Posted: 10:34 am Saturday, November 4th, 2017
By Jay Black
WSB Sports Director Jay Black is blogging live from the UGA Radio Booth. So check back often for news and notes during today’s game.
6:45 — FINAL SCORE: No. 1 Georgia 24, South Carolina 10.
6:44 — Nick Chubb with 102 yards on 20 carries. Third time over 100 against USC and 22nd time in his career.
6:39 — Interception Georgia: Malcolm Parrish with a pick. 1:49 left. That ought to do it.
6:37 — Georgia’s offense suffers its first 3 and out trying to run out the clock. Touchback on punt. USC ball on 20 with 2:29 left.
6:29 — South Carolina’s fourth down attempt fails with 4:52 left at their 44. D’Andre Baker breaks up the pass. UGA still up 24-10.
6:21 — FIELD GOAL GEORGIA: Blankenship hits a 20 yarder after a 15 play 7:32 drive. UGA leads 24-10 with 6:36 left.
6:01 — END OF THIRD QUARTER: Georgia 21, South Carolina 10 — Instant analysis: Georgia sure is piling up yards without a lot to show for it. The Dawgs are on pace to hit about 500 total yards, with 358 through three quarters. But it’s only got 21 points and an 11 point lead right now.
That’s because South Carolina’s defense hasn’t given up any quick strike plays scores and is making UGA work for it. The numbers are all strong. Fromm is 14-for-18 for 172 yards and two TDs. Chubb has 80 on the ground, Michel has 52.
Meanwhile, Jake Bentley is able to find some holes in UGA’s secondary and he’s the best player for the Gamecocks right now. He’s executed well on third down, plus UGA has had some killer penalties that have kept USC in this thing.
We have an interesting fourth quarter for once.
5:56 — UGA drive bogs down near midfield, but great catch by Hardman to down ball at USC 1 with 1:05 left in third.
5:50 — Field goal South Carolina: White hits a 25 yarder. Georgia still leads 21-10 with 3:36 left in third quarter.
5:36 — TOTAL YARDS: Georgia 330, South Carolina 150
5:34 — TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA: Spectacular leaping catch by Mecole Hardman from 20 yards. UGA leads 21-7 with 9:28 left in third.
5:05 — END OF FIRST HALF: Georgia 14, South Carolina 7 — Instant analysis: Well we still have a ball game heading into the second half, even though South Carolina hasn’t seem to have much of an answer for UGA’s offense except force a turnover. The Dawgs moved the ball at will during its first three drives, only failing to score because of Terry Godwin’s fumble at the five yard line. The Gamecocks forced their first punt of the game at the end of the half.
Godwin’s fumble for the first time UGA failed to score points in the red zone this year.
UGA’s offense has been extremely balanced with 126 passing yards and 124 rushing yards. The Dawgs are getting five yards per carry on the ground, which is just below their season average of six yards per carry. Sony Michel leads with 43 yards on 9 carries and a TD. Chubb has 39 yards on seven carries.
Javon Wims has already matched his season high with five catches, which is also the season high for any UGA receiver. He has 46 yards on a TD. Fromm led the nation coming into this game with more than 15 yards per completion, but today it’s been mostly short stuff. Which has worked just fine.
The Gamecocks still can’t run the ball at all, with only 11 yards on nine carries and -2 in the second quarter. But Jake Bentley is getting hot. He struggled in the early going, but is now 11-for-17 for 139 yards with a TD and an INT. But it’s what he’s doing on third down’s that’s killing UGA.
“We got to execute better on third down on defense man, we aren’t getting off the field,” said Kirby Smart at halftime.
Bentley is 5-for-6 on third down for 71 yards. He has picked up three first downs.
That’s a big reason why this game is closer than it needs to be.
5:03 — Reed w/ his 2nd pick this year. Bentley hit trying to throw a bomb. Easiest interception he will ever have. UGA ball at USC 44 with 4 sec
4:59 — Fromm sacked on third down to end UGA’s drive at its 42. Gamecocks ball after a touchback. First touchback this year for Nizialek
4:52 — Bentley started 2-for-6 for 20 yards. Since he’s 8-for-9 for 109 yards.
4:43 — TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA: After further review again, Wims drags his foot for a 10 yard score from Fromm. It’s 14-7 UGA with 9:27 in half.
4:27 — Touchdown South Carolina: After further review Bentley hits Bryan Edwards from 12 yards. It’s 7-7 with 13:58 left in the second quarter.
4:22 — Terry Godwin has been cleared to return to play.
4:19 — END OF FIRST QUARTER: Georgia 7, South Carolina 0 — Instant analysis: A reminder that Jake Fromm can throw the ball just fine. South Carolina is better at stopping the run than it does the pass, so UGA opened this game by throwing the ball and Fromm isn’t having too much trouble. He’s 7-for-9 for 76 yards, just missing on a deep ball on play one, and a sorta drop sorta bad throw after completing six straight.
Jim Chaney has been a step ahead of Will Muschamp’s defense so far, when USC loads up for the run, he’s called quick hits over the middle and to the outside. Then when the Gamecocks back off, UGA has been able to run the ball decently (by it standards) with 65 yards on 12 carries. Sony Michel has a nice TD run out of the Wild Dawg.
Carolina can’t run at all, so nothing new there. But Jake Bentley is starting to convert some long passes, including the last two third and longs.
We have a ball game right now.
4:15 — Of course Fromm has already thrown from incompeltions than Greyson Lambert did in his record performance in ’15 (24-for-25)
4:14 — Jake Fromm in first quarter vs USC – 7-for-9 for 76 yards. Jacob Eason vs USC last season 5-for-17 for 29 yards.
4:11 — TOUCHDOWN GEORGIA: Sony Michel runs it from 8 yards out of the “wild dawg” got a key block from Fromm it’s 7-0 UGA with 2:21 left in 1st.
4:09 — Godwin’s fumble on the previous drive was the first time UGA had gotten into the red zone all season without getting points.
4:01 — Chuck Dowdle on UGA sidelines: Terry Godwin has gone to the locker room after injury his left hand.
3:58 — USC goes 3 and out after getting the fumble. UGA ball after block in back on punt at its 40.
3:55 — Terry Godwin fumbles at the SC five yard line. Gamecocks ball. Godwin holding his left hand as he comes off.
3:43 — South Carolina misses a 46 yard FG. Dawgs ball at its 29.
3:41 — Dawgs try onside kick and fail. USC ball at midfield.
3:38 — South Carolina wins the toss and will take the ball.
3:37 p.m. — UGA PA announcer: “Let’s make some Sanford Stadium noise for the number 1 team in the land.” Bulldog Nation obliged.