The South Carolina team fell to the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, losing by a score of 24-10.
With the win, Georgia has started the season off with an undefeated record of 9-0 and ranks first in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.
The Bulldogs started the game with a risky onside kick, leaving the Gamecocks' drive to start at the 50-yard line. The drive ended with a missed field goal attempt from Parker White. That field goal could have helped the Gamecocks make it a one-score game when they started the fourth quarter with the ball, down 11 points.
Coming into this game, the Bulldogs were one of three teams to be perfect inside of the red zone, going 31-for-31. This perfect streak was snapped after the Bulldogs first offensive drive, which led to a fumble in the red zone forced by Steven Montac.
The Bulldogs struck first in a competitive first half. Running back Sony Michel scored on an 8-yard wildcat rush, and the point after touchdown conversion gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. The Gamecocks tied up the game with Jake Bentley’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Edwards. In the following drive, Georgia’s Jake Fromm displayed his passing ability, completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Javon Wims.
The Bulldog defense gave up just 11 first-half rushing yards to the Gamecocks. Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith had a stellar performance with 1.5 sacks and seven solo tackles. The Bulldog defense forced Bentley to get rid of the ball quickly in passing situations, mixing up different pressure schemes throughout the game.
Georgia entered the second half strong, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive from Fromm's 20-yard pass to Mecole Hardman. With the Bulldogs now up by two touchdowns, South Carolina pulled out two trick plays. Former baseball pitcher and current tight end Hayden Hurst attempted two passes on consecutive downs. This Gamecocks drive went 13 plays for 68 yards and ended in Parker White's made field goal.
South Carolina’s defense struggled to stop the Bulldogs offense, giving up 438 total yards, including 242 yards via the run game.