Oct. 9, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Behind its ground game, Georgia (4-2, 2-2 SEC) claimed a 28-14 victory at South Carolina (2-4, 1-4 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Georgia posted a 14-0 lead in the first half behind its strong running attack. Nick Chubb scored both touchdowns on runs of 15 and 1 yard, respectively, as the Bulldogs racked up 195 yards on the ground. Chubb had 72 of those yards, while Sony Michel had 92 and Brian Herrien had 35. The Gamecocks totaled 108 yards in the half, 88 through the air by starting quarterback Perry Orth.
South Carolina put points on the board after Antoine Wilder intercepted a Georgia pass and returned it to the Gamecock 10. The Gamecocks marched down the field on a 12-play, 90-yard drive, scoring on Deebo Samuel's nine-yard end-around, cutting Georgia's margin in half, 14-7. Samuel also had the big reception of the drive, a 39-yard catch that pushed the Gamecocks into Bulldog territory.
Georgia responded, taking advantage of a short field after a punt let the Bulldogs start a drive at the Gamecock 39. It took them five plays, with Jacob Eason hitting Isaiah McKenzie for the six-yard touchdown to cap it and make it a 21-7 Bulldog lead.
The Gamecocks tried to close the gap again, driving to the Georgia 31 before stalling and turning the ball over on downs with 9:21 remaining. But the Bulldogs gave the ball back, and South Carolina drove again thanks to Orth's passing. The 74-yard drive closed on Rico Dowdle's one-yard run, drawing South Carolina within a score at 21-14. Terry Godwin, however, caught the Gamecocks' onside kick attempt and ran it 43 yards back for the score to give Georgia the 28-14 win.
The Bulldogs controlled the clock with its running game, having the ball for 35:02.
Georgia ran for 326 yards, with both Sony Michel and Chubb gaining over 100 yards.
The Gamecock defense held Georgia to 29 passing yards, the lowest total since holding The Citadel to eight yards in 2011.
Orth went 26-for-36 for 288 yards and an interception, the yardage a season high.
Samuel, in his first action since Mississippi State, had a season-high 90 yards on four catches, while Hayden Hurst brought down six passes for 86 yards.
The Gamecocks turned the ball over three times, twice on fumbles.
Bryson Allen-Williams led the Gamecocks with nine tackles while having one of the five tackles for loss.
Sean Kelly had five punts go for 247 yards, including three over 50 yards.
Quoting Head Coach Will Muschamp
"First I'd like to say our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by the storm. This is obviously a tragic time for the state of South Carolina as well as Florida, Georgia and the North Carolina coast. The crowd was great today, and I appreciate them coming out. I wish we had played better and given them a better show, but they were outstanding. I'd like to thank President Pastides, Coach Tanner and Sherriff Leon Lott for making this happen today. It takes a lot of work and effort on those people's parts, and I appreciate it. Offensively - field position, three turnovers on third down - we got to get back in the open week and just find out some things we can improve on. All positions are open; evaluation in those positions has to be more efficient. Defensively, you have to play the block, and you have to tackle. You can stunt and do as much as we did today but eventually you have to defeat the block, get off the block and you have to tackle. It's been an issue here for a long time, and that's something we're dealing with and trying as best we can to work through. It's very, very frustrating to know something is coming and having a hard time stopping it - it is very frustrating. We got the open week, which comes at a good time. Our players will be off tomorrow, and we'll work as a staff to improve our team. We've got six games to go, and I'm looking forward to those six games and continuing to improve our program."
South Carolina has an open week on Oct. 15 before hosting Massachusetts on Oct. 22. Game time and television network will be announced on Monday by the Southeastern Conference.
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