Georgia had to hold its breath until the final seconds of Saturday's game, but had its receivers held on to a few more passes, that may not have been the case.
Tight end Tripp Chandler dropped three passes in the game, including two on third down that would have kept drives alive. Wide receiver Kris Durham also let a potential touchdown pass slip through his hands on a difficult-but-catchable ball from quarterback Matthew Stafford.
"When you drop balls, especially third-down passes, if you catch those three balls on third down, maybe the game's different," head coach Mark Richt said.
While the dropped passes will certainly be a topic of conversation in the film room and on the practice field this week, Richt said there's really only one cure for his receivers' problems.
"Just keep chunkin' it to them," he said.
TRYING TOO HARD:
The failure to get to the other team's quarterback is starting to get to the Bulldogs, and it showed against South Carolina.
For two weeks, Georgia's pass rush has been questioned, and the Bulldogs managed just two sacks in the game against the Gamecocks – both on blitzes – a number that equaled the amount of roughing-the-passer penalties the team received.
The excessive flags and the lack of sacks go hand in hand, however, Curran said.
"It is a little bit of frustration," he said. "As a defense you want to be aggressive. You don't want to slow down your game because you're scared of getting penalties. You want to play fast, you want to get the quarterback to flinch, and unfortunately, sometimes you get penalties because of the aggressiveness. We've just got to learn how to play fast but play smart at the same time."
Freshman wide receiver A.J. Green led the Bulldogs in receptions and receiving yards against South Carolina, but after a couple big catches early, he seemed to disappear from the offense. He had just one catch in the second half, something Richt said he would like to change going forward, but he isn't looking to force the ball into Green's hands.
"There's certain plays you can try to direct to a player," Richt said. "You can call more plays that have a better chance of him getting it, and every once in a while you can have a few plays where you say it's either him or nothing, and I would have liked to have seen more balls go his direction."