*Series History: With today’s 28-14 win, Georgia owns a 49-18-2 edge in the series history. The Oct. 9 matchup is the latest the teams have faced each other since 1980 when they played on Nov. 1. Georgia won that year in Athens 13-10.
*Sunday Kickoff: Today marked the first time the Bulldogs have ever played a regular season game on a Sunday. Before today, Sunday was the only day of the week that Georgia had never played a regular season game. Georgia has played three bowl games on a Sunday, the most recent in 2000, the O’ahu Bowl in Hawaii, when it beat Virginia 37-14 on Christmas Eve. Today’s Georgia-USC game was moved to Sunday due to Hurricane Matthew.
*Rushing Attack: Georgia tallied 326 rushing yards and that was the most by the Bulldogs since 2014 against Troy when it had 367. Junior tailback Nick Chubb (16 carries, 124 yards, 2 TDs) returned to a starting role while junior Sony Michel led the squad today with 133 yards on 21 carries. Today was the first time since the 2014 Auburn game that two Bulldogs had more than 100 yards rushing. That day, Chubb (144) and Todd Gurley (138) did it in a 34-7 win in Athens.
In the first half, Chubb provided 72 rushing yards on 12 carries for a 6.0 average as Georgia tallied 195 yards on the ground. Chubb moved in to the top five of the Bulldog record book for Career Rushing Yards on the first play from scrimmage, an 18-yard scamper that moved him past Knowshon Moreno’s total of 2,734 yards from 2007-08. For his career, Chubb has 2,840 yards. Georgia’s opening drive went 73 yards on seven plays and resulted in a TD. Chubb accounted for 37 yards on the ground while Michel chipped in with 27 yards on two carries. Michel led the Bulldogs at the half in rushing with 92 yards on 13. Georgia came in today ranked 7th in the league in rushing offense at 193.6 yards a game while USC ranked 13th in the league in rushing defense, allowing 202.0 yards a game.
*Smith Leads Defense: Sophomore LB Roquan Smith led the Bulldogs with a career-high 11 tackles including seven solo stops. The Bulldogs had a season-high five sacks including 1.5 by junior Davin Bellamy. Coming in today, the Bulldogs had just six sacks on the year. Georgia blanked USC 14-0 in the first half. The Gamecocks ran just 22 plays and had 108 yards of total offense (20-rushing, 88-passing). Before today, the last time Georgia shutout an SEC team in the first half came in 2014 at the other Columbia as Georgia beat Missouri 34-0. That day, it was 20-0 at the half. USC finished with 318 yards of offense on 62 plays.
*Eason Helps Direct Another SEC Road Win: Freshman QB Jacob Eason finished 5-for-17 for 29 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT as Georgia used a powerful ground game. The Bulldogs ran 67 plays for 355 yards including 326 rushing, the most on the ground in a game since 2014 when it had 367 against Troy. In the first half, he was 3-for-13 for 14 yards. In the second half, he had a six-yard TD pass to junior Isaiah McKenzie on 3rd and goal to make it 21-7 Bulldogs with 11:43 left in the contest. It was McKenzie’s team-leading sixth TD. The last time Georgia had less than 50 yards passing in a game came in 1990 against Auburn when it had 28.
*Déjà vu On Special Teams TD: Sophomore Terry Godwin returned an onside kick attempt 43 yards for a touchdown to cap a 28-14 win. His return came with 1:33 left in the contest. The last time a Bulldog did that was in 2003 against South Carolina by Damien Gary who raced to the house 44 yards. Before today, the last time Georgia returned a kickoff for a TD came in 2014 when Isaiah McKenzie started the Kentucky game with a 90-yarder for a score.
*For Starters: A couple of Bulldogs extended their team-leading starting streaks with center Brandon Kublanow at 31 consecutive games for the offense and cornerback Malkom Parrish at 19 in a row for the defense. Junior Aulden Bynum (TE) made his first start this year and second of his career. True freshman Julian Rochester (DE) made his second straight start as did sophomore Deandre Baker (CB). Parrish intercepted a pass to start the second quarter. In a goal line situation in the 2nd quarter, Rochester and junior NG John Atkins saw time on offense at fullback and tight end.
*Points Off Turnovers: Georgia scored 7 points off 3 turnovers while USC got 7 points off one Bulldog turnover. The Bulldogs are +5 in Turnover Margin for the year. This year, Georgia has converted 15 turnovers into 30 points while Bulldog opponents have scored 45 points off 10 Bulldog miscues.
Junior DB Malkom Parrish snagged an interception at the Gamecock 28. It was his first this year (3rd of his career) and team’s eighth overall. It led to a TD and a 14-0 lead with 10:27 left in the first half. Sophomore LB Roquan Smith recovered a fumble at the USC 36 with 5:07 left in the first half. It led to a punt. With 1:43 left in the first half, sophomore Deandre Baker recovered a USC fumble at the Georgia 38. It did not lead to any points as time expired in the half. It was the first career fumble recovery for Smith and Baker. In the second half, a tipped pass led to a USC interception at the Georgia 10, and it resulted in a 90-yard scoring drive to make it 14-7 with 3:49 left in the 3rd quarter.
*Captains: Georgia’s captains were junior Nick Chubb (TB), junior Aaron Davis (DB) and senior Greg Pyke (RT).