CFB PREVIEW: GEORGIA VS SOUTH CAROLINA
By Rory Daniels
Week 3 of College Football brings us some intriguing conference matchups. National Champions Georgia has very few hurdles on their schedule this year. SEC compatriot South Carolina may be no more than a tiny bump in the road.
The Bulldogs go into the game a 28-point favourite, but they’ve been here before. Last year, it was Missouri who nearly pulled off the shock. Leading 19-6 in the fourth quarter, the Tigers finally succumbed to Georgia. Could Shane Beamer’s Gamecocks be the team to upset the title favourites?
Story so far…
Georgia comes into this undefeated, with a combined score of 93-10. Tennessee Martin and Ball State offered little resistance and proved easy fodder, allowing the Bulldogs to break in their new quarterback Carson Beck. As it stands, Georgia remains the clear favourite for the National Championship and sits atop the AP poll.
As for South Carolina, they took an early hit losing to rivals North Carolina. They found it difficult to keep up with potential early draft pick Drake Maye in that one. It was a blow for Beamer, who has turned around the program since his arrival. He has enjoyed two winning seasons since replacing Will Muschamp, including an 8-win season last year.
Carson Beck has had to bide his time in Athens, Georgia. He backed up Stetson Bennett for the two previous years and finally gets his chance in the driving seat. He has been steady so far, if not spectacular.
Last week’s performance against Ball State was improved on the first week in terms of completion percentage, even though there was an interception. Facing an SEC defense for the first time will need further improvement.
For the Gamecocks, Spencer Rattler is trying to prove he can still be a legitimate NFL quarterback. Having been benched for Caleb Williams in Oklahoma, Rattler transferred to South Carolina and, after a patchy start, begun to find his mojo at the back end of 2022.
He wasn’t to blame for the Week 1 loss and looked more comfortable against Furman. He earned a PFF passing grade of 92.9 and had four big-time throws. If South Carolina is going to cause any problems from Georgia it is going to need a monster playmaking performance from Rattler.
Prospects to watch…
Brock Bowers – Bowers is the number 1 tight end in the country, and despite his position, is still considered a top-5 prospect overall. He showed off his catching ability in Week 1 with 81 receiving yards. He is always a difficult man to cover.
Amarius Mims – Right tackle Mims is a physical specimen. At 6’7, 340lbs he has all the tools to be an elite offensive tackle at the next level. He needs this year to gain experience. So far, he has allowed 0 pressures, living up to the preseason hype.
Javon Bullard – Operating as a safety or from the slot, Javon Bullard is an excellent Swiss army knife on defense. He had four sacks, two interceptions and five pass breakups last season and has had a strong start to this year.
Juice Wells – Wells only has five receiving yards this season so far. Having missed most of preseason, it is suspected he is easing himself back to full form. The receiver transferred from James Madison and had an immediate effect for the Gamecocks in 2022, recording 941 receiving yards. He will need to be at his best against the Georgia secondary.
Jordan Strachan – In 2020, Strachan recorded 11 sacks for Georgia State. The next year, he transferred to South Carolina. An ACL tear derailed last season, but he has recorded six pressures in 2022 so far. His battle vs Mims will be worth a watch.
It’s difficult to see anyone taking this talent-laden Georgia down. Shane Beamer has done a great job with South Carolina, and I think they could make this interesting for a couple of quarters.
After that, I expect the Bulldogs to pull away. While I think the result will be comfortable, the Gamecocks keep it closer than 28 points.
Georgia 35 – 17 South Carolina
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.