It’s a tale as old as time, a storyline that repeats itself at the start of every football season.
Georgia versus South Carolina has been a staple in the SEC East since the Gamecocks began conference play in 1992, and though the Bulldogs lead the overall series 50-18-2, there always is a suspicion that things will tip in Carolina’s favor.
The tradition continues entering the 2018 season, as many believe the Gamecocks are a dark horse in the East with a chance to dethrone Georgia long before the playoff committee releases the first rankings.
Veteran players such as J.R. Reed and Terry Godwin are familiar with the intensity Carolina brings to the meeting every year. While they were quick to assure the Bulldogs aren’t overlooking their season opener against Austin Peay, both recognized the significance of the early matchup and the implications it could have on the rest of the season.
“We’ll see what we’re made of early on this season, just like our second game last year at Notre Dame,” Reed said when asked which game he considered the biggest test of the season. “It will be a tone-setting game.”
Under Kirby Smart, Georgia is 2-0 against Will Muschamp, with the most recent victory coming in Athens last season, 24-10. If the Dogs maintain the momentum they displayed in 2017, there’s a good chance Smart will stay undefeated against his former teammate. But Godwin made it clear that UGA expects a challenge from a “great” South Carolina team, and Reed wants “all the smoke on the field,” no matter how much trash talk is tossed around before the teams take the field.
With 53 days left until the week two face-off, there’s plenty of time for both teams to prepare for the heat they’ll stir in Columbia.