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Blog: Updates from Richt and Spurrier before `huge’ SEC game

It’s Georgia-South Carolina week.

Yes, the Bulldogs and Gamecocks will play against each other in October for the first time since 1971.

“I think the biggest difference really is we’ll be watching this year’s film instead of last year’s film,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt about a matchup that had been the Bulldogs’ first SEC game since 1992.

ESPN’s GameDay will be in Columbia for the battle of unbeatens.

“It’s a big, big game right now when you start playing this deep into the conference season and you’ve got two undefeateds,” Richt said. “It’s huge.”

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier agrees.

“It’s a huge game,” he said. “We all know it. Georgia is a very good team.”

Richt and Spurrier held their usual Sunday teleconferences today.

Spurrier even took questions this week after choosing not to last week due to his feud with a local columnist.

Some items:

–Spurrier was asked about Georgia’s defense this year, which ranks seventh in the SEC in points allowed, 10th in yards allowed, ninth in run defense and 10th in pass defense.

“They’re scoring so fast,” he said. “You score fast, your defense has to play a lot more than what we do. It usually takes us a while to get it down the field and score. Our defense is hopefully only out there 58 to 62 players something like that. I think Georgia’s been scoring so fast and there’s been so many turnovers maybe in their games that their defense is just playing a lot more plays than a lot of others.”

Only Arkansas’ 402 plays by its defense is more than Georgia’s 367 in the SEC.

—Marcus Lattimore rushed for 120 yards in the Gamecocks’ 38-17 win at Kentucky Saturday. He’s returned from a knee injury midway through last season.

“I hope he’s where he was when he ran againstGeorgiatwo years ago,” Spurrier said of a 182-yard game. “That’s where I hope he is because that was sort of his coming out day here at Williams-Brice two years ago. Everyone sort of defends us for that zone read. It hasn’t been very good for us as well as getting in the I-formation last night. We’ve got to try to mix it up and make sure we can get him some running lanes.”

–Georgia has put up 40 or more points five straight games, including 51 against Tennessee Saturday, but Richt wasn’t pleased with how Georgia couldn’t get first downs when it needed to in the fourth quarter.

“We just really haven’t done a good job of that in recent memory,” he said. “It’s not like we didn’t have a plan. We had a plan. It just wasn’t good enough. We didn’t knock out a first down when we needed it the most to try to take as much drama out of it at the very end.”

–Richt said sliding your protection to account for Gamecock defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney or Devin Taylor could free up the other.

“There are going to be times that guys are just going to have to man up and block them,” Richt said.

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