No. 7 Georgia has used a two-pronged rushing attack and a controlled, efficient passing game to take a 24-13 lead over South Carolina into the break in Athens.
After the teams traded field goals in the first quarter, Nick Chubb put Georgia on top 10-3 with a two-yard scoring plunge at the 12:56 mark of the second quarter. Sony Michel added to the lead with a 21-yard sprint at the 7:37 mark; the two combined to rush 16 times for 115 yards. Greyson Lambert has played flawlessly, hitting 14-of-15 throws for 190 yards and a five-yard scoring strike to Malcolm Mitchell with just 17 ticks before the half.
Georgia’s three touchdown marches, all in the second quarter, covered a combined 248 yards on 24 plays; the Bulldogs take a 323-150 lead total yardage lead into the break.
South Carolina answered Georgia’s late touchdown drive with an even later score of its own, as a 51-yard Shon Carson kickoff return and a face mask penalty allowed Elliott Fry to bang in a 51-yard field goal as time expired.
South Carolina, playing without starting starter Conner Mitch, alternated between Perry Orth and Lorenzo Nunez throughout the first half. Orth saw most of the action and is the only Gamecock to toss a pass, completing 6-of-13 throws for 66 yards and rushing in from four yards out with 2:17 remaining to pull back within a score. Nunez has added another dimension to South Carolina’s attack, running point on a triple option attack and carrying twice for 19 yards. Do-it-all playmaker Pharoh Cooper stands as the Gamecocks’ leading rusher with five carries for 34 yards.
Georgia will receive to open the second half.