South Carolinas defense expects Georgias offense to bend to its game plan, not the other way around, Gamecock defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said.
We are going to line up and do what we do on defense, Ward said as his defense prepares to meet the SECs top offense. Im sure Georgia is going to do what they do on offense, and well see what the end result is going to be.
Georgia averages 536 yards and 48.2 points, while the Gamecocks, who are third in the SEC in defense, allow 288.8 yards and 11.2 points per game.
We are not going to change our mentality because we are playing Georgia, Ward said. I dont care what defense you play, I dont care what offensive formation they are in. If you fit the defense correctly, there is no play that is just going to say you are going to be successful on defense. It comes down to 11 on 11. If I take care of my assignment, then I have a chance to stop the play.
South Carolinas defense is better at this point than it was last year when the Gamecocks surrendered 42 points, including six offensive touchdowns, in a 45-42 win, coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday on his weekly radio show on 107.5-FM.
They went through us like we were paper last year, Spurrier said.
Sophomore Mike Matulis, who started the first four games at tackle, will play against the Bulldogs, Spurrier said Thursday on his call-in show. Matulis missed last weeks game against Kentucky with a sprained shoulder.
I think he and Corey Robinson, and Brandon Shell, Brandon Shell played pretty doggone well last week and is coming around, so I think the three of them are going to play, rotate around, Spurrier said.
Robinson and Shell started at tackle against Kentucky.
Spurrier holds a 14-5 record against Georgia, and he still seems to savor every victory against the Bulldogs, who have been a rival since his playing days at Florida. His first win against Georgia as a coach came in his first season with the Gators in 1990, a 38-7 victory.
Georgia had beaten Florida 15 of the last 20 times, and we were huge favorites, huge favorites, Spurrier said. I think they punted like 10 of 11 times in the game. We beat them 38-7 and fumbled inside the 20 about four times or it really could have been a big number.
NO GIPPER SPEECHES
Spurrier didnt spend much time this week planning his pre-game motivational speech to the team. He almost never does.
Ive never been a great speaker like some of these coaches we all have heard speak, he said. I still call the plays. When youre calling plays, and theyre all going through your mind, thats really what I think about, pretty much throughout the week. We arent going to try to call this one when the guy, try to call this one. If youre a play caller, you dont have time, Whats my speech going to be the night before.
Instead, Spurrier will ask a player or two to speak to his teammates briefly before the game.
Weve started letting a senior say a few words, he said. And it is a few words. Its no long one, I assure you that. D.J. Swearinger and Justice and some of those guys, T.J. Johnson, say a little something about, Lets go get them. Weve worked hard all summer. Give it our best shot. Thats about it.
Theres not much room this season for freshman running back Mike Davis in the offensive backfield, but Spurrier is excited about Davis future.
Weve got a good kid here, Mike Davis, that we think is going to be a great player, Spurrier said. Obviously, hes got two guys ahead of him in Marcus and Kenny Miles, (but) Mike is doing very well.
Davis is averaging 11.3 yards on his 10 carries this season.