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Kirby Smart: Georgia spread the wealth around in 40-13 win over South Carolina

091821 Athens: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart shakes hands with South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer after beating South Carolina 40-13 in a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept 18, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

ATHENS — Kirby Smart appeared generally pleased with his Georgia football team’s 40-13 victory over South Carolina, even though there were plenty of mistakes to go around.

“On offense, you turn the ball over three times, we will not be a successful team …. that’s a fact,” said Smart, who saw the Gamecocks garner all 13 of their points off turnovers.

“That will keep me from being satisfied or pleased.”

The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) won decisively enough to hold their ranking, overcoming their mistakes with big plays on offense and defense against South Carolina (2-1).

Quarterback JT Daniels had the passing game flying high once again, completing 22 of 31 passes for 303 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception.

Smart explained Georgia wasn’t even sure that Daniels would play last Monday, but as the week went on he felt better and he told him and Stetson Bennett they would both play.

RELATED: Georgia looks like best team in SEC when JT Daniels pilots offense

Daniels had missed last week’s 56-7 win over UAB on account of a strained oblique.

Bennett entered on the third series of the game, after Daniels had led the Bulldogs on two TD drives for a 14-0 lead.

Bennett’s first pass of the game was intercepted and led to South Carolina’s first points.

“Stetson earned that right,” Smart said of playing the fifth-year senior, “and it just didn’t work out.”

The pass game was steady overall, however, while the Bulldogs also rushed for 184 yards on 31 attempts, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

Smart was asked about the passing game looking more effective than the run game.

“I think we’re just better right now with timing, throwing the ball, spacing in routes,” Smart said, “and I actually thought we ran the ball better tonight. It didn’t seem like a struggle to run it as much as against UAB.

”I thought our backs made some people miss, so I’m not down on the run game tonight,” he said.

“I thought we improved there, but I do think the timing in the passing game is good, and our guys are pretty good pass pro guys.”

Smart’s overall assessment was that there was plenty of credit to go around.

“So many guys played a big role in this game,” Smart said. “The wealth was spread around defensively and offensively.”

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