Here are three things we learned from South Carolina's 24-10 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
A Tale of Two Jakes
Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm could seemingly do no wrong. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound freshman showed off his passing precision against the Gamecocks seemingly with ease. Fromm was 16-of-22 passing for 196 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he was only sacked once by Carolina making his time in the pocket just a little less stressful.
"I thought he made good decisions with the ball," said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. "He understands where he wants to go. He understands what defenses are trying to take away. He continues to get better. He's got to continue to do that. He missed a couple things today that we thought he could've got -- motions, some different adjustments -- but we put a lot on the kid's plate and he's done a good job managing that."
It's a little bit like what Jake Bentley was asked to do once he was named the starter for Carolina. The Gamecocks sophomore also had a decent game but if you ask him, it could've been better. Bentley was 21-of-35 passing for 227 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The first of those two picks was a pass thrown as he was being hit. The second was one where the defender simply made a good play on the ball.
Simply put, Bentley's numbers were good but not good enough to put his team in a position for the upset.
Trouble on Third Down
It's something we've discussed at length throughout the season. So, this isn't really something we've learned. It's more or less something we're revisiting.
South Carolina had their struggles getting off the field on third down yet again Saturday. The Gamecocks entered their game against the Bulldogs as the 11th-best team in the SEC when it comes to stopping opponents on third down. In Athens, Carolina didn't do themselves any favors tn terms of moving up in that category after the Bulldogs managed to go 8-of-13 on third down to extend drives and keep the defense on the field.
Granted, Georgia entered Saturday's contest as the best team in the SEC when it comes to converting third down. However, Carolina's inability to get off the field wore them down and helped the Bulldogs put up 242 yards on the ground. Although Nick Chubb and Sony Michel each have bright futures ahead in terms of playing on Sundays, it's something Carolina has to shore up as they prepare for their final homestand of the year.
Just Kick It
Fans have agonized over Parker White and the misfortune he's had kicking field goals all year long.
White is now 10-of-19 when asked to help the Gamecocks put three points on the board the year. It may be tough on White and his confidence not seeing the football split the uprights, but the Gamecocks still have his back.
"At the end of the day, he controls his own confidence," said Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley. "He knows that we have full faith in him to make every field goal we put him out there to try."
While his struggles may be hard to bear for some USC fans, Bentley believes White will find his way soon enough.
"He's going to be fine," Bentley said. "He realizes he made an error, but everyone who played on the field made mistakes, too. We're 100 percent behind him."