Posted: 7:53 pm Sunday, October 9th, 2016
By Jay Black
Nick Chubb celebrates one of his two TDs in the win over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. — So with Georgia unbeaten on this day of the week, is it time to try and move the Florida game to Sunday’s now?
Oh wait, Florida won’t move football games. Never mind.
This week has been so weird that it deserved to end with a game just as bizarre.
Georgia runs for 326 yards, the most in an SEC since 2007. It out rushed South Carolina by 296 yards.
The Dawgs defense had eight tackles for a loss and five sacks (both season highs), while their offensive line allowed just one.
The defense forced three turnovers again and is starting to make this a trend.
So the final was, what 34-7, right? Not quite.
Columbia should have been Blow Out City, but it doesn’t look like this Georgia team is going to do anything the easy way. No matter what day it is.
Kirby Smart says “we grinded it out” and that’s exactly what Georgia did in this 28-14 victory over South Carolina.
“We ran the ball on a good defense,” said Smart on the UGA radio network. “We were able to run the ball most of the game. But we have to be able to convert in the passing game.”
And there lies the biggest reason why Georgia had to sweat out another one. Jacob Eason, for all his talent and potential, played what has to be his worst game since he was, I don’t know, 4-years-old?
The freshman was 5-for-17 for 29 yards. You’d really have to dig deep to find a time when a Georgia starting QB played an entire game and threw for 29 yards (it’s only happened eight times in the SEC since 2000).
Eason might top that on his next pass against Vanderbilt. He’s already has seven passes longer than that this year.
His yards per attempt on Sunday was 1.7. Eason did not complete a pass longer than nine yards. The only wide receiver with a reception was Isaiah McKenzie who caught two. The second was one of those pop pass, end around things that’s basically a run.
Georgia looked like an option team without the option. Or an old-school wing-T high school team.
And yet, on Jacob Eason’s worst day, the Dawgs got their first win in Carolina since 2008.
“It was hard to throw out there today,” said Smart. “You can’t see the environment on TV. The wind blowing, changing balls. You can’t throw deep. It was really tough to cut the wind out there.”
The wind, certainly was an issue but it wasn’t a gale. Eason will see a day like this again before he’s finished.
“I think he got a little rattled and he’s on the road,” said Smart. “The good thing is, the run game picked him up.”
Did it ever.
This is how we imagined the Dawgs before the season started and what we got in the opener. 326 yards is a little comical but this was Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at their finest against a defense that’s not fantastic, but not horrible.
The Gamecocks had struggled stopping the run all season, but they haven’t allowed very many points. What Georgia did on the ground today is an accomplishment.
What it did in the air, was embarrassing, but an aberration.
Eason’s not playing that bad again. But Chubb, Michel and most importantly the offensive line seem to have fixed whatever was ailing them early in the season.
That’s a big positive from this game, but the biggest might be Georgia’s pass rush.
UGA hasn’t had a game yet this season where it felt like the front seven were truly taking control. It did at times against Tennessee, but this was a little more like it.
“I would reserve judgment until I watch it,” says Smart. “We felt like we’d be able to rush and get there with four. But it’s a deal when once they had to throw it, it makes it a lot easier.”
Alright so Kirby I guess isn’t as impressed as I am. But Georgia won both lines of scrimmage today. They ran the ball well, stopped the run and made plays in the backfield.
That’s Georgia football. If you do that, you can win with only 29 passing yards. Well at least against a team that’s mediocre.
It’s a strange week and Georgia could have played a lot better. But it could have played a lot worse.
The challenge now is a quick turnaround for Vanderbilt on homecoming. Game day is now less than a week away.
The happiest person in the state with that arrangement is the “kid” at quarterback.
At least if he ever wants to play on Sunday again.