HOOVER, Ala. - For the first time in four years, South Carolina will be trying to avenge a loss to Georgia. The Gamecocks aren't doing much to hide their desire to do so.
"Our team is a bunch of sore losers," South Carolina defensive lineman J.T. Surratt said Tuesday during his appearance at SEC media days. "This upcoming year, the teams that we lost to have created a chip that we're gonna knock down. Georgia and Tennessee are those two games where we really have to show that we've been preparing for them, and really show everyone that a loss doesn't matter, it makes us better from our losses."
Georgia beat South Carolina 41-30 last year, pulling away in the fourth quarter on Aaron Murray's 86-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley.
Gamecocks offensive lineman A.J. Cann rolled his eyes when he brought up that play.
"We lost just that one big play," Cann said. "When those games roll around we're gonna have that bad taste in our mouth with what happened. We're gonna take it just one game at a time. But when that Georgia game rolls around we're gonna have that view in our head that: Man that one play just ruined it."
Murray is gone now, as is South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw. But the star tailbacks will return: Georgia's Todd Gurley rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in that game and South Carolina's Mike Davis rushed for 143 and a touchdown. Surratt said that while he believes Davis to be one of the best tailbacks in the country, he's looking forward to playing Georgia's star tailback.
"Todd Gurley is definitely a running back that I'm ready to up against," Surratt said. "Georgia did get the best of us last year but this year I do believe it's gonna be different."
The two teams meet on Sept. 14 at South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium. Both teams have big openers at home - Georgia vs. Clemson and South Carolina vs. Texas A&M - and then Georgia has a bye week, while South Carolina hosts East Carolina.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is well-known for his antipathy towards Georgia. Cann acknowledged that his head coach will be eager for this year's rematch.
"Those Georgia-Florida-Tennessee guys, he really wants to beat them all when he plays them. So that's one he probably thinks about, that he really wants to win," Cann said.