The game of football is decided on the field, not in the stat book. But the stats will tell you a lot about what goes on between the lines. That's why we preview every Georgia Bulldog football game by the numbers to help find the trends and factoids that will help decide today's game. You can go here for another slant on the Gamecocks. Television coverage of tonight's game will be on ESPN at 6:00. As always you can catch the radio feed with Howard, Zeier, Loran and Hondo across the Bulldog Radio Network.
2: The number of victories Mark Richt needs to tie Wally Butts for second place on the all-time Georgia football cvoaching victories list. In other words, a win this week would mean that Richt is all but assured of evening things up with the little round man from Milledgeville next Saturday against Southern.
10: The number of consecutive games during which Nick Chubb has rushed for over 100 yards.
135: The number of yards Chubb needs to tie Jimmy Poulos for 15th place on the all-time Bulldog rushing list. While 15th doesn't sound that impressive it's important to remember that things start bunching up quickly as you ascend the chart. Tim Worley is the 12th leading rusher in Bulldog history and racked up "only" 2038 yards in his career. Put another way, Nick Chubb is a solid, injury-free season away from working his way well inside the top 10 before he even gets to the Auburn game this year.;
8: Speaking of all-time greats, Malcolm Mitchell needs only 8 more receptions to get to 131 for his career, which would tie him for 10th in Bulldog history with Damien Gary and . . .Lindsey Scott! Lindsey Scott! Mitchell was frustrated after the Vanderbilt game about not getting the ball more. I'm not saying the coaches will humor him with more touches. But I would say that if Malcolm Mitchell doesn't get the ball more going forward then Brian Schottenheimer may be open to just a little bit of criticism.
405.5: The number of yards per game so far for the Gamecock offense, good for 10th in the SEC. Georgia incidentally sits 7th at 425.5 yards per game. I expect South Carolina to underperform their average today against a Bulldog defense that, while it's given up some big plays, has largely been stingy when it needs to be.
1: The rank shared by Georgia and South Carolina (and Ole Miss) in the interception tally in the SEC this season. Each school has snagged 4 picks so far. My bet is that after this one the two teams will find some separation in this category, and that the team which picks off the other's QB more likely wins. Neither Greyson Lambert nor Perry Orth can afford to turn the ball over in this one.
11: South Carolina's rank in passing yards in the SEC so far this season. Which isn't good.
12: Georgia's rank. That's even worse. But the thing that both teams can feel okay about is that neither looks like they're planning to throw the ball that much this season. Spurrier's offense has been unusually run-heavy this season, partially owing to the lack of a veteran signal caller. All told, these stats point to a game in which two very good offensive lines square off with very good running back corps behind them. I think Georgia's offensive line is somewhat better and their backs are definitely superior as a group. Georgia should win this one if they play relatively mistake-free football and force young Orth to take responsibility for winning the game. Final score prediction: Georgia 34, South Carolina 20.