South Carolina’s Mike Bobo on Georgia: ‘They’ve shut everybody down except two teams’
South Carolina interim head coach Mike Bobo didn’t make any excuses for the Gamecocks on Saturday night after Georgia beat them 45-16.
Bobo, a former Georgia quarterback and assistant coach who once roomed with Kirby Smart, likely knew better than anyone the No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (6-2) took it easy on his depleted program even if he wasn’t looking for pity.
“Hats off to Georgia, came in and dominated the game in all three phases, more physical at the line of scrimmage, and it showed,” Bobo said. “Too many lost yardage plays offensively to get us behind the chains, and we didn’t have enough explosive plays.
“Defensively, number one thing is we couldn’t stop the run. Inability to get off the field on third down, just a long night.”
Smart appeared to do what he could to avoid scoring late. UGA ran the ball 12 straight times on the final drive before taking a knee at the 1-yard line, and the Bulldogs didn’t throw any passes in the fourth quarter.
It led to South Carolina freshman quarterback Luke Doty posting the most impressive passing line for either team on the night.
Doty was 18-of-22 passing for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Smart put a restrictor plate on his transfer QB JT Daniels, who was 10 of 16 for 139 yards with 2 TDs and an interception.
Georgia had 225 yards of total offense and 74 through the air in the first quarter before Smart took his foot off the gas, his team gaining another 246 yards the final three quarters while passing for just 65 more yards the rest of the game.
“You take what they give you, right? It’s an opportunity to run the ball and win the game,” Smart said. “That’s our ultimate goal is to win the game. That’s what we wanted to do. We weren’t going to throw it just to throw it.”
The Gamecocks were missing 8 starters from the defensive unit that started the season, with 20 players sidelined by COVID-19 and others opting out after former coach Will Muschamp was fired.
In the first quarter, South Carolina team leader and leading tackler Ernest Jones left the game with injury.
But Bobo, fired as Colorado State’s head coach after the 2019 season, made it clear he wasn’t going to use injuries and attrition as excuses.
“Part of being a man is you don’t make excuses, and you don’t let people make excuses for you,” Bobo said. “It’s easy to say we didn’t have this, we didn’t have that, that’s evident.
“If you’re on the field and you’re wearing a Gamecocks uniform, you need to fight your ass off.”
South Carolina did indeed do that, scoring the game’s final touchdown with an 11-play, 98-yard drive against a Georgia defense that entered the season among the most celebrated in college football.
It was the Gamecocks longest touchdown drive of the season, and it included one of the three fourth down conversions South Carolina had in the game. The Gamecocks were 3-for-3 on fourth downs against Smart’s defense.
Doty said South Carolina knew they could move the ball on Georgia’s defense on that drive.
“We all believed and knew we were going to be able to execute the plan no matter what was going on,” Doty said. “No matter what the scoreboard said, no matter what the other team was doing.”
The Gamecocks managed just 83 yards rushing in the game, getting only 1.9 yards per carry on the Bulldogs.
Bobo attributed that to Georgia’s defensive front and strong run defense, which leads the SEC.
“I think they’ve shut everybody down except two teams, Alabama and Florida, and they threw for 400 yards in the pass game,” Bobo said, referring to UGA’s two losses, when the Bulldogs gave up 571 total yards and 564 yards. “They have a stout defense.
“They’ve got a good front, they are athletic, and they have size. Talented front with speed.”