Saturday’s matchup between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Georgia Bulldogs figured to be a showcase of the SEC East’s best and brightest. However, by game’s end, it was only a showcase for one of those teams.
That team was Georgia. The Bulldogs flexed their muscles and pummeled the Gamecocks to the tune of 41-17. The win gives UGA their first conference victory of the season and hands SC an early conference loss in return.
From the jump, the Dawgs were ready to pile on. Deandre Baker ran back what looked like a pick six, but Baker actually dropped the ball before crossing the line. Luckily, Juwan Taylor was there to pluck the ball up and get the touchdown. Less than three minutes later, running back D’Andre Swift made it 14-0 after a 17-yard rushing touchdown.
South Carolina answered the bell with a little bit of trickery. All-purpose weapon Deebo Samuel tossed a touchdown pass to receiver Bryan Edwards, who hauled it in to make it 14-7. There would be little scoring after this, as the teams traded field goals, and UGA entered the half up 20-10. That would be as close as it would get the rest of the way, though.
Georgia put up three touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to help vault them to victory. Mecole Hardman scampered on a 34-yard receiving touchdown and then the backs took over. Elijah “Real Deal” Holyfield scored on a 5-yard rush and then it was Brian Herrien’s turn, as he scored on a 15-yard run.
The Dawgs kept the Gamecocks silent for the entire second half, except for one Edwards touchdown off the arm of Jake Bentley in the 4th.
Jake Fromm finished the game with an efficient mark of 15-for-18. He only tossed 194 yards though and did have an interception that went into the hands of cornerback Rashad Felton. Apart from that though, Fromm did what he was supposed to do. Freshman stud Justin Fields got into the game and completed his only pass to Trey Blount, which was good for eight yards. Bentley, meanwhile, was 30-for-47 for only 269 yards, threw a TD and two interceptions. The aforementioned one to Baker, as well as one to safety J.R. Reed.
The Gamecock ground game was absolutely stymied in their home dwelling. UGA held them to just 54 yards on 20 carries. The leading rusher was Ty’Son Williams, but he only had 26 yards on six rushes. Rico Dowdle had only 18 yards on seven rushes, meanwhile. They simply couldn’t get it going, and that was part of why they fell.
It was a thoroughly dominant performance for Georgia, though. And one that may serve as a reminder that they are going to be just as good as they were a season ago.