COLUMBIA — In South Carolina’s win Saturday night over Georgia, redshirt freshman Brandon Shell of Goose Creek High again started at right tackle in place of Mike Matulis. Shell also started there in last week’s win at Kentucky. Matulis missed the Kentucky game with a sprained left shoulder. He had offseason surgery on the shoulder, which sidelined him for spring practices.
But Matulis and coach Steve Spurrier said last week that Matulis would be available to play Saturday. Matulis said his shoulder felt fine.
Shell’s start against Kentucky was his first since the season-opening win at Vanderbilt, when he started at left tackle. After that game, he was moved to No. 2 right tackle and Matulis became the starting left tackle.
For the fourth game, against Missouri, Matulis moved to starting right tackle to replace Cody Gibson and Corey Robinson became the starting left tackle — a role he continued to have Saturday.
Saturday’s crowd of 85,199 was the largest in Williams-Brice Stadium history, surpassing 85,000 for the 2001 Clemson game.
Georgia games also accounted for the No. 3 and 4 crowds in Williams-Brice history — 84,300 in 2004 and 84,227 in 2002. Of USC’s top five crowds ever prior to Saturday, the Gamecocks had won just one of those games — Clemson in 2001.
USC now has seven games in the history of Williams-Brice, which opened in 1934, with crowds of at least 84,000. The stadium’s current official capacity is listed at 80,250, but entering Saturday, USC had 30 games with at least 82,410. In 1997, Williams-Brice expanded from 72,400 to its current capacity.
A season ago, Jimmy Legree struggled as a safety in South Carolina’s 45-42 victory at Georgia and lost his job. But the junior from Beaufort has found a home at cornerback this season and showed the Bulldogs, breaking up a long Aaron Murray pass at the goal-line in the second quarter.
D.L. Moore, a 6-5 senior wide receiver, used his longest career reception (62 yards) to set up a 1-yard Marcus Lattimore touchdown run in the third quarter. Moore came into the game with two catches, both for touchdowns.
South Carolina’s previous largest margin of victory against Georgia was 17 — 17-0 in 1903 and 27-10 in 1978. The Gamecocks’ last shutout of the Bulldogs is still 2-0 in 1904. USC almost got a shutout Saturday, but Georgia scored a touchdown with 1:55 left to cut the lead to 35-7. Georgia leads the series, 46-17-2, but South Carolina has won three in a row.