Columbia buzzing as South Carolinas big game against Georgia draws near
COLUMBIA – One of the most anticipated home football games in South Carolina history is less than two hours away.
The sixth-ranked Gamecocks host No. 5 Georgia at 7 tonight on ESPN. It is a battle of undefeated Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rivals, and the winner very well could end up representing the SEC East in the league’s championship game in Atlanta.
The teams’ combined ranking (11) is the second lowest, by one, in USC history, and the lowest for a home game.
USC played its first SEC game 20 years ago, against Georgia, and lost 28-6 at home. The Gamecocks have come a long way since then and won their past two meetings with the Bulldogs, something they have now done six times. Tonight, they will try to win three straight over Georgia for the first time ever.
The buzz around Columbia reached a fever pitch Saturday morning, as ESPN’s “College GameDay” pregame show broadcast from USC’s historic Horseshoe.
Analyst Lee Corso revved up the crowd of a couple thousand by donning USC’s Gamecock mascot head – per the show’s tradition – while he picked USC to beat Georgia. Corso then held Sir Big Spur, USC’s live rooster, while fellow analyst Kirk Herbstreit recoiled.
After the show ended its sixth appearance at USC, host Chris Fowler addressed the crowd with a message that was probably only half received by most.
“You guys have a blast today,” he said. “Pace yourselves. It’s a long day.”