Georgia will take the win and live to see another day.
It wasn’t pretty in the home opener to open conference plays. But the Bulldogs secured a 24-14 win over South Carolina to remain unbeaten.
The Bulldogs received a clutch interception from safety Dan Jackson with just over four minutes to go in the game to put the final nail in South Carolina’s coffin. Tykee Smith slammed it further shut with a pick at the end.
What it means
Georgia is a work in progress.
The good news about this is that the Bulldogs have an easy schedule to get a lot of issues figured out. But especially offensively, the Bulldogs are not a complete group or exhibiting cohesion.
Getting Daijun Edwards back this week helped the run game out, which raises the question (other than the one listed below) as to whether he should be the primary back getting up to 20-to-25 carries per game, with Dillon Bell spelling him with the occasional rush from Roderick Robinson and Cash Jones.
A question that needs answering
Does Georgia need a new kicker?
Peyton Woodring was a highly-touted kicker coming out of high school. He had two easy misses against South Carolina and missed an easy kick against Ball State as well. Woodring beat out Jared Zirkel this offseason, which raises questions as to whether this competition needs to be reignited.
Three important plays
Big play RaRa: On Georgia’s first drive of the third quarter, Beck found RaRa Thomas for a 36-yard completion. This set up Georgia’s first touchdown of the game, which cut South Carolina’s lead to 14-10.
Timely sack: On South Carolina’s first possession of the second half, Mykel Williams sacked Spencer Rattler for a 4-yard loss. This helped give Georgia the ball back to lead to a go-ahead touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Jones’ rushing touchdown: Jones found a crease and cut to the right to score a 13-yard touchdown to give Georgia a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. This helped give Georgia a big enough cushion to put away a closer-than-expected game.
Other important games to note
No. 3 Florida State 31, Boston College 29: The Seminoles started slow, pulled ahead, and let the Eagles crawl back into it. As you can tell by the final score, Florida State did not look like a top tier title contending team on Saturday.
Missouri 30, No. 15 Kansas State 27: Missouri capitalized on numerous Kansas State mistakes, with Harrison Mevis kicking a 61-yard field goal to upset the Wildcats. Perhaps the Tigers are better than we think?
This wasn’t a solid performance, especially in the first half. The Bulldogs have a lot to work on regarding being a more consistent unit.
The defense gave up South Carolina’s first touchdown too easily. From there, it did a solid job keeping the Gamecocks from taking advantage of the offense’s miscues.
Special teams: C
Georgia missed two easy field goals that would have put this game away earlier. This needs re-evaluation.
Season grades to date
Special teams: B