Will the 3-2 Georgia Bulldogs be able to put last week’s last second loss to Tennessee behind them and defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks?
The biggest issue for the Georgia Bulldogs – South Carolina Gamecocks matchup is currently the location. The state of South Carolina is implementing evacuations of its coastal areas as a result of Hurricane Matthew. The Category 4 hurricane is expected to pass through Charleston early Saturday morning, and the Gamecocks are scheduled to host the Bulldogs at 7:30 PM in Columbia.
As of Wednesday evening, there is still no definite answer as to where the game will take place. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, “It’s a complete decision based on the schools. As of now, I can’t imagine it happening. Certainly, we’re going to continue to watch this.” Then came an update on Wednesday afternoon in which South Carolina’s executive associate athletic director proposed playing on a different day.
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"“I would say at this point the chances are very, very minimal that this game would be moved outside of Columbia,” Charles Bloom, the school’s executive associate athletic director told WNKT, the school’s flagship radio station, in a Wednesday afternoon interview.That still leaves the question of whether or not the state’s response to the hurricane’s effect on the coast will allow the Gamecocks to play the game on Saturday night. The school has discussed the possibility of moving the game to either Sunday or Monday in Williams-Brice Stadium, Bloom told the radio station.“If you can’t play it on Saturday night, I think that definitely has the potential of happening,” he said."
Whether it’s played on Sunday or Monday, in Columbia, Athens, or the Georgia Dome, the ultimate question remains for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Can the Dawgs pull off a win over the Gamecocks?
UGA: All Eyes on Eason
Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason must be able to perform under pressure of the South Carolina defense. Though the Bulldogs have lost two straight games, Eason has been improving immensely. Just look at his recent progress compared to his performances against Nicholls and Missouri. If the Dawgs are going to win, Eason must continue to perform well, completing passes and covering his mistakes. There’s good news for the Dawgs this week: Nick Chubb will be back full force. Against South Carolina, the Georgia Bulldogs should have the advantage on offense.
South Carolina’s Biggest Threat?
So far this season, South Carolina’s offense has struggled under first year head coach Will Muschamp. There’s also been some conflict at quarterback recently. Last week, in their 24-13 loss to Texas A&M, South Carolina’s freshman starter Brandon McIlwain was replaced in the fourth quarter by senior Perry Orth. The Gamecocks ended the game with 378 yards on offense. However, a large part of that was due to running back A.J. Turner, who rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown.
But if South Carolina has one advantage, it’s their defense. Though the Gamecocks remain last in the league in offense and points, the defense is in the top half of the SEC, allowing just 18.6 points per game. Conversely, South Carolina’s defense should have its hands full this week with the return of Georgia’s running back Nick Chubb.
"UGA vs. South Carolina Betting OddsSpread: UGA -7.5Over/Under: 42UGA vs. South Carolina PredictionThe Bulldogs have lost two in a row in totally different fashion: one a complete blowout and the other a heartbreaker. Now, it is time for Smart to prove that he can be a head coach at the highest level, and that means getting his team prepared for a tough road test against a solid defense. If South Carolina could ever put together an offense, I would be tempted to pick them in an upset here, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Bulldogs bounce back with a win.UGA vs. South Carolina Score Prediction: UGA 27, South Carolina 13"
The date and location are TBD. For now, the Bulldogs will take on the Gamecocks this Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina. Catch the game at 7:30 PM on the SEC Network.