Georgia exploded for 332 rushing yards to rout the South Carolina Gamecocks, 45-16, one week after having just 8 yards on the ground in the win over Mississippi State.
Four Bulldogs running backs rushed for more than 75 yards, James Cook leading the way with 104 yards and 2 touchdowns on six carries.
Zamir White also scored twice and recorded 84 rushing yards on 13 carries. Kenny McIntosh (9-79) and Daijun Edwards (14-77) joined Cook and White over the 75-yard mark. All four backs averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry.
JT Daniels was limited to 10-of-16 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, the game plan decided run heavy with 46 rush attempts.
Tight end Tre’ McKitty started the scoring with a 6-yard catch on Georgia’s first drive. McKitty also had 40-yard catch on the opening drive, leading the Bulldogs with 46 receiving yards.
Freshman Arian Smith, in his second game back from offseason knee surgery, caught Daniels’ other touchdown pass.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart shut down the offense in the fourth quarter, running exclusively all 12 plays in the final quarter, taking a knee at the 1-yard line rather than punching it on on former UGA teammate and South Carolina interim head coach Mike Bobo.
The Georgia defense yielded only 273 yards, including 83 on the ground. South Carolina averaged 1.9 yards per rush.
Georgia 45, South Carolina 16 (9:27): Nick Muse 7-yard catch from Luke Doty (missed PAT). Drive: 11 plays, 98 yards, 5:26. Key play: Rashad Amos run for 34 yards to SC 36.
Georgia 45, South Carolina 10 (14:43): Arian Smith 31-yard catch from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 2 plays, 31 yard 1:04. Key play: Tyson Campbell interception and 40-yard return to SC 31.
Georgia 38, South Carolina 10 (4:26): Jack Podlesny 32-yard field goal. Drive: 12 plays, 50 yards, 4:09.
Georgia 35, South Carolina 10 (11:38): Zamir White 3-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 3 plays, 13 yards, 1:21. Key play: Kearis Jackson 51-yard punt return to 13-yard line.
Cook 5 carries, 98 rushing yards, 2 TD
White 11 carries, 75 rushing yards, 1 TD
McKitty 2 rec, 46 yards, 1 TD
Harris 11 carries, 51 yards, 1 TD
Georgia 28, South Carolina 10 (4:31): James Cook 29-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 3:52. Key play: James Cook 14-yard run on third-and-4 at SC 45.
Georgia 21, South Carolina 10 (8:23): Parker White 40-yard field goal. Drive: 11 plays, 57 yards, 5:20.
Georgia LT Jamaree Salyer helped off field, 14:38, Xavier Truss in. Salyer returns to game on next drive.
Georgia 21, South Carolina 7 (14:57): Kevin Harris 1-yard run (Parker White kick). Drive: 8 plays, 65 yards, 2:26. Key play: Double-reverse pitch pass to Nick Muse for 35 yards to UGA 16.
Georgia 21, South Carolina 0 (2:23): Zamir White 22-yard run (Jack Podlesny). Drive: 5 plays, 78 yards, 2:22. Key play: Kenny McIntosh 32-yard run to SC 22.
• SC linebacker Ernest Jones limps off field, 4:21.
Georgia 14, South Carolina 0 (5:52): James Cook 5-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 9 plays, 82 yards, 4:34. Key play: George Pickens’ 17-yard catch on second-and-16 at UGA 35.
Georgia 7, South Carolina 0 (12:10): Tre’ McKitty 6-yard catch from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards 3:50. Key play: Tre’ McKitty 40-yard catch to SC 10.
The news on D’Wan Mathis leaving is fluid, as the family has told DawgNation a report saying their son has left the team is premature and not confirmed at this time.
Mathis has been working hard to recover from emergency brain surgery and is clearly frustrated he’s unable to contribute on offense, with Stetson Bennett getting a long look at the position before JT Daniels assumed control.
Mathis, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder, has great speed and agility and the skill to transition into an immediate NFL prospect at receiver.
The former Metro Detroit player starred there at times in high school, though there are colleges telling him they will recruit him to play quarterback.
Meanwhile in Columbia tonight, the Georgia football offense figures to be a focus for many when the Bulldogs tackle the Gamecocks in Columbia, eager to avenge last season’s embarrassing 20-17 double-overtime home loss to South Carolina.
The Gamecocks will be without a handful of key defensive players, most recently JJ Enagbare is reported out for the game.
JJ Enagbare is out tonight due to COVID per Mike Bobo.
— Wes Mitchell (@WesMitchellGC) November 28, 2020
South Carolina will also be without receiver Shi Smith on offense, one of the team’s top targets.
Georgia is hoping to get some snaps out of junior nosetackle Jordan Davis, who is back in uniform for the first time since suffering an elbow injury against Kentucky in the 14-3 win on Oct. 31.
The team has arrived in Columbia, S.C., for the game and one of its biggest stars did make the trip as Jordan Davis is with the team. Davis has not played since the Kentucky game as he has been dealing with an elbow injury.
Then, like now, Coach Kirby Smart will have an old friend on the opposite sideline.
Former Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp has been fired, but former Smart roommate and UGA quarterback Mike Bobo has taken over in the interim capacity.
Smart’s Georgia defense, No. 1 in the SEC in scoring defense and rushing defense, and No 2 in total defense, looks to put the clamps down.
The challenge, Smart explained, is trying to be aggressive on defense and create havoc plays while not exposing his unit to big plays.
“I am torn between being the aggressor and, you’re going to give up explosive in flighting for negatives,” Smart said. “The whole havoc rate because the guys with havoc rates are going to give up explosives. You’re trying to find a balance.”
Smart indicated his preference will be to lean on the side of aggression at South Carolina on Saturday night (TV: SEC Network).
“If you don’t put people down behind the sticks, it’s hard to win,” Smart said. “.It’s hard to win on third-and-2 and -3t consistently. I would much rather be the team that is the aggressor, and plays aggressively, gets people behind the sticks.”
Smart, as a player, once had three sacks against South Carolina:
Sack-happy Kirby vs. the ‘Cocks…#UGAvsSC 25 years ago, redshirt freshman Kirby Smart’s 3 sacks vs. the Gamecocks in the 1995 season opener remain unofficial #UGA single-game records for most sacks by a Bulldog defensive back & for a UGA player appearing in his first game: pic.twitter.com/caOLvfwUAH
— Patrick Garbin (@patrickgarbin) November 28, 2020
Much of the talk will be about the players South Carolina is missing, but Georgia is down key players, as well, including safety Richard LeCounte (concussion) and running back Kendall Milton (knee).