Here are 3 questions for Georgia football following win over Gamecocks


Georgia football is hardly alone among top-15 teams with questions after rallying in the second half to beat South Carolina 24-14 Saturday.

Tennessee was knocked around by unranked Florida in a 29-16 upset loss. Michigan only led Bowling Green 14-6 at the half before pulling away, Texas was tied with Wyoming at 10 entering the fourth quarter before winning 31-10. Florida State beat Boston College 31-29.

“I was pretty excited at half because I said, ‘We’re going to find out what kind of team we got,’” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart whose team trailed 14-3. “’This is it, right here. This is our moment.’”

Here are three questions about the Bulldogs following the win:

What’s the biggest indicator of how the Georgia Bulldogs defense stepped up in second half?

Besides keeping the Gamecocks off the scoreboard, how about allowing 4.0 yards per play after giving up 6.9 in the first half?

More: Georgia football wants to ‘create nightmare’ for opponents. Instead it got punched in mouth

More: Georgia football defense rises up in second half as Bulldogs avoid South Carolina upset

South Carolina put up 309 yards of total offense and 5.3 yards per play.

That’s the most per play allowed by Georgia’s defense against South Carolina in Smart’s eight seasons.

Georgia had two of its three sacks in the second half when Dan Jackson and Tykee Smith had interceptions.

Smith said Rattler’s passing in the first quarter — 10 of 10 for 74 yards — “was on us so it was moreso us than him. Definitely credit to them.”

The Gamecocks were 2 of 8 on third downs in the second half.

Georgia played without safety Javon Bullard due to an ankle injury.

“He practiced a little bit on Thursday,” Smart said. “He went out and moved around and felt OK, and then in warm-ups he didn’t feel like it was all there.”

David Daniel-Sisavanh got the start for Bullard.

“There were a couple of plays he played a little high and hesitant,” Smart said. “I thought he got better as the game went on.”

Did Daijun Edwards jump start Georgia football’s running game?

Maybe. It took the senior just one game to become Georgia’s leading rusher.

He rushed for 118 yards on 20 carries — both career highs — and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run.

“We got our running game going, and that was the difference,” Smart said.

Quarterback Carson Beck said Georgia “leaned” on its running backs and the offensive line “really took over that game.”

Georgia held Edwards out the first two games coming off a knee injury.

“He makes people miss in the hole,” Smart said. “He gets yards after contact. He’s very confident, an experienced player who’s tough.”

While Cash Jones rushed for 20 yards on 2 carries, Kendall Milton averaged 3.6 yards per carry, and Dillon Bell 3.3. Both had seven carries. Bell scored on a 3-yard touchdown.

Georgia rushed for 189 yards on a day right tackle Amarius Mims left the game with a sprained ankle.

“I don’t know how significant,” Smart said.

Xavier Truss moved from left guard to right tackle.

“I was proud of the way Truss was able to bounce up there and play,” Smart said.

Milton had what Smart thought was an MCL injury.

“They had taped him up and were saying he might be able to come back,” Smart said.

Will Georgia football bench Peyton Woodring after missing two FGs?

Stay tuned. The freshman from Louisiana went 1 of 3 on field goals in the win, missing from 28 and 43 yards and converting from 31.

He’s 1 of 3 on field goals inside 30 yards and 4 of 7 overall. Georgia had not missed one from inside 30 since 2016 before this season.

“I’ve seen better in practice,” Smart said. “He’s been really consistent in practice. We’ll go back and watch the tape, look at it and continue to re-evaluate it. We’ve got to do something there.”

Woodring won a preseason battle with Jared Zirkel who is handling kickoffs.



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