Georgia Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks preview


After a bit of an odd break in the early schedule, the Georgia Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday, and for the first time this season, they will be leaving the friendly confines of Athens. In the season’s second game, UGA travels to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in what is always an entertaining match-up, and in this space, we will preview the game in full. Let’s take a look.

Opponent: South Carolina Gamecocks (#23 USA Today, #24 AP)

Time/TV: 3:30 pm, CBS

Georgia Offense vs. South Carolina Defense

The UGA offense was cooking in the season opener against Clemson, and the majority of the damage was done on the ground. Todd Gurley kicked off his Heisman campaign with nearly 200 yards, the Dawgs flashed incredible depth with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall, and the wide receiving corps (though not at full strength) was more than adequate against a capable and athletic group from Clemson. On the flip side, South Carolina has been gashed defensively in their first two games, allowing 37.5 points per contest against Texas A&M and East Carolina, including the fact that they facilitated the Kenny Hill breakout in week one.

Just a year after producing a big-time defense, Steve Spurrier’s club elected to change schemes, and it went terribly, so the Gamecocks are now attempting to reverse that trend by getting back to their roots. The personnel is solid despite the loss of Jadeveon Clowney and others, but in fairness, Georgia has a significant advantage in this match-up, especially if the offensive line can continue to provide Hutson Mason time to make accurate throws from the pocket.

Will UGA run for 328 yards at 8 yards per carry? Probably not, but this certainly isn’t the terrifying match-up that some would have predicted prior to the start of the season in circling South Carolina on the schedule.

Georgia Defense vs. South Carolina Offense

The Bulldogs defense was also lights-out against Clemson, especially in the second half, but South Carolina does possess a unique challenge on this side of the ball. Running back Mike Davis was limited to just six carries in the opening loss to A&M, but he was explosive in USC’s second tilt (18 carries, 101 yards, 2 TD) and he’s the player to watch for the Gamecocks on offense. Fortunately, Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is blessed with an elite front seven, and even if the strength may be in the pass rush, Clemson failed to crack even 90 yards on the ground in the opener, and South Carolina has their work cut out for them, even with Davis on board.

On the back-end, things are a bit more worrisome for Pruitt and company. Clemson did amass more than 200 yards through the air before grinding to a halt late, and South Carolina QB Dylan Thompson is a player that could make UGA pay if there are any issues. Thompson has thrown for 632 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first two weeks, and as discussed prior to the season, Georgia’s principal weakness on the defense (if not the entire roster) lies in the secondary. It’s certainly the single biggest exposure for the red and black on Saturday.


In a hostile environment and against a rival, Georgia is in a tough spot, but the benefit of an extra week to prepare after a huge win is obvious. However, South Carolina could be a wounded animal fighting for its life after the past two weeks of disappointment, and crazy things tend to happen in Columbia, especially with regard to Georgia’s offense. Either way, it should be an entertaining battle between two top-25 teams, and quite honestly, it’s the best game of the day in the world of college football.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!