COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two games into his college career, Marcus Lattimore is for real.
The South Carolina freshman running back shredded through Georgia’s defense for 182 yards on 37 carries and scored both touchdowns in the Gamecocks’ win Saturday.
“I wasn’t expecting this, but it pays off from all the hard work we’ve been through during the summer,” Lattimore said. “Our offensive line was in better shape than their defensive line.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt wasted no words in describing the freshman’s impact.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the story of the game was,” Richt said. “Marcus Lattimore was certainly the most dominating player of the game. (South Carolina) Coach (Steve) Spurrier did a nice job of playing him. … He just kept feeding him (the ball).”
Lattimore, who rushed for 6,375 yards and 104 TDs in his prep career at Byrnes (S.C.) High School, helped set the tone in the opening drive for the Gamecocks. He carried 10 times for 50 yards in the drive, helping the Gamecocks chew 8:02 off the clock to start the contest.
“He was running it very, very well,” Spurrier said. “We look back and thought we should have given it to him 47 times with all those pass plays we attempted that didn’t go that far. … He’s obviously a big-time running back.”
Brookwood grad Kenny Miles had Carolina’s last 100-yard individual rushing effort in the game against Clemson last year. Miles didn’t carry the ball any Saturday.
Robinson’s bittersweet return
Saturday’s game marked a bit of a homecoming for GAC grad Christian Robinson. The inside linebacker, making his second start, was born in South Carolina and his father played for the Gamecocks from 1982-86.
“Just thinking about making plays in the same place that my dad made plays, it just made me want to re-create those in a different way,” Robinson told scout.com before the game.
Kenneth Robinson went on to play in the NFL, including a stint on the Redskins’ 1987 Super Bowl championship team. The elder Robinson coached for eight years at GAC — six as an assistant, two as the head coach — and is now the linebackers coach at Mountain View.
Christian Robinson recorded five tackles Saturday, including one sack, and recovered a fumble in the third quarter.
“I had goosebumps the whole game,” he said. “I’ve been coming to games, seeing Cocky and things like that. It definitely brought back memories of playing with my dad. When I woke up this morning, all I asked was to maybe play like my dad for once. Hopefully I did that.”
Injuries shake up backfield
Former GAC and Parkview standout Caleb King was held out of the game due to an ankle injury. Richt said King was hobbled most of the week in practice. His absence was felt some, but Richt said it wouldn’t have made a huge difference because of Carolina’s 10-minute edge in time of possession.
“It would’ve helped to have a little bit more guys keeping each other fresh,” Richt said. “Fresh legs doesn’t hurt.”
An ankle issue also knocked fullback Shaun Chapas out of action during the game. Senior Fred Munzenmaier, a Norcross grad, was the beneficiary of a little more playing time and caught one pass for an 11-yard gain.
“It felt good to be out there and play hard, but obviously we came up short of what we wanted today,” he said. “We really hope Shaun gets better because he’s the leader of our offense.”
In need of TDs
The Bulldogs have lost to South Carolina three times in Richt’s tenure at Georgia. In each of those games, the Bulldogs failed to score a touchdown.
Richt’s first conference game as head coach was a 14-9 loss in 2001 with South grad David Greene making his first SEC start at quarterback. The Bulldogs’ other loss before today came in 2007, when Collins Hill grad Brandon Coutu’s four field goals were Georgia’s only points in a 16-12 defeat.
Saturday’s loss in Columbia was also Richt’s first at Carolina in five games. Richt’s record on opponents’ home fields is now 33-7.