There are bad football teams and there are bad, uninspired football teams. South Carolina is the latter.
The Gamecocks fell just short last week in their SEC opener against Kentucky. They came out flat, heading into halftime down 24-7, but came back to within two before ultimately losing 26-22.
Flash forward a week to Athens, Georgia. The Gamecocks went down 17-3 before scoring a touchdown on the following drive. Starting quarterback Perry Orth ran it in from four yards out to cap a nine play, 72-yard drive and move the score to 17-10. It was downhill from there.
Courtesy of SGTV
After Georgia scored a quick touchdown, the Gamecocks scored on a 51-yard field goal by junior Elliott Fry set up by a long Shon Carson kick return. It was a career-long for Fry.
Through two games, the Gamecocks have been bad in the first half and great in the second half. Saturday, they were bad in the first and terrible in the second.
Georgia received the second half kickoff and scored in 1:45. Georgia then converted an Orth interception into an 11-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.
Georgia running back and Heisman contender Nick Chubb tacked on his second touchdown of the game to put the Bulldogs up 45-13 at the end of the third quarter.
When the dust had settled, the Gamecocks trudged out of Sanford Stadium with a 52-20 loss.
Not only did the Gamecocks look bad against the Bulldogs, they looked, lazy, undisciplined and frankly, uninspired.
South Carolina seemed to give up after allowing Georgia’s first second half touchdown. The team then committed several unsportsmanlike conduct and personal foul penalties and instigated a scuffle.
It seemed at times that the Gamecock players lost faith in their coaching staff. Following last week’s game, starting tailback Brandon Wilds openly criticized Spurrier’s play-calling. If the legendary coach has indeed lost the faith of his players, the Gamecocks could face a long, disappointing season.
Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert, who many thought would throw less than 15 passes against the Gamecocks, set the NCAA record for the highest completion percentage in a single game.
The junior went an astounding 24-25 with 330 yards and three touchdowns. He completed his last 20 passes to set another school record.
The Gamecocks did not slow Chubb either, as the sophomore finished with 159 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Wilds left the game after gaining just 24 rushing yards. He is listed as having a bruised rib and will be re-evaluated this week. Center Alan Knott sprained his ankle late in the second quarter and did not return.
Defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth was also hurt, but the nature of his injury is unclear.
Few positives lost in the blowout
Believe it or not, there were a couple positives for the Gamecocks, mostly involving the kicking game.
Shon Carson averaged 27 yards on six kick returns while Sean Kelly averaged 40.8 yards on five punts, including two inside the 20. Kickoff coverage was good against arguably the top returner in the SEC.
Fry went 2-2 with a career-long 51-yard field goal.
Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez played well, completing 4 out of 5 passes and adding 76 yards and his first career touchdown on the ground.
Quote of the night
“Defensive issues? Yeah we've got some offensive issues also right now ... our kicker and punter played well." — Steve Spurrier