Kirby Smart and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs defeated his former assistant Shane Beamer and the South Carolina Gamecocks 48-7. The Bulldogs continue to look like one of the best teams in the country.
On offense, quarterback Stetson Bennett continues to pick apart defenses in the air and on the ground. He finished 16-of-23 for 284 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 36 yards and ran it in for one touchdown.
Tight end Brock Bowers had a monster performance after only having five total touches coming into this game. Bowers finished the game with five receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a five-yard rushing touchdown on the reverse handoff from running back Kenny McIntosh.
Overall, it was a well-balanced attack from offensive coordinator Todd Monken and the offense. They had six different rushers run for 20 yards or more, and 11 different receivers caught the ball in the passing game.
Bennett and backup quarterback Carson Beck were efficient and in control. The offensive line gave the quarterbacks plenty of time to throw and did not allow one sack. The skill position players performed their tasks when their numbers were called to receive the ball or block in space for ball carriers.
The Georgia offense finished the game with 547 total yards; 339 passing yards, and 208 rushing yards.
On the defensive side, they did not allow a score until the late touchdown in fourth quarter when the game was already out of hand.
On South Carolina’s second drive of the game, quarterback Spencer Rattler completed a 46-yard pass to tight end Jaheim Bell. That brought the Gamecocks all the way to the UGA 28-yard line. However, true freshman Malaki Starks intercepted Rattler when he tried to target the running back on a wheel route out of the backfield.
That interception by Starks was one of three takeaways by the Georgia defense. They gave up 306 total yards to the Gamecock offense.
Georgia extinguished any concern about playing in their first SEC road game of the season, and proved why they were ranked No. 1 coming into this week.
The Bulldogs come back to Athens next week as they take on Kent State (1-2 record).
Offensive Player of the Game: TE Brock Bowers: 5 rec, 121 yards 2 TD, 5-yard rushing TD
Defensive Player of the Game: ILB Jamon Dumas-Johnson: team-leading 6 solo tackles, 2 QB hurries
- Brock Bowers is the best tight end in college football
Bowers put all of his skills on display in the absence of wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (ankle). He showed off his speed when got around the edge of the defense on his 5-yard rushing touchdown. On his second touchdown, Bowers high-pointed the ball and caught it over the defender that tried to swipe the ball out of his hands while keeping his feet inbounds in the back of the end zone. On his third touchdown, he ran a seam route up the middle where he found himself uncovered. Once he caught the ball, he broke the first tackle and then took one cut up the field to get around the other defensive back for the 78-yard touchdown. As a true sophomore, Bowers looks like he has the potential to be a top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
- Malaki Starks is an interception machine
Starks bursted onto the scene of the Georgia defense with his acrobatic interception in the first quarter against Oregon. He got another interception today, picking off Spencer Rattler after blanketing the running back in coverage out of the backfield. There is a reason why Kirby Smart trusts Starks with a starting spot this early on in the season. He is not shy when it comes to physicality and he has shown the ability to win 1-on-1 matchups in coverage. Finally, he has shown the ability to make plays on the ball once it’s in the air. Starks has been very impressive in his first three games in a Bulldogs uniform. He’s only a true freshman and is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential.
- The favorable schedule will help this team in the long run
On paper, the Bulldogs have an easy strength of schedule for the first half of the season, even though a lot of people thought the Oregon game would be a much closer contest. People might be concerned that the Bulldogs won’t be battle-tested for a while before they play more formidable opponents, but this is similar to what happened last season. Georgia didn’t play in many close games in the regular season last year, but were still able to perform well in the College Football Playoff. In those blowout wins, they were able to rotate in more second and third-string guys to give them experience and establish some depth. They’ve able to do that again so far this season, and their next two games are against Kent St. and Missouri where they are expected to be big favorites against. This will be very helpful for Georgia, especially on the defensive side of the ball where there are a lot of talented underclassmen.