The South Carolina football team fell to the No. 9/13 Georgia Bulldogs 45-16 Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium.
An injury-laden Gamecock team was missing key players in senior wide receiver Shi Smith and sophomore wide receiver Xavier Legette prior to the game, and it saw senior linebacker Ernest Jones go down mid way through the first half.
The first quarter of the game was all Georgia. The Bulldog offense made quick work of a thin Gamecock defense and scored three touchdowns on its first three drives. It took redshirt sophomore quarterback JT Daniels and the rest of the Georgia defense an average of seven plays to score on those first three drives of the first quarter.
Freshman quarterback Luke Doty and the Gamecock offense, on the other hand, didn't have the same result, starting slow and going three and out on their first two drives and only gaining 11 yards. South Carolina averaged close to 27 yards per drive in the first half.
By the start of the second quarter, South Carolina seemed to have life.
After scoring on a 1-yard Kevin Harris touchdown run, the Gamecock defense forced Georgia to a three and out on its fourth drive of the game, causing them to move backwards 6 yards.
Doty and the offense capitalized off this and turned out an 11-play, 57-yard drive that ultimately ended in a 39-yard field goal from redshirt senior kicker Parker White.
The Georgia offense responded, however; junior running back James Cook punched in a 29-yard touchdown run after a seven-play, 65-yard drive. It was Cook's second of two rushing touchdowns on the night.
In the next drive, the Gamecocks drove down the field only for White to miss on a long shot 53-yard field goal attempt with 25 seconds left before halftime.
Despite this, South Carolina ended the half on a positive note after sophomore defensive back Jammie Robinson intercepted a pass from Daniels.
Although they ended the first half on an interception, Daniels and Georgia's powerful rushing attack ended the game early, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal in three out of their four final drives.
The Bulldogs had four running backs finish the game with over 70 rushing yards. Cook led the group in stats with 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns, followed by redshirt sophomore Zamir White, who had 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns also. Sophomore Kenny McIntosh ran for 79 yards, and freshman Daijun Edwards ran for 77 yards.
The South Carolina offense couldn't take any momentum it gained at the end of the first half into the rest of the game until its final drive. The team's first three drives ended in some kind of turnover.
In their final drive, the Gamecocks put together a 98-yard drive to score, highlighted by a touchdown pass from Doty to senior tight end Nick Muse. Doty went 18-22 with 190 passing yards, a touchdown and interception. Muse led the team in receiving with eight catches, 131 yards and a touchdown.
Interim head coach Mike Bobo said in the postgame press conference that Georgia "came in and dominated the game in, really, all three phases." He said Georgia played more physically at the line of scrimmage and "it showed."
The Gamecocks will conclude their season on the road next Saturday, Dec. 5, time unannounced.
According to Bobo, next week's game against Kentucky is "another opportunity to go fight."