When: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
How to watch online: CBSsports.com
Odds: The Bulldogs are currently favored by 23 points, via OddsShark
The first College Football Playoff rankings were unveiled this week and the Georgia Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the initial rankings. Georgia’s strength of schedule and overall impressive season thus far made it no surprise. However, the undefeated Bulldogs have another tough test this weekend in Athens as the 6-2 South Carolina Gamecocks come to town.
The Gamecocks currently sit at 4-2 in the SEC East, a game and a half behind the ‘Dawgs.
Jake Bentley versus the Georgia defense
Has Georgia faced a better quarterback in 2017 than South Carolina sophomore Jake Bentley? Probably not. Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald came into his team’s game against the ‘Dawgs as one of the hotter quarterbacks in the country and had a terrible game. The Bulldogs made Fitzgerald one-dimensional and the game was over early.
Bentley can throw the football and is a bit of a gunslinger. He can make plays with his legs and will challenge Georgia’s defense. He will need help from his running game, but that might be tough against UGA’s mighty front seven.
South Carolina must stop Chubb and Michel
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 10 in rushing offense, averaging over 284 yards rushing per game. Nick Chubb has rushed for 765 yards and nine touchdowns on the season, while Sony Michel has ran for 629 yards and eight scores. There’s no better tandem in all of college football than Chubb and Michel.
If USC thinks it can pull off the upset, it better stop these two.
The Gamecocks are solid against the run, ranking No. 40 in run defense. Opponents are averaging just under 138 yards rushing per game, but also less than four yards per attempts. That’s impressive. If Carolina can hold Georgia to 138 rushing yards on Saturday, it can win this game. Will it happen? That’s another story.
So, who wins?
South Carolina does a good job of making games ugly. If the Gamecocks do that Saturday, they can keep the game close and hope Bentley can make some plays in the fourth quarter.
Don’t count on it.
Georgia is too deep, talented and motivated to lose to an improved South Carolina team. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm will do just enough to keep the chains moving while Chubb rushes for over 100 yards in a relatively easy Georgia win.
Georgia 38, South Carolina 13