Once again the aura of Columbia was too much for Georgia to overcome. A mixture of rain, penalties, and a sandstorm overturned the Bulldogs as the favorite on Saturday.
During Saturday’s SEC opener, South Carolina came out strong displaying their ability to throw the long ball and make valuable connections in the open field. What looked to be an impressive start to the game quickly became a classic nail-biting classic. Steve Spurrier and South Carolina claimed another victory in Williams-Brice Stadium in a 38-35 edging of the Dawgs.
Even though Georgia overcame a two decade scoring curse, the Dawgs were unable to overcome the many on-field flaws.
Overall, Bulldog Nation can take away a few lessons:
Hutson Mason does in FACT know how to throw:
Mason completed two touchdown passes against the Gamecocks. Mason found freshman Sony Michel and Jay Rome for his two connection points in the end zone despite a rainy environment not helping his throwing ability.
Field Goal ins and outs:
Marshall Morgan might just be the most known player after Saturday. Morgan set an SEC record of 20 consectutive field goals. However, Morgan’s last two field goal attempts went astray and the game slipped away from Georgia. Morgan’s last attempt would have put UGA in a gridlock with South Carolina and possibly forced an overtime.
For the love of everything Red and Black, deep pass coverage was unsightly. Over and over again, South Carolina QB, Dylan Thompson, was able to connect in wide open spaces. The defense could not find the proper set up, weather zone or man coverage, to align with Spurrier’s offense.
Penalties and unsettling calls:
The intentional grounding call against Mason late in the game on the Gamecocks 4-yard line was a painful call to take. The call from offensive coordinator, Mike Bobo, might have been more baffling than the actual penalty call however. Why, would a pass play be called when UGA has one of the most impressive running-backs in the country? Why would the call not be to run it up the middle? If Georgia fans are upset and baffled, don’t worry, even Coach Richt regrets not giving it the ball to Todd Gurley.
Another disheartening call occurred when Thompson, pulled a QB keeper miraculously and questionably earn the first down to seal the victory for the Gamecocks late in the 4th quarter. The Dawgs experienced multiple costly penalties and by the final minute Georgia was simply unable to take down South Carolina.
Note, Richt sent these questionable calls to the SEC office for further review.
UGA will move on to Week 4 as the Dawgs welcome Troy between the hedges for a non-conference match. The battle for the East is not out of reach, but Georgia will have to perform well to regain control. Here’s a bit of encouragement Georgia fans: the Dawgs lost to South Carolina in 2011 and 2012 and still clinched the SEC East.
Until next time, GO DAWGS !