South Carolina (1-1) built up a great deal of hype and fanfare entering what some referred to as a trend upset pick.
Georgia’s team speed was ultimately overwhelming. Junior receiver Mecole Hardman did much of the damage, catching six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, in addition to a 30-yard screen reception that was ruled a rush.
The Bulldogs had 226 yards of offense in the third quarter on 21 plays. Georgia broke the Gamecocks’ will at the end of the third quarter, going on a nine-play, 86-yard TD drive that featured just one pass play before Brian Herrien scored on a 15-yard run up the middle.
Georgia had a 20-10 halftime lead over South Carolina despite the Gamecocks out-gaining them 191 yards to 183.
South Carolina utilized a hurry-up offense throughout the first half. The quicker pace enabled the Gamecocks to get 46 offensive snaps in the first half, also thanks in part to a 5 of 10 third-down conversion rate.
Still, the Bulldogs were up at half, a 44-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship as time expired providing the 20-10 margin.
Georgia jumped to a quick 7-0 lead when cornerback Deandre Baker returned an interception for an apparent touchdown. Baker dropped the ball before scoring, however, so linebacker Juwan Taylor was credited with the touchdown, having picked up the ball in the end zone.
Tailback D’Andre Swift made it 14-0 moments later, capping a 4-play, 76-yard drive less than four minutes into the game.
South Carolina scored on its ensuing drive. Receiver Deebo Samuel took a handoff and ran wide before throwing to a wide-open Bryan Edwards in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown.
Georgia returns to action next Saturday against Middle Tennessee (0-1) at 7:15 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. The Blue Raiders (0-1) played Tennessee-Martin (0-1) on Saturday night.