Columbia, SC (Sports Network) – One week after Marcus Lattimore made his collegiate debut, the freshman running back totaled 182 yards rushing and two touchdowns, as No. 24 South Carolina outmuscled 22nd-ranked Georgia, 17-6, in the SEC opener for both teams.
Lattimore’s number was called 37 times, as the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) and their pass-happy head coach ran the football 52 times and passed just 17 in the victory.
Stephen Garcia was efficient in his attempts, completing 12 passes for 165 yards. Seven of those were caught by Alshon Jeffery, who compiled 103 receiving yards.
Aaron Murray finished 14-of-21 for 192 yards and Washaun Ealey posted 75 yards rushing for the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1). Georgia played without leading wide receiver A.J. Green, who was serving the second of a four-game suspension for selling his Independence Bowl game jersey to an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent.
South Carolina sliced through the Bulldogs defense on the game’s opening possession. The highly-touted freshman Lattimore navigated through the Georgia front seven for 16 yards on an early 3rd-and-12 and pushed through the line for three more on another third down later in the march.
Lattimore then showcased his leg drive, carrying a Georgia linebacker two yards into the end zone on the series’ 16th play.
The Bulldogs responded with a lengthy 13-play drive, taking the football 60 yards before Blair Walsh connected on a 27-yard field goal. A 14-yard connection to Tavarres King on third down kept the drive alive later in the march.
The defenses stood up for nearly the remainder of the half before the Gamecocks pushed through with Lattimore’s second rushing score of the half. The drive featured two connections between Garcia and Jeffery and a 16-yard swing pass to Lattimore, which set up the freshman running back’s two-yard plunge and a 14-3 advantage with less than two minutes to play in the half.
Lattimore broke the 100-yard barrier with 101 in the first half, and South Carolina held a 228-73 edge in total yards.
Georgia, like its first drive of the game, came out of the locker room and moved the ball into field goal range. Murray found Kris Durham for 11 yards then Orson Charles for 13 more before connecting with Logan Gray for 15 to the Gamecocks 26-yard line. The drive ended with Walsh’s 26-yard boot for a 14-6 score.
A whole dose of running and clock-eating left the Gamecocks on the doorstep of the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Lattimore got eight of the carries, and the drive ended with Spencer Lanning’s 24-yard chip shot.
Georgia gave up just 14 total yards to Louisiana-Lafayette in the season opener…Lattimore ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut then ran for 50 yards in the first quarter against the Bulldogs…This was the 63rd meeting between these SEC rivals, and Georgia still holds a commanding 46-15-2 edge in the series…Durham caught three passes for 76 yards…In Green’s absence, seven different Bulldogs caught passes.