Dawgs Roast the Gamecocks
Cover Photo: Field Street Forum
By: Joshua Grosh
It was a sweltering hot day inside of Williams Bryce Stadium and I am currently nursing some sunburns in the comfort of my hotel room as testament to the heat. The game was an incredible showing of one of the things Kirby Smart did better than his predecessor – halftime adjustments. The first half was a rather close game with Georgia finding very little cruising speed on South Carolina – even having q hard time passing the ball. However, Georgia withstood the best that Carolina had to offer and shut them down after the first half. The truest sign of Georgia’s dominant defense came in the first half – when Carolina was driving and ultimately resorted to a fake wide receiver screen to set up the Deebo Samuel pass. Within the first half, Georgia was forcing Carolina to go for it on fourth downs and empty the trick plays out of the playbook. Outside of that one play, the much touted Deebo Samuel was pretty much shut down by Georgia’s defense – no matter where they put him. They held one of the most electric wide receivers that Georgia will see this season to just 33 yards on 6 catches. That is incredible to say the least. Georgia however gave up yards to Bryan Edwards – probably believing in making Carolina beat them without their best pieces. The most telling part also was Carolina’s offensive balance – they passed it 48 times (not counting any sacks, penalty called plays, or scrambles) while only rushing it 20 times. They surrendered the run game because they simply could not run it on Georgia – and that was a back breaker to say the least for them.
Now, when it comes to Georgia’s offense, it won’t surprise anyone that Georgia did not wow anyone. Fromm’s showing could best be described as workman-like and as Kirby always says, “don’t turn the ball over and be efficient.” The running game held up incredibly and the dams broke open in the second half after Georgia’s offensive line repeatedly banged up Carolina in the first two quarters. The first half didn’t include much offense, but the game plan to wear out Carolina’s defense and gash them in the second half did. Georgia was never made to play outside of what their offense is – a run first, pro-style offense. Georgia didn’t need to pass it all over the yard like South Carolina attempted to – they held a lead and wore down their opponent as the defense played bend but not break ball.
This game provides a better insight into how this team may play this year compared to last year. Georgia plans to beat teams defensively and in the second half attack offensively by wearing down the defense in the first two quarters. Georgia might have some more passing offense within the team as the wide receivers and QB connections further develop – but at this point, Georgia does not need to. The running game will again be the leader for this team’s offense.
MVPs of the Game:
Deandre Baker / Juwan Taylor: Deandre Baker completely locked down Deebo Samuel and limited his production to a minimum. He was phenomenal for most of the game, with 2 pass deflections and 6 tackles. He also had an interception that he dropped at the 1 yard line and Juwan Taylor scooped it up to complete the pick six touchdown.
Mecole Hardman: Mecole was Fromm’s go to receiver and punished the Carolina defense to the tune of 6 catches for 103 yards.
Georgia will play back at home against Middle Tennessee State at 7:15 PM on ESPN2. Middle Tennessee State was thumped by Vandy already this season but are bouncing back currently this week against UT Martin. Should not be a too troublesome game as Georgia works to fine tune more parts of the team for the Missouri game the week after.