Georgia hosts South Carolina on Saturday in Athens. Here are your three keys to a Bulldog victory.
By Steve Wright
The Georgia Bulldogs have the most impressive victory of this fledgling college football season – their Week 1 defeat of Clemson – and they backed that up with a comfortable 56-7 win over UAB. South Carolina is the next opponent on the schedule and the Gamecocks come to Athens after a way too close for comfort 20-17 win over East Carolina.
1 – Do the Bulldogs have a quarterback?
JT Daniels – who gives the Bulldogs’ offense a threat it hasn’t had in years – is still bothered by the core injury that kept him out of the win over the Blazers. Stetson Bennett completed a ruthlessly efficient 10 of 12 passes for almost 250 yards and five first-half touchdowns in relief, but he is having lower back issues. Redshirt freshman Carson Beck is next in line and he might have to get the nod as Georgia looks at South Carolina and Vandy (the next opponent) as teams they can overwhelm with the running game and defense regardless of who is under center.
2 – Find a way to move the chains
The South Carolina offense is bad, but the Gamecocks defense will do everything it can to keep this close. Against a veteran ECU team with plenty of weapons the South Carolina D allowed just 116 yards rushing and 152 through the air. They are – to this point – stunningly good on third down, ranking second in the country and allowing teams to convert on just two of 24 occasions. The line is strong, but the Bulldogs should be able to wear it down as the game progresses.
3 – Defense to the fore
The offense will figure itself out, especially if the defense is as unreal as it has been through two weeks. Clemson managed to pick up 180 total yards with just two on the ground. UAB is one of the best squads in Conference USA – and one noted for its firepower – and they were held under 175 total yards. South Carolina is turnover-prone and doesn’t move the chains. Georgia could legitimately hold them to around 100 yards here.