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While the Gamecocks didn't win by the 17 points that I had predicted, they did indicate that they are a different breed of rooster than in the past. I have rarely seen a team come out and play more inspired and emotionally driven than Georgia did. (Props to Coach Richt for this effort.) I also didn't expect the Gamecocks to come out so flat. It reminded me of the bowl game versus Iowa. I guess playing on the road in the SEC is harder than it looks on paper.

But as I watched the entire first half, I kept thinking of how we are "The Other Team." This year's Gamecocks are the team that is usually playing against the Gamecocks. While Georgia was playing perfectly, the Gamecocks were playing poorly, but the score was only 6 to 0 when it should have been 21 to 0. The anxiety was thick on the faces of the Georgia students whenever they would show them on television. They could sense how difficult it was going to be to beat the Gamecocks.

It was so reminiscent of Gamecock games from the past. Games played in Baton Rouge, Gainsville or Tuscaloosa in which an outmatched Gamecock team played with heart and emotion and hung tough for a few quarters only to be defeated in the end. It seemed like deja vu in which the Gamecocks had gone in and played flawlessly for two quarters and given everyone hope... false hope. Except this time, the Gamecocks were on the other side of the equation.

At the half it felt like the Georgia team was beating the Gamecocks in all phases of the game and doing it with style, yet the Cocks led 14 to 13. That strange feeling associated with being outplayed while your team was still winning on the scoreboard was a new sensation for Gamecock fans. It is a feeling that is only present when your team has an abundance of talent at multiple positions able to cover for your team's many mistakes of the day.

Not only do we have an All-American tailback and wide receiver, we also have a defensive tackle who weighs 276 pounds and can sprint 68 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt, scoop and score on a fumble, and recover an onside kick on the hands team! (I also heard Coach Spurrier say that Ingram can throw a ball 60 yards, was the emergency punter, and he punts left-footed. Seriously! Ingram for Heisman!)

While today's game was ugly on many fronts, it was glorious on the only front that mattered! We won! On the road! In the SEC! But like all great weather-worn Gamecock fans, we will spend the next five days arguing about how Shaw should get another shot at quarterback, or how the defensive secondary really is a problem, or how the play calling seems predictable, because, as seasoned Gamecock fans, we truly just don't know how to do anything else.

So, did we win by 17 points? No, we didn't. But you know what? After Ingram batted and scooped that fumble into the endzone for his second touchdown of the day, we were leading by 10 with three and a half minutes to play. If the defense had come up with one more stop and we had added a cheap late score, it would have been a 17 point win! I know. I know. It is a stretch, but not as far a stretch as winning a game "between the hedges" by three points when your defensive tackle has two touchdowns!

Are there huge questions left that need answering before we can compete for an SEC and National title? Of course. Are we undefeated still? Yes! Remember last year in the early part of the season the Auburn Tigers played a game against Clemson that they should have lost. Then they went on to become the best team in the country in the end. Are we playing like the best team in the country right now? No, but the good news is we don't have to be. We only had to play better than Georgia this Saturday, and we did that.

And while doing so, I am sure the Georgia fans kept thinking to themselves, "Man, I wish our jerseys were on 'The Other Team!'"

And when was the last time that a South Carolina game pre-empted the start of the Michigan, Notre Dame game? Do you realize that the South Carolina game ran long and they moved the start of the Notre Dame, Michigan game to ESPNU and finished the South Carolina game on ESPN? Come on! South Carolina is finally "THE OTHER TEAM."



From coach to comedian: Marty Simpson is a former USA Today high school All-American and collegiate Academic All-Conference player for USC who scored the Gamecocks' first 6 points in the SEC. During 8 years as a high school varsity coach, Simpson led his team to the state finals and saw one player advance to set an NFL rookie record. Simpson now divides his time between his family, running a multimedia company named Blue-Eyed Panda and getting the same pre-game jitters by performing stand-up comedy nationwide.

Check out Marty's performance dates here.


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