last weekend, so reeling Vandy had better come to play or it might be on upset alert.
Central Florida at No. 20 Missouri, SEC Network
When last we saw UCF, the Knights were suffering a heartbreaking 26-24 loss to Penn State in their season-opening matchup in Ireland. Mizzou is a 10-point favorite over the Knights, who won the Fiesta Bowl last season before stars Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson jumped to the NFL, but the opener made it clear that UCF can still compete with Power 5 opposition.
3:30 p.m. ET
Georgia's visits to South Carolina are almost always must-see TV, although these trips are rarely much fun for Mark Richt's Bulldogs. Even when Georgia has won in Columbia -- and it has lost its past two trips to Williams-Brice Stadium -- the outcome has frequently been in doubt even in the final seconds. Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley should get plenty of work for Georgia in this one.
Arkansas at Texas Tech, ABC
Here's a fun clash of cultures for a national TV audience, which will see Bret Bielema's ground-and-pound face Kliff Kingsbury's passing attack. Texas Tech has a couple of nail-biter nonconference wins on its resume, while Arkansas is coming off a 73-7 drubbing of Nicholls State. The home team is a narrow favorite here, but this could be a good one.
4 p.m. ET
Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 14 Ole Miss, SEC Network
This looked like a sneaky good game before the season, with ULL coming off three consecutive bowl appearances. But the Ragin' Cajuns absorbed a 48-20 beating from Louisiana Tech last week and Ole Miss dominated Vanderbilt in Nashville, so it doesn't look like an upset is in the cards for this one.
Mississippi State at South Alabama, ESPNEWS
This will be the first time an SEC opponent has played at South Alabama and excitement is high in Mobile -- particularly after the Jaguars opened the season with a win and Mississippi State struggled to put away UAB for a while last Saturday. Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott and company need to turn in a complete performance with a trip to LSU ahead next week.
6 p.m. ET
Southern Mississippi at No. 3 Alabama, ESPN2
Alabama gets another opportunity to kick around an overmatched nonconference opponent, just as it did last week against Florida Atlantic. The good news for the Crimson Tide, a 48-point favorite, is that most of the starters should be watching from the sideline in the second half, resting up for a visit from Florida next Saturday.
7 p.m. ET
Louisiana-Monroe at No. 10 LSU, ESPNU
Les Miles is a perfect 11-0 against in-state opponents and most of those games have been blowouts, so there is little reason to believe this will be a close contest. That said, the Tigers' secondary should face a reasonable challenge from the Warhawks' no-huddle spread attack.
7:30 p.m. ET
Kentucky at Florida, ESPN
Wildcats running back Jojo Kemp (a native Floridian) poked the bear this week when he made comments about how good it would feel to beat a couple of his former high school teammates -- and current Gators -- and rub it in their faces. Kentucky looks to be a greatly improved team, but it will be a major upset if this game is still close in the fourth quarter, and Kemp's comments probably didn't help the Wildcats' cause.
8 p.m. ET
Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma, ABC
As with Kentucky, this is a major measuring-stick game for an improving Tennessee team -- going on the road to face an opponent that virtually nobody expects the Volunteers to challenge. Butch Jones' Vols have been impressive so far, but their inexperience along the line of scrimmage will be their undoing in this one.
9 p.m. ET
Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M, ESPN2
For the second straight Saturday, the Aggies can help SEC viewers get to sleep by drubbing an in-state opponent in a late-night matchup. Rice, a 31-point underdog, might put up more of a fight than Lamar did in losing 73-3 to Texas A&M a week ago, but it won't be much more of one. Kenny Hill and the Aggies win big again.
There are much better games on tap this weekend in the SEC than last. Without question the top game this weekend happens on Saturday when the Georgia Bulldogs head to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks. There will be many recruits taking unofficial visits and even a few taking a few official visits. Here is a closer look at some top expected visitors.
Georgia at South Carolina
With 27 verbal commits South Carolina is pretty much full for its 2015 class except for maybe a few remaining spots. One big unofficial visitor this weekend will be Roquan Smith, the No. 2-ranked outside linebacker in the ESPN 300. Georgia is one of his top teams, so he could just be going to see the Bulldogs, but any chance a school gets to have a top recruit on campus, there is always a possibility he could be impressed by what he sees. With their 2015 class almost full, South Carolina will turn to their 2016 class. Three junior prospects, all ranked in the top 50 of the ESPN Junior 300, are expected to be in attendance. The trio consists of quarterback Brandon McIlwain, tight end Isaac Nauta and athlete Mecole Hardman.
Georgia and South Carolina is quietly becoming one of the best rivalries in the SEC. Not just because of some of the on-field success the two teams have shared over the last five-to-10 years or so, but because it extends to the world of recruiting. The two schools located in neighboring states, as to be expected, recruit multiple prospects who are considering both schools.
Georgia occasionally will dip in to South Carolina to land a big prospect but South Carolina has made it a habit of heading over to the Peach State to look for the next great Gamecock. In fact, South Carolina has 27 players on its roster from the state of Georgia.
When the Gamecocks take on Georgia at home this weekend, South Carolina will host three recruits on unofficial visits who are ranked in the top 50 of their respective classes: Roquan Smith (2015), Isaac Nauta (2016) and Mecole Hardman (2016).
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
College Football Minute: Sept. 15
Final UCF 10 20 Missouri 38 Final Massachusetts 31 Vanderbilt 34 Final Arkansas 49 Texas Tech 28 Final 6 Georgia 35 24 South Carolina 38 Final Louisiana-Lafayette 15 14 Ole Miss 56 Final Mississippi State 35 South Alabama 3 Final Southern Miss 12 3 Alabama 52 Final Louisiana-Monroe 0 10 LSU 31 Final/3OT Kentucky 30 Florida 36 Final Tennessee 10 4 Oklahoma 34 Final Rice 10 7 Texas A&M 38