It wasn’t until near the end of Saturday night’s 52-20 win over South Carolina that Georgia defensive end Sterling Bailey realized those on the outside were right.
It did mean a lot to beat the Gamecocks, and it felt great being able to quiet the notion that South Carolina had Georgia’s number.
Entering Saturday’s game, the Gamecocks had won four of the previous five. But with a dominating performance, the Bulldogs were able to get on the other side of the bragging rights battle for at least one year.
“It’s a great feeling being able to beat South Carolina the way we did,” Bailey said. “Just because the past few years all you’ve been hearing is Georgia can’t get past South Carolina, South Carolina beat Georgia. It’s a great feeling to shut all of those comments up.”
Most of the Georgia players kept the same line of talk throughout last week – the past is the past and this is a new year. Bailey said he did his part to approach the game that way. But as the clock ticked down, Bailey began to realize the significance of the victory and how much it meant to him.
“Going into the game you really don’t think about it until someone brings it up,” Bailey said. “And then after the game you think about it and you’re like, ‘Yeah, you were right.’ That’s when it hits you.”
Bailey totaled five tackles, including a half-tackle for loss, and started on a defense that held South Carolina to 258 total yards.
Even so, Bailey said there were still some things Georgia can improve on.
“(Saturday’s) performance was really well but we still have a long way to go,” Bailey said. “We still have some things to improve on.”
Hitting the links
Christian Payne re-injured fibula in Saturday's win over South Carolina.
Mark Richt praises receivers for aiding Greyson Lambert's record-setting night.
Brice Ramsey recorded first punt of the season Saturday night.
Jake Ganus continued to win after Saturday's game by proposing to his girlfriend at midfield of Sanford Stadium.
The Telegraph's Daniel Shirley lists the SEC's top five story lines entering the fourth week of the college football season.
ESPN's Outside the Lines reports that Georgia informed Alabama about Jonathan Taylor's past with domestic violence before he enrolled at the university.
The AJC's Brandon Adams writes that the Bulldogs have a clear path to the College Football Playoff.
Georgia flashes potential in big win over the Gamecocks, writes the Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer.
Dawg Post's Dean Legge writes that Greyson Lambert and the Bulldogs were nearly perfect Saturday night.
247Sports.com's Jake Rowe writes that Nick Chubb came out of the South Carolina game without any issues to the ankle he tweaked the week before.
My top 25
1. Mississippi (3-0) (Last week: No. 13)
2. Ohio State (3-0) (Last week: No. 1)
3. Baylor (2-0) (Last week: No. 3)
4. Michigan State (3-0) (Last week: No. 4)
5. Georgia (3-0) (Last week: No. 5)
6. Notre Dame (3-0) (Last week: No. 8)
7. TCU (3-0) (Last week: No. 6)
8. Florida State (3-0) (Last week: No. 7)
9. LSU (3-0) (Last week: No. 12)
10. Texas A&M (3-0) (Last week: No. 16)
11. Alabama (2-1) (Last week: No. 2)
12. Clemson (3-0) (Last week: No. 9)
13. Oklahoma (3-0) (Last week: No. 10)
14. Oregon (2-1) (Last week: No. 14)
15. UCLA (3-0) (Last week: No. 17)
16. Utah (3-0) (Last week: No. 18)
17. Arizona (3-0) (Last week: No. 20)
18. Northwestern (3-0) (Last week: No. 22)
19. Wisconsin (2-1) (Last week: No. 23)
20. Oklahoma State (3-0) (Last week: No. 24)
21. Georgia Tech (2-1) (Last week: No. 15)
22. BYU (2-1) (Last week: No. 21)
23. Mississippi State (2-1) (Last week: No. 25)
24. Stanford (2-1) (Last week: NR)
25. USC (2-1) (Last week: No. 11)
Dropped out: Missouri (3-0)
Georgia knew defending South Carolina receiver Pharoh Cooper would be important.
The Bulldogs did their part to limit Cooper to only one reception for six yards as Cooper was eliminated from what South Carolina wanted to do in the passing game. Cooper did total 34 rushing yards on six carries, which came mostly when the Gamecocks went to the triple option in the second quarter.
"A lot of it at the end has to do with pass rush, everybody doing their job across the board,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “I don't know if there was a special plan as much as everyone taking care of business. He made an impact running the ball and returning a punt. He had a good day but he didn't get as many ball as he's probably used to."
Defending the option
Speaking of the triple option, that was where South Carolina seemed to have the most success on Saturday. It was strange to see South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier turn to the option, given he built his reputation on the Fun ‘N Gun offense he created in the 1990s at Florida.
The option hit the Bulldogs for some decent-sized plays before the defense adjusted to it for the second half.
“Going into the game, they were going to attack us a certain way,” Bailey said. “And then when we shut it down, we knew they would come at us with a change-up. (Spurrier) is the 'Head Ball Coach,' so he tried to change thing us as the game went along.”
Malcolm Mitchell on Sony Michel’s versatility: “It’s hard to explain somebody who can do so much. He can run routes like a receiver. He catches the ball like a receiver. He runs the ball like a running back. He’ll juke you, he’ll overpower you. Sony Michel’s an overall player.”
Song of the day
"Blame it on Me" by George Ezra