Here is how Georgia graded following Saturday’s 24-10 win over South Carolina.
The Bulldogs put up 24 points, which was the second lowest total of the season. Georgia, however, was close to putting up at least 30 points for the eighth time. But Terry Godwin lost a fumble at the 5-yard line that South Carolina recovered. It also marked the first time the Bulldogs were unable to score after reaching the red zone. The lone turnover aside, Georgia had a sound game offensively. Jake Fromm completed 71.7 percent of his passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. The run game accounted for 242 yards. While Georgia scored only 24 points, it did a great job of possessing the ball, holding it for 38:22 of the game.
You can bet the emphasis in practice this coming week will be about getting off the field on third down. Georgia allowed South Carolina to convert four third-down opportunities, which included a couple of third-and-longs. Quarterback Jake Bentley finished with 227 yards, a touchdown and two picks. But Georgia did a great job against the run. The Gamecocks were held to only 43 rushing yards, which prevented them from achieving any kind of balance on offense.
Special teams: A
OK, so Georgia didn’t pick up the surprise onside kick to start the game. Still, it was an aggressive decision based on what the Bulldogs saw on film through the week. Cameron Nizialek averaged 46.7 yards on three punts, with a long of 57. One of those punts was downed at the 1-yard line by Mecole Hardman. Rodrigo Blankenship converted a 20-yard field goal and hit four of his five kickoffs for touchbacks. The one that didn’t go for a touchback was kicked into the end zone and returned to only the 13-yard line.
Once again, Georgia was prepared for South Carolina entering the game. But when things didn’t go as they had in seven of the eight other games, the coaching staff didn’t panic and stuck with the game-plan. That included using the running backs to wear the Gamecocks down in the second half. Georgia’s yards per carry average took a hit as the Bulldogs went for 4.6 yards per tote. But the run game controlled the clock and limited South Carolina’s chances of a comeback.