Georgia Bulldogs Host South Carolina Gamecocks in SEC Opener
Undefeated Bulldogs Face First Conference Test
On Saturday, the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs will host the South Carolina Gamecocks in both teams’ SEC opener. Georgia comes into the game 2-0 after dominating wins over Oregon and Ball State, outscoring opponents 93-10. However, the Gamecocks will provide a step up in competition as the Bulldogs’ first conference matchup.
Georgia is looking to win its third straight national championship this season. But first, they must navigate a tough SEC schedule, beginning with the visiting Gamecocks. South Carolina showed it’s capable of big upsets last season, knocking off top 10 teams Tennessee and Clemson.
Georgia Bulldogs Dealing With Injuries
The Bulldogs enter conference play not entirely healthy. Junior wide receiver Ladd McConkey, Georgia’s leading receiver last season, has missed the first two games with a back injury. His status for Saturday is uncertain. Running back Daijun Edwards also has not played while recovering from a preseason MCL sprain.
Additionally, starting safety Javon Bullard left last week’s game with an ankle injury. Bullard was the defensive MVP in both the Peach Bowl and national championship games last season. If he can’t go, Georgia will turn to backups David Daniel-Sisavanh and Dan Jackson at safety.
Rattler Leads Gamecocks Into Athens
Quarterback Spencer Rattler, a transfer from Oklahoma, leads South Carolina. Rattler ranks third nationally with 349 passing yards per game. He’s completed 84.3% of his throws with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Rattler engineered road upsets over Tennessee and Clemson last season. He’ll look to add another top-ranked opponent to his resume on Saturday.
Rattler’s top target from last season, Antwane “Juice” Wells, has been limited by injury and has just one catch in two games. But senior receiver Xavier Legette has emerged in his absence. Legette leads the SEC in receiving yards per game (148) and all-purpose yards (180). South Carolina has its injury issues, with Legette’s fellow receiver Ahmarean Brown getting knocked out last week.
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Georgia Bulldogs Defense Faces First Major Test
While Georgia’s defense has been statistically stellar, Rattler and the Gamecocks will provide the first real test. The Bulldogs have just one sack in two games, an area they’ll look to improve on Saturday. The matchup between South Carolina’s passing attack and Georgia’s pass rush and secondary will go a long way in determining the outcome.
Georgia has several new contributors on both sides of the ball after losing 15 players to the NFL draft. Quarterback Carson Beck and running back Roderick Robinson II have paced the offense. While the defense has maintained its elite standard, the new starters will be tested against an SEC foe.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. South Carolina: Game Info and Prediction
- Date: Saturday, September 17
- Time: 3:30 pm ET
- Location: Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA
- TV: CBS
The Bulldogs are favored by more than three touchdowns in this matchup as the Gamecocks hit the road for the first time this season. However, South Carolina has proven capable of surprises under coach Shane Beamer. Still, Georgia’s overall talent advantage, particularly in the trenches, should win out.
Prediction: Georgia wins 31-17 but fails to cover the large spread. The under on 55 total points also hits.