Game Preview: Can The Gamecocks Shock The College Football World Once Again With An Upset Over The Georgia Bulldogs?

Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC

Time: 7:30 on SEC Network

All-Time Series: Georgia Leads 51-19

Spread: Georgia -21.5

The Georgia Bulldogs will make the trip east to South Carolina this weekend for a date with the Gamecocks. This is a matchup that South Carolina fans look forward to every year, no matter how good or bad either team is.

Everyone remembers last season, where South Carolina went into Athens as a huge underdog and came out with an overtime win over #3 Georgia.

This seasons meeting provides a similar scenario. South Carolina comes in as a three touchdown underdog with (likely) a freshman quarterback at the helm. This time, however, with an interim head coach. Mike Bobo vs Kirby Smart will be an interesting storyline for this weeks game and the two are very familiar with each other.

Let’s take a deeper dive into this weeks matchup. 

When Georgia Has The Ball

Georgia’s hiring of offensive coordinator Todd Monken was considered to be a home run hire across the country last offseason. He was supposed to bring a faster paced spread offense to the Bulldogs, following the blueprint that LSU had set with Joe Brady in 2019.

However, things have not gone as planned so far.

Georgia has had quarterback controversy all season, along with injuries and suspensions for a few other key players. USC transfer quarterback JT Daniels was another splash addition, but Daniels didn’t get his first start until last week. Georgia fans had been calling for him to be the starter since before the season, and Daniels didn’t disappoint in his first appearance.

JT slashed the Mississippi State defense for over 400 passing yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions last week. If Daniels can prove to be consistent and give Georgia stability at QB, the offense should be primed for a late season surge.

This comes at a bad time for the Gamecocks, as they recently lost a big chunk of the secondary to opt-outs. That said, the young secondary did play relatively well last week, albeit against a much less dangerous Missouri offense.

Wide receiver George Pickens will certainly be another player to watch for the Bulldogs. I expect to see Georgia to try and expose the young and inexperienced secondary by being pass heavy this Saturday, and Pickens will be one of the top targets.

Of course, the Georgia running backs are not to be forgotten. Sophomore Zamir White is the leader of the group, he has totaled over 500 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the year so far, averaging nearly five yards per carry.

All in all, the Georgia offense is one that can beat you in both the running and the passing game, so the Gamecocks have a tall task at hand this weekend.

I hope to see defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson focus on stopping the key players (White, Pickens, and Daniels) and force the depth to be the difference. 


UGA OL vs SC DL: Advantage Georgia

UGA RB+TE vs SC LB: Advantage Georgia

UGA WR vs SC DB: Advantage Georgia

When South Carolina Has The Ball

Obviously, the headline for this game will, again, be the quarterback position.

Luke Doty proved to be a dynamic and effective option in the second half of last weeks game against Missouri, and most expect him to be the starter again. Mike Bobo says that he knows who the starting quarterback will be this weekend, but will not announce it before the game.

If it is indeed Doty, then Carolina will be better off than if it is Collin Hill in my opinion. Doty took over the reigns of the offense in the second half of last weeks game and provided a much needed spark for the team.

The offense dramatically improved after the quarterback change, and coincidentally the defense also played remarkably better. Also, Georgia’s defensive style has proven to be vulnerable against dual-threat quarterbacks. The task at hand will be tough for a true freshman quarterback making his first career start, but it would be the best option for the team.

The Georgia defense is among the best in the SEC this season. The Bulldogs have the second best total defense and scoring defense, as well as the best rushing defense in the Southeastern Conference in 2020. Their most vulnerable spot has been in the passing game, where they are allowing over 273 passing yards per game, which ranks 10th in the SEC.

With top wide receiver Shi Smith unlikely to play, the advantage through the air will be decreased mightily. South Carolina has still not seen a clear second option step up in the passing game, and if Shi Smith is indeed out, it will be hard to find one this week against a talented secondary.

The best course of action might be to rely on the read option with Doty, and sprinkle in plenty of RPOs in the gameplay as well. Making things simple and easy for the young quarterback could go a long way for the offense. 


SC OL vs UGA DL: Advantage Georgia

SC RB+TE vs UGA DL: Push

SC WR vs UGA DB: Advantage Georgia

SC QB vs UGA QB: Advantage Georgia

SC Coaching vs UGA Coaching: Advantage Georgia

Final Thoughts

There is nobody realistically expecting South Carolina to win this football game. Georgia outmatches South Carolina at essentially every position, and going through a coaching change does not help.

Georgia seems to have recently found their quarterback of the future, and will be going up against a young and inexperienced Gamecock secondary. It is going to take a pristine gameplan and also some luck for South Carolina to have a legitimate shot in this game.

However, this was the same idea going into last years matchup, so as we all know, anything is possible. 

Prediction: Georgia 41, South Carolina 10

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