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Facing 0-2 start, UGA gears up for SC

Facing 0-2 start, UGA gears up for SC

Facing 0-2 start, UGA gears up for SC


    Two straight losses is no way to start a season for a coach whose job status was already shaky.
    Georgia's Mark Richt is staring at that predicament.
    His Bulldogs face No. 12 South Carolina in Athens on Saturday in a traditional early measuring-stick game for both teams.
    Georgia is coming off a 35-21 loss to Boise State in Atlanta, which did nothing to calm already jittery Bulldogs fans, who are hoping for a rebound from their team after a 6-7 season.
    Richt's resume is one of the best in the country. He's 96-35 in 10 seasons at Georgia. But the Bulldogs were 14-12 in the two previous seasons and 7-9 in the Southeastern Conference. And his best teams never reached a BCS championship game, which may seem like a ridiculously high standard to set for any coach, but hey, this is the SEC.
    Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee have BCS titles, leaving Georgia fans wondering, 'Where's our crystal football, coach?'
    Under Richt, the Bulldogs have controlled the series against the Gamecocks, winning seven of 10. The arrival of Steve Spurrier in Columbia has helped South Carolina makes things more respectable. The Gamecocks are 2-4 against Georgia with the Ball Coach, including a 17-6 victory last season.
    The Gamecocks, with star running back Marcus Lattimore and talented receiver Alshon Jeffery, are the favorite to win the SEC East and rare favorites at Sanford Stadium. According to RJ Bell at Pregame.com, South Carolina was last favored at Georgia in 2001, Richt's first season with the Bulldogs.
    But South Carolina is certainly no better than Boise State — if that — and Georgia might already be the most dangerous kind of team — desperate.

Some picks
SATURDAY
No. 3 Alabama (minus 10) at No. 23 Penn State
Expect at least four quarterbacks to play and at least one coach on field ... ALABAMA 27-14.
No. 11 Virginia Tech (minus 20) at East Carolina
Pirates QB Dominique Davis will challenge Hokies defense ... VIRGINIA TECH 48-27.
No. 12 South Carolina (minus 3) at Georgia
Beware of under-Dawgs ... GEORGIA 23-17.

Nevada (plus 27) at No. 13 Oregon

This Wolf Pack is very different from one that beat Boise State last year ... OREGON 55-21.

New Mexico (plus 37) vs. No. 14 Arkansas

Razorbacks WR Joe Adams returned two punts for TDs last week ... ARKANSAS 58-14.

Toledo (plus 19) at No. 15 Ohio State

Buckeyes haven't lost to Ohio team since 1921; for the record it was 7-6 Oberlin ... OHIO STATE 38-17.

No. 16 Mississippi State (minus 7) at Auburn

Think Tigers are feeling more 0-1 than 1-0? ... MISSISSIPPI STATE 31-27.

Florida Atlantic (plus 32½) at No. 17 Michigan State

In between trips to Florida and Auburn, Owls visit Big Ten ... MICHIGAN STATE 45-10.

UAB (plus 21½) at No. 18 Florida

Gators' Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey combined for 324 all-purpose yards last week ... FLORIDA 42-14.

Norfolk State (no line) at No. 19 West Virginia

Mountaineers D has held 11 of last 13 opponents under 300 yards ... WEST VIRGINIA 58-10.

Ball State (plus 21) at No. 22 South Florida

Cardinals coming off win against Indiana ... USF 34-10.

BYU (plus 7) at No. 24 Texas

Third meeting. Cougars won both back in 1987 and '88 ... TEXAS 24-14.

No. 25 TCU (minus 2) at Air Force.

Frogs have won three straight in series and seven of eight ... TCU 28-20.

___

Last week's record: 21-12 (straight); 10-8 (vs. spread).

Best bets: 0-1.

Upset specials: 1-0.

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