The Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks play in a key SEC East game on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm. Find Live updates and score information below.
The Bulldogs come in ranked as the No. 1 team in the country per the College Football Playoff committee, while South Carolina enters with a 6-2 record. Georgia won last year’s game in Columbia, SC., 28-14.
That should definitely do it
Georgia’s defense holds on third and then fourth down, handing the ball to the offense at the South Carolina 44 with 4:52 left. Many fans are heading to the exits. Some already had, pretty confident in their team.
Those still in here are cheering when the Ohio State-Iowa game is shown on the video board. The Buckeyes are being run out of playoff consideration. That’s another step towards the SEC possibly getting two teams in the playoff.
That should do it
The antidote to a semi-close game with 14:08 left in the fourth quarter: A scoring drive, and one that takes more than half the remaining time off the clock.
If there was any thought this game could get scary for the Bulldogs, it’s basically been … well, not erased, but the odds are looking very long now. Georgia gets a field goal after a drive that lasted 15 plays, went 65 yards and took 7:32 off the clock.
Sony Michel used much of that drive to show off his ability to shake off tackles, including one play when he was able to be tackled behind the line, then ended gaining yards for a first down.
Georgia now has 123 rushing yards on three drives in the second half.
Whoa, a close game – sort of
Georgia has an 11-point lead entering the fourth quarter, which under normal circumstances wouldn’t seem nip and tuck. And it doesn’t actually feel that close, even with South Carolina in possession of the ball, albeit at its own 30.
But this qualifies as the second-closest Georgia game this season entering the final quarter. Georgia led Notre Dame by one, fell behind by a field goal and then went back ahead to win the game by one.
The next-closest game was Missouri, when Georgia led by 25 points (46-21) entering the third quarter.
Georgia D in third quarter
South Carolina scores on a field goal, thus doubling the amount of points scored on Georgia’s defense in the third quarter all season. Really.
Notre Dame had a field goal against Georgia. The next six games saw nobody score in the third quarter against the Bulldogs until that chip-shot Gamecock field goal.
And that South Carolina drive was only extended by a holding penalty when the Gamecocks tried a fake punt. Two plays later Jake Bentley hit Shi Smith for 22 yards on a comeback pattern. Then A.J. Turner got 15 yards around the left side, down to Georgia’s 13. South Carolina didn’t have a run longer than 7 yards prior to that play.
But Georgia again held firm in the red zone.
Jake Fromm can pass
That was already known but is being reinforced for the benefit of any South Carolina players. Fromm’s deep fade to Mecole Hardman on third down results in a 20-yard touchdown, and Georgia leads by two scores, 21-7, with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
Georgia began that drive by going run-heavy. Then it went to the pass, with a flare pass to Sony Michel netting 16 yards, and a receiver screen to Hardman netting 10. That last play set up the touchdown pass, when Harrdman lined up on the other side and got one-on-one coverage to the end zone.
Fromm is now 14-for-18 for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Halftime analysis: Seven thoughts
1. Jake Fromm has been really good, as if he was sick of hearing that Georgia can’t pass, he only throws slants – and that Georgia is a run-only offense. Consider this: Georgia is averaging 9 yards per pass attempt (so including the incompletions), and 5 yards per rush attempt.
2. But Georgia has still run it 25 times versus 14 rushes, so it’s still following its usual formula. South Carolina appears to know that too, and is keying on the run. Every team does. Georgia is trying to answer with a lot of RPOs.
3. Both teams are having a lot more success passing the ball. South Carolina is just in very lopsided fashion: 139 passing yards versus 11 rushing, a number that includes lost yardage due to sacks. Even if it didn’t, the holes just aren’t there for the Gamecocks. That’s nothing new for teams trying to run on Georgia.
4. Georgia’s pass defense is being gashed, however, on pace to give up a season-high for passing yards after giving up 126 in the first half. It looks like a combination of Georgia lacking pass rush and South Carolina getting guys open against the secondary.
5. When it comes to the pass rush, Georgia appears to be doing what it did last week – rushing four, and counting on that for enough of a push and hoping for a numbers advantage in the secondary. That isn’t working as well as this week, so we could see Mel Tucker dial up more blitzes in the second half. Kind of like he did when he sent Roquan Smith on a delayed blitz on first down in the second quarter.
6. Javon Wims could be playing his way into some All-SEC votes. Can anyone remember him dropping a pass? He has the team highs in this game for catches (5), receiving yards (46) and touchdown catches (1), leads the team this year in catches (24), and is catching up with Terry Godwin in receiving yards (407 to 373).
7. J.R. Reed really likes those shoulder spikes, doesn’t he?
Bonus thought: This feels a lot like the Missouri game. It’s not a blowout at halftime, but there isn’t much feeling that it should be upset alert either. The other team is also doing most of its damage via the air, but Fromm is answering.
Again, it’s not all Georgia’s defense
This is what’s happening this game: The defense is having an uneven first half, and just gave up a score, providing South Carolina some hope.
But the offense is coming right back downfield to answer. And Georgia answered in just the same fashion that South Carolina did on its drive: With a second-down incompletion overturned to a touchdown on review.
Javon Wims did a great job straddling the line on what honestly did not look close from all the way up here, though to be honest I’m on the opposite side of the field. But when they showed it on the scoreboard it was apparent it was a touchdown, and the crowd cheered.
