Three observations from Georgia’s clinching victory

Georgia entered a game ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2008, and the Bulldogs then fought off pesky South Carolina for a 24-10 victory Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens. 

The victory, coupled with Kentucky’s loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night, clinched the SEC East title for the Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC). Georgia will play in the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2012.

This was the Bulldogs’ first close game since defeating Notre Dame 20-19 on Sept. 9.

Georgia is 9-0 for seventh time in school history and the first since 1982, when Georgia finished the regular season 11-0 before the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs lost to No. 2 Penn State 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl.

South Carolina falls to 6-3, and 4-3 in the SEC.

Here are three observations from the game:

A tale of two Jakes

South Carolina’s defense emphasized stopping the run, and Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm kept the defense honest. Fromm was 16-of-22 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Javon Wims for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 9:27 to go in the second quarter and with Mecole Hardman for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 9:28 to play in the third quarter.

Both throws were placed where only the Georgia receiver could catch it, each in a tight spot in the end zone. In fact, Wims caught his pass along the sideline, barely getting a foot down in bounds. The play was ruled an incomplete pass before video review led the referees to reverse the call. 

Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley kept his team in the game with his feisty passing game. Bentley was 21-of-35 for 227 yards and a touchdown, but he threw two interceptions.

A tale of two running games

The day was a tale of contrasts in the run game. Georgia rushed for 242 yards on 53 carries and a touchdown, while South Carolina ran for only 43 yards on 17 carries. Nick Chubb led Georgia with 102 yards on 20 carries. Sony Michel added 81 yards on 16 carries. Michael scored on an 8-yard run. A.J. Turner led the Gamecocks with 35 yards on eight carries. 

Chubb had the 22nd game of his career with 100 or more yards rushing, second in UGA history.

Stats of the day

Georgia finished with 438 yards of offense to 270 for South Carolina. The Bulldogs were 8-for-13 on third-down plays, while the Gamecocks were 4-for-12 in that category. Georgia led in time of possession 38:22 to 21:38.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Sweet-16 basketball primer: From history, upsets to best 2nd-round games
Sweet-16 basketball primer: From history, upsets to best 2nd-round games
The second round of the state basketball tournament is Wednesday and Thursday with 128 games – 34 between top-10 teams. Here is a look at how the tournament is shaping up with a look back to some of the more interesting results from the round one.  Learn what Georgia school won its first state-playoff boys basketball game since 1929, and...
Week 1 Girls Soccer Rankings
Week 1 Girls Soccer Rankings
The top classification of the girls soccer rankings shows defending champion Lambert out of the Top 10 after losing players to graduation and seven players — including four Division 1 commitments — to the Developmental Academy of U.S. Soccer. According to Lambert coach Scott Luthart, Lambert, South Forsyth and West Forsyth, who’d...
Week 1 Boys Soccer Rankings
Week 1 Boys Soccer Rankings
The soccer season is back in full swing and the top boys soccer teams are beginning to emerge. Most of the teams were in the mix at the end of the season last year, but some of the teams are up-and-coming and looking to make a move toward the top of their respective classifications. Defending champions debut at the top of the rankings across six of...
Braves catchers define the ideal of teamwork
Braves catchers define the ideal of teamwork
When either head of the Braves’ two-headed, Tyler Flowers/Kurt Suzuki catching arrangement talks about one of the better ideas of the 2017 season, some refreshingly unselfish thoughts spill out.  You want the cure for the common self-absorbed athlete? Take these two quotes and call me in the morning.  “It was almost like I was...
Louisville loses its 2013 national title, and it had to happen
Louisville loses its 2013 national title, and it had to happen
As the son of a graduate of Louisville’s dental school and also as someone who grew up a Louisville fan – I’m a Kentucky alum, yes, but I was a U of L fan first – it pains me to say that this needed to happen. The NCAA has denied the Cardinals’ appeal to keep the NCAA title won at the Georgia Dome in 2013.  Never...
More Stories