Georgia Moves To 9-0 With 24-10 Win Over South Carolina
No. 1 Georgia did all it needed to do to get by a determined South Carolina team in Athens today and remain undefeated..
The Bulldogs have won games with near perfection and today they proved they could win without their ‘A’ game. Georgia never trailed but they never had complete control in beating the Gamecocks 24-10.
Under brilliant sunny skies, the game started in an odd way, when the Bulldogs won the opening toss and elected to kickoff. Rodrigo Blankenship’s onside attempt was recovered by South Carolina and the Sandlappers promptly drove down the field. The Dawgs held and the 47-yard field goal was wide left.
The Bulldog rushing attack was strong again with seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel accounting for the bulk of the Dawgs’ 243 rushing yards. Freshman Jake Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 196 yards with two touchdowns and the defense held the Gamecocks to 43 rushing yards, 270 total yards and had two interceptions. Linebacker Roquan Smith paced the Bulldogs defensively, with nine tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Fromm proved once again he can pass the ball, but he showed that he can also run a bit and throw an effective block as well. On Georgia’s second possession, his block to seal the defender on Sony Michel’s first quarter touchdown run helped open the scoring.
South Carolina answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Sophomore Jake Bentley hit Bryan Edwards with a 12-yard scoring pass.
Georgia marched right down the field on it’s own 10-play, 75-yard drive for a score. Fromm connected with wideout Javon Wims for a 10-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 halftime lead.
The deeper Dawgs came out in the second half with the intent to wear down the South Carolina defense. Georgia strung together another 10-play, 75-yard drive, with Fromm connecting with sophomore Mecole Hardman from 20 yards out for his second touchdown pass of the game.
South Carolina answered with the help of a fake punt that was assisted by a holding penalty on Georgia. The Dawgs held at the eight and the Gamecocks were successful on the 26 yard field goal, making the score 21-10, Georgia.
Georgia cranked up the rushing engine and on a 13-play, time-consuming drive, marched to South Carolina’s three-yard line. The drive stalled and Rodrigo Blankenship’s 20-yard field goal concluded the day’s scoring at 24-10.
South Carolina had two more possessions but the Georgia defense forced a fourth down stop on Deandre Bakers deflection and Malkom Parrish’s interception with 1:49 remaining sealed the game for Georgia.
The victory coupled with Kentucky’s loss to Ole Miss, clinched the SEC East and a trip to Atlanta for Georgia. However, these Dawgs have bigger plans and a second trip to Atlanta in January is the goal.
Georgia visits No. 14 Auburn on Saturday in the 121st renewal of the ‘Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry’. The contest will either be on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET or 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Game Wrap Up-
- South Carolina’s Jake Bentley exposed the Georgia secondary early in the game but the Dawgs settled down and held the Gamecocks to 227 net passing yards. Several long pass plays to the tight end will catch defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s attention.
- Kirby Smart won’t be pleased with the errors. The failed onside kick, surrendering a first down on a fake punt, losing a fumble inside the red zone, a late defensive hit deep in the Gamecocks’ territory and five penalties will be surely be discussed this week.
- Jake Fromm was clutch again. He made the right decisions, distributed the ball well and even had a few good runs.
- Georgia dominated the line of scrimmage. They held the ball for more than 38 minutes and limited Carolina to 14 first downs and 43 rushing yards.
- The kicking game was outstanding. Rodrigo Blankenship connected on his lone field goal attempt and booted the ball into the end zone in each kickoff (except for the onside attempt). Cam Nizialek averaged 46.7 yards on three punts and nailed his second punt inside the Gamecocks’ one yard line.