How's that for revenge? Georgia football clobbered South Carolina in Columbia Saturday night 45-16.
The Bulldogs dominated all three phases of the game and were spearheaded by a great rushing attack on offense and a fantastic pass rush on defense. Here are the grades earned for each of the units.
Georgia made 332 rushing yards look easy Saturday night. South Carolina, whose defense is already depleted, never loaded the box against Georgia. The Bulldogs front seven pushed the Gamecocks front around all game long. On the longer runs, offensive linemen were getting into the second level off the snap.
All the running backs had to do was find the holes and run and both tasks were easy to accomplish. James Cook and Zamir White had quick nights. Cook rushed for 104 yards on just six carries, White ran for 84 yards on 13 carries and each scored two touchdowns.
Kenny McIntosh added 79 yards on nine carries, while Daijun Edwards produced 77 yards on 14 mop-up rushes. Both of them had impressive nights. McIntosh had to cut back behind the line on several plays and he turned each of them into big plays. Edwards was very physical and shifty showing how lethal he can be in tight spaces.
The passing game wasn't as prolific as it was last week, but it was still effective. Quarterback JT Daniels completed 10 of 16 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He was credited with one interception, but that had more to do with wide receiver Kearis Jackson dropping a pass and bouncing the ball to a defender.
Daniels continues to create touchdown passes with variety. His first score was a short pass to tight end Tre McKitty in the flat. Daniels' last score was a 31-yard bomb to true freshman Arian Smith in the fourth quarter. The touchdown was Smith's first catch as a Bulldog. He made his Georgia football debut Saturday after suffering an injury before he arrived in Athens.
There were things to nitpick about on Georgia's offense. Daniels made some bad throws and took a sack he had no business taking. Jackson's interception was all on him. But it's hard to complain about a 45-point performance, especially when Georgia only punted once.
Tackling was more of an issue Saturday than it had been in head coach Kirby Smart's entire tenure at Georgia. But that problem had no effect on the outcome. Georgia's defense did all of the things they were expected to: rally to the ball quickly, rush the passer, create turnovers and execute on third down.
The result was three three-and-outs for South Carolina's offense, and one more possession that lasted six plays but resulted in a 1-yard loss overall.
Georgia's pass rush sacked Gamecocks quarterback Luke Doty four times and limited him to rushes of one yard or less five times. Tyson Campbell earned the savage pads in the second half when he picked off Doty. That was the first career interception for the junior.
The biggest surprise on defense was the big day by freshman defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who was virtually unblockable the entire game. He recorded the first hit on Doty that resulted in no gain on a third down early in the game. His night ended with a big special-teams play (more below).
Special Teams: A-Plus
A few great kick returns by Jackson, rock-solid kickoff coverage and a partially blocked extra point by Carter cancel out the one bad kickoff by Jake Camarda.
Jackson gave Georgia good field position on each of his three returns. He ran past the 30-yard line on both of his kickoff returns, and he returned a punt in the second half to the Gamecocks 13-yard-line.
All but two of Camarda's kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. One sailed out of bounds, the other was fumbled and the returner was eventually tackled inside the 1-yard line. Georgia's defense wasted the great field position and allowed South Carolina to score a touchdown, but Carter got a hand on the extra-point attempt to keep a point off the board.