Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SEC Notebook; Gamecocks Need Win to Make Noise in East

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SEC Notebook; Gamecocks Need Win to Make Noise in East

Article excerpt

South Carolina has a lot riding on Saturday's game with Georgia, and the Gamecocks are hoping crowd noise and history will help them play back into contention in the SEC East.

Noise at Williams-Brice Stadium has been especially troubling for the visiting Bulldogs. The Georgia offense hasn't scored more than 20 points in its last nine trips to Columbia. The last time the Bulldogs scored more than 20 points was a 24-21 win in 1994.

That's why Georgia had speakers set up at practice on Wednesday to simulate crowd noise. Coach Mark Richt even considered moving Thursday's workout to Sanford Stadium where he could crank up the stadium speakers to full blast.

"It's not as loud as when we go to the stadium, but we had it as loud as we could [Wednesday]," Richt said. "It's not as loud as it will be Saturday, but the players know the deal. We're doing as much as we could, as loud as we could.

"It's loud enough to make you work on it and focus."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier needs everything going his team's way after a 52-28 loss to Texas A&M in the season-opener. A loss to Georgia would drop the Gamecocks to 0-2 in the SEC.

"It's pretty much a must if we're going to have a shot to win the division," Spurrier said. "It would be very helpful, but I read something the other day that the winner of this game has not won it [SEC East] the last three years so obviously it's not the only game of the year. Certainly, both teams would like to win it. You would think whoever wins it would have a better chance.

"This is interesting, three weeks ago, we were advertised as the top team in the East and now they're advertised as the top team in the East, so a lot can change as we all know. But they're coming to our place."

TENNESSEE HOPES TO FOLLOW SOONERS' PATH

Tennessee coach Butch Jones knows his team faces a difficult assignment when it travels to Oklahoma Saturday. But most of all, he wants everyone on the football team to see first-hand how the Sooners have built a powerhouse.

"Well, you look at illustrations throughout the course of the country of programs that have really been built on a foundation, a foundational value and have been around for a very long number of years," he said. "You win with consistency and continuity. Consistent messaging, the players know what they're getting every day. There's a comfort level from a recruiting aspect that you know the coaches are going to be in place.

"It's a whole great big conglomeration of everything that goes into it, and I think Oklahoma's one of the models."

Jones is trying to elevate the Volunteers back to national prominence. Despite a fourth consecutive 2-0 start, Tennessee hasn't had a winning season since 2009. In that span, the Vols have been through three head coaches. Davis is eager to get the Vols back to the level near Oklahoma. …

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