Georgia’s doing a lot of RPOs, by the way. Jake Fromm had a 12-yard run on one, and Sony Michel has had a couple runs, including one where it looked like he just wrested the ball away from Fromm.
South Carolina answers
Occasionally teams can pass on Georgia’s defense, and Jake Bentley and the Gamecocks did on that drive.
Bentley hit Bryan Edwards for a 12-yard touchdown in the right corner of the end zone, with the help of the replay system. It was initially ruled that Edwards hadn’t completed the catch before going out of bounds, but it was overturned. Malkom Parrish was beat on the play.
South Carolina went 10 plays for 75 yards, most of it through the air. Bentley is now 7-for-12 for 90 yards. It seems like a mix of good protection and good spacing against Georgia’s secondary, leaving Bentley with some open intermediate shots.
Terry Godwin update
Godwin is back on the sideline. He was with the receivers when Kirby Smart came over to talk to them for about 30 seconds. Afterwards Smart looked at Godwin and said something, and Godwin nodded.
Georgia strikes first
Georgia football, 2017, when a broken play still results in a touchdown.
First-and-goal from the 8, and Jake Fromm jogged away from the center to line up at receiver, and Sony Michel took the snap. He was initially hit at the front of the line, but escaped and went to the right sideline, and had just enough daylight to scoot in.
That scoring drive was extended on a holding penalty against South Carolina safety Chris Lammons, he of the “they can’t pass” comment. It came on a third-down pass that was well out of bounds, so Lammons didn’t have to do it. Will Muschamp must be unhappy with that.
Georgia has 136 yards on its first two drives, which is pretty good, and a close-to-even distribution, 76 passing yards to 60 rushing.
If not for that Terry Godwin fumble that ended the first drive at the 4, this would look a lot different. Not that it looks bad for the Bulldogs right now.
Godwin to locker room
Terry Godwin appeared shaken up after the hit that resulted in him fumbling the ball away on Georgia’s first drive. He has jogged to the locker room, so it would appear to be some sort of upper-body injury. No immediate sign of the severity of it.
UPDATE: Godwin just walked back onto the field but into the medical tent.
‘They can’t pass’
Georgia seemed to be trying to make a point on that opening drive, passing it six out of nine times. Five of the passes by Jake Fromm were complete for a total of 63 yards
But the last pass ended with Terry Godwin fumbling the ball away at the South Carolina 4-yard line. Still, I had that headline for this note written so I’m going to stick with it.
Starting lineup note
Georgia’s offense began in that seven-man front, where Dyshon Sims and Aulden Bynum put on tight end numbers and line up on the end. So that means Bynum and Sims technically started the game. It’s Sims’ fourth start of the season, but the first for Bynum.
First trickeration attempted by …
Georgia? Kirby Smart calls for an onsides kick on the opening kickoff. It doesn’t work, as South Carolina recovers at midfield.
Looks great if it works. On the other hand, Georgia’s defense is playing so well the offense usually gets the ball in pretty good field position anyway.
Maybe that was about giving Auburn something to think about next week. I don’t know.
UPDATE: It doesn’t burn the Bulldogs, as a 46-yard field goal by the Gamecocks is missed.
Georgia football-South Carolina football: Live updates, score
Q1: 15:00 Georgia 0, South Carolina 0
What channel is the Georgia-South Carolina football game on?
TV Channel: The Georgia-South Carolina football game will air on CBS. To find CBS for the Georgia South Carolina football game, click here.
What time is the Georgia-South Carolina game?
Time: The Georgia-South Carolina game will kickoff at 3:30 pm in Athens, Ga.
Can I watch the Georgia-South Carolina game online?
Live Stream: The Georgia-South Carolina game will be streamed. You can watch it on the Watch CBS app.
Georgia-South Carolina odds, picks, preview
Odds: Georgia is a 24.5 point favorite against the South Carolina Gamecocks
Over/Under: The over/under for the Georgia-South Carolina football game is 45
Picks/Preview: Via DawgNation’s Cy Brown
Holding on to that No. 1 spot
Chip Towers of DawgNation breaks down some keys to the South Carolina game, including how much Georgia should depend on the pass, the effect South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley could have on the game, and the battle in the trenches. He also included this information about the last time Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the nation, albeit in the preseason AP poll, nine years ago.
They didn’t lose right away the last time they were No. 1. Based mainly on the way it finished the 2007 season – with a No. 2 ranking and blowing out opponents – Georgia opened the 2008 campaign ranked No. 1 in both The Associated Press and USA Today preseason polls. The Bulldogs won under the AP’s No. 1 banner on Aug. 30, 2008 (the coaches had already dropped them to No. 2), defeating Georgia Southern 45-21. But the pollsters weren’t impressed and UGA fell to No. 2 behind Southern Cal by the time it played Central Michigan Week 2.
I note that only because the Bulldogs could suffer a similar fate this week. CFP committee chair Kirby Hocutt said Georgia narrowly got the edge over Alabama in the first edition of the 2017 ranking. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where an Alabama blowout of LSU coupled with a narrowish Georgia victory over South Carolina leads to the Tide and Dawgs trading spots in the ranking.