Struggles continue in marquee games; team whipped but not flat, Richt says

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A dismal loss to South Carolina extended and exacerbated the Georgia football team’s multi-year trend of struggling — a lot — against top opponents.

Saturday night’s 35-7 loss — Georgia’s first game of the season against a ranked opponent and its first defeat of the season — dropped the Bulldogs’ record against Top 25 teams to 2-8 since the start of the 2010 season, including 0-4 against Top 10 teams.

And going back a bit further, the loss dropped the Bulldogs to 6-14 against Top 25 teams since the start of the 2008 season, including 1-9 against Top 10 opponents.

The impact of the loss on Georgia’s national reputation was quickly registered. Ranked No. 5 before the game, the Bulldogs tumbled Sunday to No. 14 in the Associated Press media poll and No. 12 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. South Carolina rose from No. 6 to No. 3 in both.

Asked late Saturday night how he responds to the perception that Georgia doesn’t rise to the occasion in …

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