Balanced offense helps Bulldogs push past Gamecocks 24-10
Coming into Saturday's game, South Carolina knew they had to stop the run in order to give themselves a shot at victory.
However, Georgia's balanced offense and two Jake Fromm passing touchdowns would be too much for Carolina to overcome as the Gamecocks fell to the top-ranked Bulldogs 24-10.
"Georgia's got a really good football team," said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. "Kirby and his staff have done a fantastic job. I'm very proud of our team, the way we competed and fought. At the end of the game, the difference was their running backs and third down defensively not getting off the field and having some opportunities."
Georgia (9-0) tried to catch South Carolina (6-3) napping on the opening kickoff with an onside kick, but the Gamecocks recovered. USC made their way down to the Georgia 29, but they weren't able to come up with any points as Parker White missed a 46-yard field goal attempt.
However, South Carolina's defense would respond. With the ball inside the 20-yard line. Georgia would lose the football after Steven Montac forced a fumble. Javon Kinlaw recovered it and Georgia would fail to score in the red zone for the first time this season. Carolina, however, wasn't able to put the first points of the day on the board.
That honor would go to Georgia. With 2:21 to go in the first, Sony Michel took the direct snap and bounced the carry outside to score from 8 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
Carolina responded in the second quarter. A 10-play, 75-yard drive would end with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards, which was initially called incomplete, to tie the game 7-7 with 14:07 left in the half.
Again, Georgia would take the lead utilizing a balanced attack on offense. The Bulldogs would march 75 yards in 10 plays and come away with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jake Fromm to Javon Wims. The catch, like the one Edwards made, was initially ruled incomplete, but the call was overturned giving Georgia a 14-7 lead.
Georgia would finish the first half with 250 total yards while the Gamecocks collected 150.
The Bulldogs extended their lead in the second half. Fromm would throw his second touchdown of the day. This time, Mecole Hardman was the recipient of the touchdown catch to end the drive giving Georgia a 21-7 advantage.
"It was a 50-50 ball,' Muschamp said. "Their guy made a heck of a throw and a heck of a catch."
Fromm finished the contest 16-of-22 passing for 196 yards and two scores. Nick Chubb had 20 carries for 102 yards. Sony Michel added 81 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
"We forced Jake Fromm to play quarterback and I compliment Jake," Muschamp said. "He played extremely well tonight. He was very accurate with the football."
Carolina would put together a lengthy drive, which was prolonged by a holding call on a fake punt pass by Hayden Hurst. That penalty would help the Gamecocks make it inside the Georgia 10-yard line, but they'd settle for a 25-yard field goal from Parker White making it 21-10 Bulldogs with 3:36 left in the third.
The fourth quarter saw the Bulldogs go into ball control mode on offense. Georgia put together a 15-play drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. The drive also saw Rodrigo Blankenship boot a 20-yard field goal through to make it 24-10 with 6:36 to go.
From there, Nick Chubb and the Georgia offense continued to wear down the Carolina defense with its rushing attack. The Bulldogs held the ball for 11:40 while posting 56 of their 242 rushing yards.
The win for Georgia over South Carolina along with a Kentucky loss for Ole Miss did a little more than just move the Bulldogs to 9-0.
Muschamp now falls to 1-5 all-time against his alma mater.
South Carolina will now turn its attention to Florida. The Gamecocks will face the Gators on Nov. 11 at noon.
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