The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are now one step closer to cinching the SEC East title for the first time since 2012. After winning against Eastern Division opponent South Carolina, the Bulldogs are heading just down the road to Atlanta to face the winner of the SEC West.
The Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC) returned to Athens to face the Gamecocks (6-3, 4-3 SEC) after winning 42-7 against conference rival Florida in Jacksonville, FL, last week. They went into this week’s game knowing they had to win and had to hope for Kentucky to lose for the Bulldogs to have a secured spot to play for the SEC Championship title in Atlanta in December.
The game started with an onside kick from the Bulldogs, which was recovered by South Carolina at the 50-yard line. The possession didn’t do much for South Carolina as Georgia’s defense held them back and forced a missed field goal for the Gamecocks.
The first score of the game came from the Bulldogs, but not until late in the first quarter, on a run from senior TB Sony Michel. The Gamecocks soon tied the game at 7-7 on a 12-yd pass from sophomore QB Jake Bentley to sophomore WR Bryan Edwards. The following possession saw another touchdown from the Bulldogs from senior WR Javon Wims from freshman QB Jake Fromm. The Bulldogs led 14-7 at halftime.
The second half saw another passing touchdown from Fromm to sophomore WR Mecole Hardman, bringing Georgia’s lead to 21-7. The Gamecocks scored for the second and last time of the game on a 25-yd field goal from K Parker White. The Bulldogs scored once more in the middle of the fourth quarter on a 20-yd field goal from K Rodrigo Blankenship, cementing the Bulldogs win at 24-10.
Even as Georgia won, there passing game was second to that of the Gamecocks, where South Carolina QB Bentley put up 227 yards compared to Fromm’s 196. However, Georgia’s run game proved dominate as their 242 total rushing yards far outweighed South Carolina’s 43 yards.
Georgia’s top rushers Michel and fellow senior TB Nick Chubb gave Georgia the advantage. While putting up no touchdowns in the game, Chubb ran for 102 yards on 20 carries, while Michel ran for 81 yards on 16 carries.
QB Fromm completed 16 of 22 pass attempts and 196 total yards. Fromm also threw for 2 touchdowns and had no interceptions.
The Bulldogs were led in receiving yards by Wims, Hardman and junior WR Terry Godwin, all of which contributed 140 of 196 total receiving yards.
Georgia’s defense was also nothing but impressive during the game, as they held the Gamecocks to 43 rushing yards. Sophomore DB J.R. Reed and senior DB Malkom Parrish both had interceptions off Bentley. Junior LB Roquan Smith also led the Bulldog’s defense in tackles, leading the team with 9, seven of which were solo tackles.
A full box score can be found here.
The Bulldogs will be on the road again next week to face another conference rival, No. 14 Auburn, at the Tigers’ home stadium. The match up will be a test of strength from both teams, as season averages are similar and the fact that both teams share a long-shared rivalry. The Tigers are the only remaining team that could cause trouble for No. 2 Alabama’s shot at the SEC Championship, a game that will happen at the end of the regular season in Auburn.