0

Gamecocks crush Bulldogs 35-7 to take control of SEC East

Georgia flanker Rantavious Wooten, right drops a pass from quarterback Aaron Murray as South Carolina free safety D.J. Swearinger, left, looks on during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

Georgia flanker Rantavious Wooten, right drops a pass from quarterback Aaron Murray as South Carolina free safety D.J. Swearinger, left, looks on during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

COLUMBIA, S.C .-- South Carolina showed up in Saturday's battle of top 10 SEC teams. Georgia looked like it never got off the bus and was nearly held scoreless for the first time in 18 years.

The Gamecocks rolled to 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back, thumping the Bulldogs 35-7 in front of a record 85,199 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium. Ken Malcome's TD run with less than two minutes remaining kept Georgia from being shut out for the first time since a 31-0 loss to Alabama on Sept. 30, 1995, under Ray Goff.

South Carolina stormed to the lead on the first drive, taking to the air to get on the board. Damiere Byrd beat Bacarri Rambo on a jump ball and grabbed a 42-yard reception on the second play from scrimmage. Three plays later, Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw (6 of 10, 162 yards, 2 TDs) found Bruce Ellington open in the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Georgia responded quickly on the kickoff with Malcolm Mitchell returning the ball to midfield and getting another five yards on an offside penalty on the kickoff. But on the third play of the drive, Aaron Murray's pass was tipped by Kelcy Quarles at the line and picked off by DeVonte Holloman.

The Gamecocks would take advantage of the takeaway, driving 69 yards in 11 plays. Rory Anderson got open on a crossing route, running by linebacker Amarlo Herrera and coasting into the end zone to put Carolina up 14-0.

After forcing a three and out, Ace Sanders sent a roar through the crowd with a dazzling punt return. Georgia's Collin Barber punted the ball 40 yards, and Sanders muffed the initial catch. But then he dodged and weaved through the Bulldog return team and ran down the sideline for a TD to put Carolina up 21-0 before the first quarter was over.

Georgia's defense finally started to put a halt to Carolina's offense. Alec Ogletree put a punishing hit on Shaw on a scramble on third down, forcing a much-needed punt with 14:22 left in the half.

The teams traded possessions before Georgia's offense showed a little life. Aaron Murray (11 of 31, 109 yards, 1 interception) completed three key third-down passes -- the first to Tavarres King, two more to Malcolm Mitchell -- to put the Bulldogs in the red zone for the first time. But Carolina's defense stiffened and on fourth down and goal stopped Rantavious Wooten after a completion at the 1, keeping Georgia scoreless.

The Bulldogs' offense wasn't able to take advantage of getting the ball first in the second half, and the game didn't get any better. Shaw, who also rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries and scored a TD, connected on another huge pass play, this time to D.L. Moore for 62 yards.

Moore won the jump ball from Sanders Commings and raced down to the 1. Carolina scored a play later for a 28-0 lead.

Shaw finished off the offense for Carolina in the fourth, scoring on a read option play from seven yards out with 6:17 remaining.

The Gamecocks were led on the ground by Marcus Lattimore's 109 yards off 24 carries and a touchdown. Brookwood grad Kenny Miles added 10 carries for 39 yards in the second half.