The South Carolina-Georgia rivalry began in 1894, two years after both programs were established.
Since 1960, the two teams met almost consistently with several years being left out. When South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991, the rivalry reached an entirely new level of intensity. The SEC split into two divisions (East and West). and established their conference championship game.
Suddenly, South Carolina and Georgia found themselves competing against each other each year. with hopes of earning a spot in the SEC championship game.
South Carolina faces several consistent conference opponents each year (Kentucky. Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Vanderbilt). However, South Carolina’s annual meeting with Georgia stands out as the most heated within conference play.
Besides the fact that the two states border and that the rivalry has been around for over 100 years, the South Carolina-Georgia rivalry’s intensity is evident for several reasons.
Every year, the two programs engage in an often-fierce recruiting battle. Both programs perform a considerable amount of recruiting in each other’s states. As a result, countless recruits are fought over, and many have proven themselves to be quite valuable.
Bryson-Allen Williams, Dunta Robinson, Mike Davis, Aaron Sterling, Jaycee Horn and even George Rogers were all players from and recruited by Georgia, who ultimately decided to attend the University of South Carolina to play football (rivals.com).
Georgia too has stolen several important recruits from the state of South Carolina. Last year, Georgia landed Tyrion Ingram Dawkins, South Carolina’s 2020 Mr. Football who was heavily recruited by the Gamecocks.
Gunner Stockton, the five-star recruit from Tiger, Georgia, decommitted from South Carolina at the beginning of this year and committed to Georgia within days of his decommitment.
Even Georgia standout receiver AJ Green, from Summerville South Carolina was recruited by South Carolina before making the decision to play for the University of Georgia (rivals.com).
Overall, both teams have battled over serious talent through the years that have extended the rivalry through the offseason. An affair that not all rivalries experience.
Although Georgia leads the overall series against South Carolina 52-19-2, regardless of each teams’ skill level, the two programs have managed a number of tight contests.
On November 1st, 1980, Undefeated Georgia hosted 1 loss South Carolina for a nationally televised contest. After a brief injury, George Rogers entered the ball game and fumbled on the Georgia 15-yard line with under six-minutes left. The bulldogs took over and ran the clock out to win 13-10. Georgia would go on to defeat Notre Dame to win the National Championship four games later.
On September 4th, 1993, the 14th ranked Bulldogs hosted Steve Taneyhill and the unranked Gamecocks. South Carolina’s Branon Bennett leaped over the Georgia defensive line to score the go-ahead touchdown with only two seconds left in the game. South Carolina would go on to win 23-21.
On September 11th, 2004, #3 Georgia came into Columbia to face an unranked South Carolina team. South Carolina managed a 16-0 lead in the first half. However, Georgia quarterback David Greene came alive near the end of the first half as the Bulldogs pushed their way past the Gamecocks 20-16.
On September 10th, 2005, the unranked Gamecocks took on the 9th ranked Bulldogs in Athens. South Carolina scored with just under seven minutes to put the game within two points. However, the Gamecocks would fail the two-point conversion following the score. The Georgia Defense stopped the Gamecocks on their final possession and the Bulldogs went on to win 17-15.
On September 8th, 2007, The Gamecocks faced off against the 11th ranked Bulldogs in Athens. The Gamecocks would go up early and would never look back. Jasper Brinkley would pick off Matthew Stafford with under a minute left in the game to seal the deal for the Gamecocks at 16-12.
On September 13th, 2008, South Carolina hosted the #2 ranked Bulldogs. Down by a seven, South Carolina found themselves on the Georgia four yard-line. Mike Davis would fumble the ball into the endzone for a touchback. South Carolina put up another promising drive only to turn the ball over inside the 10-yard line. Georgia went on to win 14-7.
On September 12th, 2009, #21 Georgia took on the unranked Gamecocks in Athens. This game proved to be a shootout with 78 total points scored and 735 yards of total offense. The Bulldog Defense would force a turnover on downs on their own 6-yard line with 22 seconds left in the contest. Georgia survived 41-37.
On September 10th, 2011, the #12 Gamecocks and the unranked bulldogs met again in Athens for another shootout. In this game 87 total points were scored and both teams racked up a combined 831 yards of total offense. Late in the 4th quarter, Jadeveon Clowney forced a fumble that was scooped up by Melvin Ingram and brought to the house to put South Carolina up by two scores. South Carolina survived 45-42.
On September 13th, 2014. #24 South Carolina and #6 Georgia met in Columbia for a top 25 matchup. This game turned out to be a shootout once again between the two schools. Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan hooked a 28-yard game tying field goal with 4 minutes left in the contest. South Carolina would run out the clock to win 38-35.
October 12th, 2019, the #4 Bulldogs hosted the unranked Gamecocks in Athens. Georgia expected to blow out the 2-3 Gamecocks, but South Carolina held a lead up until near the end of the 4th quarter. The two teams would go into overtime for the first time in their 72 meetings. In double overtime, Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42-yard field goal; thus, giving the Gamecocks a 20-17 upset win.
The Georgia-South Carolina rivalry possesses a number of instant classics. If one team finds itself unranked, or even winless entering the ball game, the score line could still be razor thin and an upset is always feasible.
Fans play a big role in college football rivalries. However, Georgia fans take the word rivalry to an entirely different perspective.
Although South Carolina fans are not known to be irritating by many (other than Clemson fans of course), Georgia fans always find a way to bring out the worst in South Carolina fans.
For a program that has one national championship in the past 40 years, their fans are as arrogant as a team that has won 10. Every year, Georgia fans consistently walk into the game against South Carolina as if their program is light years ahead of South Carolina’s. Although this idea may appear to be true on many occasions, Georgia fans keep the same attitude in games where the two teams are nationally ranked.
When Georgia loses to South Carolina, many fans abandon all expectations for the season. Even after the 2010 game against South Carolina many Georgia fans gave up hope after a close loss to a team nationally ranked TWO ranks below them. If Georgia’s program is so far ahead of South Carolina’s, explain to me the stretch of games between 2000 and 2014.
Why have highly ranked Georgia teams struggled so considerably against low and unranked South Carolina teams? Why has Georgia only recently racked up double digit wins against the Gamecocks when South Carolina’s program has been at its lowest point in nearly 30 years?
On another note, no matter the teams’ record, the score line at the end of the game, or the teams’ standing at the end of the season, Georgia fans will always rub in their wins against the Gamecocks. Remember when the top 10 ranked Bulldogs barely survived an unranked South Carolina team (2002, 2004, 2005, 2008)? Well, get ready to listen to it about a hundred times over the entirety of the season, because they will not let you forget.
For a fanbase that has not witnessed a national title since 1980, the word humble sure never crosses their minds. Therefore, whenever South Carolina beats Georgia, do not expect us to be reserved. You can’t blame us!
Recruiting battles and close games are two factors between both programs’ staff and players that add to the intensity of the rivalry. Without these factors, the rivalry certainly would not be as significant as it is today. However, Georgia’s fanbase is where the majority of the hatred spawns.
South Carolina fans do not enjoy beating Georgia because they hate Kirby Smart, players on the Georgia roster, or the state of Georgia itself. They enjoy beating Georgia so they can turn around and rub it in Georgia fans’ faces.
As a South Carolina fan born and raised in Georgia, I’ve heard it all. I can tell you that nothing is sweeter than a win over those damn dawgs. Let’s go get one Saturday boys!