ATHENS — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer couldn’t stress it enough in his postgame press conference: Georgia has the best defense in the nation.
“They’ve got, like, a hundred five star football players on their defense,” Beamer said in the wake of No. 2 Georgia’s 40-13 win over the Gamecocks.
“They have a defensive lineman that weighs 340 pounds (Jordan Davis) and runs better than everybody on this call. They’ve got five-star defensive backs. They’re big and physical and fast. I mean, other than that, they’re really freaking good.
“That’s why they have the top defense in the country, (and) they’re hard to run the football on, so there wasn’t some magical scheme they came out with tonight,” Beamer said. “They’ve got five-star recruits everywhere and they play really physical. Damn.”
While South Carolina couldn’t match Georgia on the scoreboard, the Gamecocks did lead Sanford Stadium feeling they matched the Bulldogs’ physicality.
The total yardage wasn’t as lopsided as the scoreboard might indicate, the Bulldogs (3-0) outgained the Gamecocks 491-301.
“We knew it was going to be a physical, violent game and that’s what it was without a doubt,’ said Beamer, who was a former assistant on Kirby Smart’s Georgia staff in 2016 and 2017.
“That was a war out there tonight and I’m proud of our guys and the physicality that we showed in all three phases,” Beamer said. “We challenged our guys to do that and they did. I thought we competed throughout the game and I’m proud of that. "
Beamer, in fact, said he feels better about his football team than he did going in despite the Gamecocks dropping to 2-1.
“I just told the team in the locker room, you know, as bad as we were in a lot of areas tonight, I’m more excited about this football team coming out of this game than maybe I even was going into it,” Beamer said “just because of the signs that I saw, some of the things that happened as the game went on, and the way that we responded.”
Beamer said he felt South Carolina did a nice job of tackling and controlling the Georgia run game. The Bulldogs’ longest run play was only 23 yards.
The Gameocks struggled to run (34 carries, 96 yards) but were a respectable 8-of-17 on third downs.
South Carolina plays host to Kentucky next Saturday in Columbia. The Wildcats beat UT-Chattanooga on Saturday, 28-23.