The Bulldogs were able to impose their will on the home squad to the tune of 326 rushing yards, its largest output on the ground this season. Veteran backs Sony Michel (133 yards) and Nick Chubb (121 yards) both surpassed the 100-yard mark, while freshman Brian Herrien nearly hit triple digits as well with 82 yards of his own. It was the first time Georgia had two rushers surpass the century mark since 2014 when Chubb and current Los Angeles Ram Todd Gurley achieved the feat.
On the defensive side, Georgia was able to largely limit South Carolina’s attack while forcing three turnovers. The Gamecocks managed 318 yards, with 164 coming on their two scoring drives. For the game, USC was held to 2-for-13 on third downs.
“We wanted to keep fighting,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “I wouldn’t expect anything less out of this group. They work hard every day. We had two really physical practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. We’re going to do the same thing this week. We’ve got to get better and we’ve got a tough road ahead of us.”
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start, opening the game with a seven-play, 73-yard drive that ended with seven points. The first possession for Georgia started and ended with runs from Chubb of 18 and 15 yards, respectively. The visiting squad was able gash the South Carolina defense on the opening possession with three runs of 15 or more yards on the drive.
After the defense held South Carolina at bay for the rest of the first quarter in which Georgia out-rushed the Gamecocks 113-0, the Bulldogs turned a Malkom Parrish interception into points to start the second frame with an eight-play, 28-yard drive that was punctuated by a hard-earned, one-yard run from Chubb to claim a 14-0 lead that held through the end of the first half.
Georgia’s defensive unit dominated play in the first 30 minutes, forcing three turnovers while limiting the Gamecock offense to just 108 yards, 20 rushing yards, three first downs and a 0-for-4 conversion rate on third down.
South Carolina used a 12-play, 90 yard drive to trim Georgia’s lead to seven after forcing an interception while the Bulldogs were knocking on the door to push their lead to three possessions. Jacob Eason’s pass was tipped and deflected high in the air before being hauled in by a defender to preempt the lengthy Gamecock drive that made the score 14-7 toward the end of the third.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a drive that started in plus-territory early in the fourth quarter, boosted by runs of 14 and 18 yards by Herrien. Eason and Isaiah McKenzie then hooked up for a six-yard touchdown on third and goal to put Georgia firmly in control at 21-7 with 11:43 remaining in the contest.
South Carolina struck for its second touchdown with just 1:40 remaining in the game, but Georgia immediately responded as Terry Godwin scooped the onside kick attempt and ran it back for a score to seal the victory.
The Bulldogs return home next week for their homecoming game against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The game is slated for a noon kickoff and will air on the SEC Network.