COLUMBIA, S.C. – Marcus Lattimore rushed for 182 yards and two first-half touchdowns and No. 24 South Carolina held off No. 22 Georgia 17-6 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 SEC) played without suspended star receiver A.J. Green and they sure could've used him against the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0) in the Southeastern Conference opener.
It is just the second time South Carolina has opened 2-0 under coach Steve Spurrier.
Georgia was outgained by more than 100 yards and held without a touchdown for the first time in three years since its last loss to South Carolina, 16-12, in 2007.
The Bulldogs' best chance to tighten the game came in the third quarter when they drove to the South Carolina 3 while trailing 14-6. But Washuan Ealey fumbled and cornerback Stephon Gilmore recovered to end the threat.
Green was penalized four games by the NCAA for selling a game jersey for $1,000. He did not accompany the team on the trip.
Green must also miss Georgia's next two games, although administrators are appealing the NCAA's decision.
Then again, it might not have mattered whom Georgia played the way Lattimore handled Bulldogs defenders. He pushed past the defensive line for his first 2-yard touchdown. Lattimore had two defenders on his back on his next score and dragged them into the end zone for another 2-yard TD.
He also had yardage on South Carolina's final scoring drive, starting with a 16-yard run and carrying eight of 11 plays to seal the game with Spencer Lanning's 24-yard field goal.
South Carolina had its own NCAA issues this week, receiving a letter of inquiry about the football program. However, the two players who missed last week's opening win against Southern Miss in cornerback Chris Culliver and left tackle Jarriel King were cleared to play in this one.
Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders, a focus of NCAA investigators this summer for possible contact with agents, remains suspended, although Spurrier has said it was not because of NCAA issues.
Right from the start, Georgia had no answer for Lattimore, the freshman who was considered the country's top high school running back last winter. He had runs of 16, 10 and 10 on South Carolina's opening drive that ended with Lattimore's first touchdown.
Lattimore was at it again right before the half. He caught a 16-yard pass to set South Carolina up at the Georgia 5, then went in for a score two plays later. It was Lattimore's fourth rushing TD of the season, two shy of team leader Kenny Miles' total from a year ago.
Georgia got a quick start from Ealey, the tailback who was suspended for the Bulldogs' opener last week. Ealey gained 32 yards on his team's opening drive, which stalled in the red zone when Orson Charles bobbled a third-down pass from Aaron Murray with running room ahead.
But the Bulldogs' attack sputtered the rest of the half, managing 13 yards as they went three-and-out three straight possessions.
Georgia finished with 253 yards while giving up 354 to the Gamecocks.