Jake the slinger
The Gamecocks came into Saturday thinking they’d need to throw against Georgia. Jake Bentley’s 227 yards doesn’t look spectacular, but he threw seven passes of 15 yards or more and often did it out of third and long.
That fake punt
South Carolina was on its own 40 when the Gamecocks staff rolled the dice. The ball was snapped to former baseball player Hayden Hurst, who slung it toward linebacker Skai Moore. The resulting pass interference extended a drive and helped lead to USC’s last score.
Offense getting weird
After the fake punt, the Gamecocks tried a double pass, hit a tough corner route to Shi Smith and then lined up A.J. Turner twice at receiver for sweep plays. USC was the underdog and played like it.
The tactic doesn’t get much love, but it kept USC in the game against Georgia. Jake Fromm completed a lot of short passes, and the Bulldogs were on the field for a long time (much to Will Muschamp’s chagrin), but in the end, UGA managed only 24 points, its second-fewest of the season and two touchdowns below its season average.
Containing the edges
Before the game, Muschamp warned the Gamecocks couldn’t let Georgia’s talented backs bounce outside. They did on more than a few occasions, and it produced some of the longest Bulldogs runs of the day.
The other factor in some of those long runs: the tackling came apart at the seams in spots. That’s partly because Georgia’s backs are excellent, but it was something the Gamecocks couldn’t afford.
The ground game
The main way Georgia’s defense flexed its muscle was leaving fewer numbers in the box and controlling the Gamecocks’ running game. USC averaged 3.6 yards per carry, discounting sacks, leaving Bentley to sling it all day long.
South Carolina’s defense was going to make the Bulldogs work. They did, but they also stayed on the field. UGA converted 8-of-13. That said, only two were longer than 6 yards.