The South Carolina Gamecocks just pulled off the first major upset of the college football season. The Gamecocks pulled out a 20-17 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. While it took South Carolina two overtimes to defeat the Bulldogs, they leave Athens in shock today. The loss could very well end the chances of Georgia reaching the college football playoffs this season as they trudge through the rest of their SEC schedule.
The game itself could be called somewhat sloppy by both teams. Neither team scored on their first overtime possession. Jake Fromm threw an interception which opened the door for South Carolina to take the game. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, Parker White missed a 33-yard field goal. So that reset the game in Georgia’s favor. The Gamecocks could only get to the 2-yard-line of Georgia before White came back in and nailed a 24-yard field goal. Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42-yard field goal after the Bulldogs couldn’t gain a single yard on their second overtime possession.
The Bulldogs weren’t firing on all cylinders today from the very start. They showed some life at times, but they weren’t showing top form at all. Georgia did score first with a 50-yard field goal by Blankenship, but they struggled for the majority of the first half, scoring on just two of their six possessions. A devastating pick-six to Israel Mukuamu sucked the life out of them just before halftime.
After taking a 17-10 lead into halftime, South Carolina did nothing at all offensively in the second half. Actually, neither team did much besides a Georgia touchdown late in the fourth quarter to tie the game up at seventeen. The Gamecocks put up just 297 yards of offense and gave up 468 yards to Georgia. What kept South Carolina in the game was the fact that they committed no turnovers and forcing four turnovers for the Bulldogs. The turnovers were key to Georgia losing this game. Two of those picks were done in South Carolina territory. Turnovers will kill a team and that’s exactly what happened today for the Bulldogs.
South Carolina starter Ryan Hillinski went 15-of-20 for 116 yards, and a touchdown before coming out of the game due to a leg injury. Dakereon Joyner came in and completed 50 percent of his passes for 39 yards and added 28 rushing yards on six carries. Rico Dowdle was the leading rusher for the Gamecocks with 79 yards. Receiver Bryan Edwards had 78 yards on six catches and the lone offensive touchdown. Mukuamu had all three picks, including the 53-yard pick-six.
Fromm went 28-of-51 for 295 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. De’Andre Swift rushed for 113 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. George Pickens led the Georgia receivers with seven receptions for 98 yards. Demetris Robertson had 5 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown late in regulation to force overtime.
The loss for Georgia could certainly be the end of their playoff run with the toughest part of their schedule still to come. They’ll host the Kentucky Wildcats next weekend. South Carolina improves to 3-3 and will try to play giant killer again next week when they host the Florida Gators.