ATHENS, GA — Georgia took on South Carolina in their first taste of SEC action this season.
The Gamecocks came out firing and gave it to the Dawgs in the first half, leading 14-3 at the break. Georgia swung the momentum back in their favor at the start of the second half and took control from there winning 24-14.
For the third straight game, the offense got off to a slow start. They were able to move the ball down field on a couple of drives in that first half, but they couldn’t punch it in the end zone.
To begin the third quarter, they came out with a statement drive that ended with a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Daijun Edwards. Edwards provided a huge boost for the Dawgs offense in his first game this season. He showed a lot of patience behind the line before choosing a gap, and then his quickness and ability to make people miss helped him earn extra yardage. He is Georgia’s first 100-yard rusher of the season with 118 yards on 20 attempts.
Fellow running back Kendall Milton went down with a knee injury. The injury doesn’t seem to be too serious, but he does not have a full diagnosis.
Amarius Mims went down at the 8-minute mark in the second half with an ankle injury and did not return. Xavier Truss moved to right tackle, and Dylan Fairchild came off the bench and was plugged in at left guard. The offensive line still played really solid in the run and the pass in spite of Mims’ absence.
Carson Beck was able to complete more throws downfield in the second half and led the Dawgs to three touchdown drives.
This offense still has a lot to improve on, but they had a great bounce back in this contest.
Spencer Rattler was able to pick apart the Georgia defense in the first half. He went 16-of-18 for 152 yards and had a passing touchdown in the first half. He added three rushes for 17 yards.
Rattler looked really comfortable and poised in the pocket. He seemed to make every right decision in the first half.
Georgia’s defense didn’t come out with the urgency that they needed to in that first half. They were also missing safety Javon Bullard (ankle injury), a huge piece of their defense. They were also missing outside linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. (sickness).
They were able to disrupt Rattler’s rhythm in the second half with the crowd noise and consistent pass rush. Mykel Williams was one of the main guys coming off stunts and getting in Rattler’s face. Williams got home one time and got a sack in the second half.
True freshman kicker Peyton Woodring missed 2 out of his three field goals– one from 28 yards out and one from 43 yards out.
Luckily, Georgia was not in a late-game situation where they needed a field goal. To be fair, it
was raining for the majority of the game, but Woodring still needs to find a way to knock those through.
This could prove to be an issue later in the season in closer games. Smart said he’s seen better from Woodring in practice. Hopefully the true freshman can get through his mistakes mentally and grow into being a more solid kicker in games.
Offensive Player of the Game: RB Daijun Edwards- 20 rushes, 118 yards, 1TD
Defensive Player of the Game: CB Kamari Lassiter- 4 tackles (2 solo), 2.5 TFL, 2 pass breakups