Georgia vs. South Carolina fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Georgia (1-0) vs. South Carolina (1-0) Game Preview
Just how good is Georgia?
It was a play or two away from winning the national championship last year and looks to be every bit as strong this year, but it also had the luxury of a miserable year from the rest of the SEC East. Now the division is better, and South Carolina appears to be a big part of it.
The Gamecocks were hardly bad last season – at least compared to Florida and Tennessee – but this year, they’ve got a revamped offense, veteran talent on defense, and a coaching staff that settled in.
And they’ve got Georgia in their house.
The Bulldogs might have won the last three games in the series, but they also lost three straight in Columbia before coming up with the 28-14 victory in 2016.
Now, South Carolina has the game and the moment it needs to crank up the Will Muschamp era. Win this, and all of a sudden, the East opens up. There’s still a trip to Florida to deal with, but there’s no Alabama, Auburn, LSU or Mississippi State to face from the West.
Or, this is the moment when Georgia plants its flag in the East and shows everyone whose division this really is.
There’s still plenty of work to do with LSU and Auburn to face from the other division, and the suddenly-tough again date with Florida, but if this is the national title contender it’s supposed to be, this is the type of landmine it has to be good enough to sidestep.
One Reason Why Georgia Will Win
As crazy as it might sound after losing NFL talents in Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Javon Wims, the offense appears to be even better and more explosive.
No, you don’t get better after losing backs like last year’s duo, but in the opener agains Austin Peay, everything was on display.
The blinding speed of Cal transfer Demetris Robertson kicked in on a long score. D’Andre Swift ran well. Mecole Hardman came up with a big score. And now, it looks like deep threat Terry Godwin will be back and ready to go after missing the opener.
Yeah, South Carolina has an improved offense, but it has to crank things up to a whole other level to keep up with what’s coming from these Bulldogs.
One Reason Why South Carolina Will Win
This is when Jake Bentley needs to have the game of his life.
The veteran junior didn’t play against the Dawgs as a freshman – the USC loss led to him starting the following week – and he struggled last season. But now, with Rico Dowdle and Ty’Son Williams in the backfield, and with Deebo Samuel back for the passing attack, the weapons are there.
This really is a good enough Gamecock offense to do what the Gamecock offense is supposed to do. Hit the third down throws, own the clock, and control the game. But now, it can hit the home run, too.
Bentley got time to work last week against Coastal Carolina, and he was on, hitting 22-of-29 passes for 250 yards and four scores. In an insane home atmosphere, he’ll have to settle everyone down, be calm, and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers.
He can do that.
What’s Going To Happen
The Gamecocks will prove they belong in the discussion of the top teams in college football with an inspired effort on both sides of the ball.
The defense will frustrate Jake Fromm and the Georgia attack time and again, forcing long drives to stall and settling for too many field goals. Bentley will march the offense early for a quick lead and then …
Georgia will show why it’s good enough to potentially win the national title.
It’ll be a fight for a full four quarters, but Fromm will be unflappable as he leads the O on two key second half scoring drives to take over the game. USC will have is chances late in the fourth quarter, but the Dawgs will survive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Georgia 26, South Carolina 20
Line: Georgia -10, o/u: 53
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4.5
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