South Carolina Gamecocks: Five Keys to Beating Georgia


The South Carolina Gamecocks go to Athens on Saturday to face the #7/#8 Georgia Bulldogs in what has become one of the most exciting games in SEC competition over the last few years. The Gamecocks come into the game having won 4 of the last 5 against the Bulldogs. Here are my five keys to beating Georgia.

  1. Slow down Georgia’s ground attack. Georgia has arguably the best running back in the nation in Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel is a guy that’s always one play away from breaking loose and taking one to the endzone. Shutting down Chubb is probably not a realistic goal for the Gamecocks, but they must slow him down. The focus should be to take away the run first, and make Georgia rely more heavily on their quarterback, Greyson Lambert. Last week against Vanderbilt, Lambert completed 11 of 21 passes for just 116 yards and no touchdowns. Taking away the run may expose the one perceived weakness of a very good Georgia team.
  2. Score touchdowns in the redzone. I wrote the other day that the Gamecocks have only been able to score 2 touchdowns in 7 redzone trips. Although, the Gamecocks have been able to get points in the redzone, they must score touchdowns. The defense will need all the help they can get in this game, and have not gotten enough help from the offense early on to be only able to play well for 1 half and still win.
  3. Put together a complete game on defense. So far this season, the Gamecocks defense has only played one good half of football each game (the second half). David Knight called it a Jekyll and Hyde Act, and he couldn’t be more accurate in that assessment. The defense must put together a complete game against Georgia. Letting the Bulldogs get a big lead would only add pressure to former walk-on quarterback Perry Orth and true freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez by forcing one of the two to make plays with their arms to try and get back in the game against a much better defense than North Carolina or Kentucky. The defense must try and slow down Chubb and the ground game and make Lambert as uncomfortable as possible.
  4. Establish the run game. I know it’s easier said than done since every team knows the Gamecocks are looking to run more to take the pressure off it’s inexperienced quarterbacks, but the Gamecocks have got to find a way to give Brandon Wilds and David Williams some running room. The Gamecocks have got to find a way to get the ball in Wilds hands more (which is exactly what he wants), even if that means direct snapping it to him and letting him try to get some yards that way. Pharoh Cooper is another guy that has to make some plays in the wildcat when his number is called.
  5. Don’t beat yourself. The Gamecocks had many opportunities to beat Kentucky last week, but stupid penalties and costly turnovers handed the game away. The Gamecocks must be able to control their emotions and not do stupid things that result in penalties. Protecting the ball was also an issue against Kentucky. Connor Mitch was injured as a result of a fumble on an option pitch that killed a Gamecock drive. Perry Orth threw an interception due to poor decision-making on first down that sealed the game for the Wildcats. Pharoh Cooper fumbled a two-point conversion that could have tied the game, but was returned by Kentucky for 2 points. The Gamecocks must eliminate these types of things if they want to be competitive against Georgia and have a chance to win.

Kickoff is set for Saturday night at 6 PM ET and will be televised by ESPN.

Next: Orth or Nunez? Who Should Start for the Gamecocks?

More from Garnet and Cocky