South Carolina is coming off a much-needed win against the Kentucky Wildcats. Now comes a trip to play No. 3 Georgia. What you need to know:
What time do the Gamecocks play?
Who: South Carolina (2-3, 1-2 SEC) at Georgia (5-0, 2-0)
When: Noon, Saturday
TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, play-by-play; Dan Orlovsky, analysis; Allison Williams, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Jamar Nesbit, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 135/XM 192
Line: Georgia by 23 1/2
Series history: South Carolina trails the all-time series 51–18–2. The Bulldogs have won four in a row after USC took four of five.
Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Temperature around 72 at kickoff, 80 at the end of the game. Chance of precipitation is 20% throughout.
South Carolina could score a season-defining victory and the biggest win of the Will Muschamp era were it able to secure an upset. It would also provide a jolt for a team that’s been up and down through five games.
This is also the second road start for freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski. He dealt with some issues at Missouri, and he’ll be facing a second top-3 team in five starts.
For Georgia, this is just another stop on the way toward trying to reach the SEC title game and perhaps earn a playoff spot. UGA is only really projected to be challenged once, at Auburn, the rest of the way.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski had a rough go of it in his first road start at Missouri, but bounced back with some good throws against Kentucky. Now he goes back on the road to face a powerhouse team. For the season, he has 912 passing yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
2. Running back Rico Dowdle has played well this year, including against Alabama, but he and Tavien Feaster will be facing likely their toughest run defense to date. The Bulldogs are allowing fewer than 60 rushing yards per game. Dowdle has 370 yards and four touchdowns this season.
3. Sophomore linebacker Ernest Jones will have a hand in providing bulk against and controlling a Bulldogs running game that averages 6.7 yards per carry. The 6-foot-2, 235 pounder stepped into the lineup this year and leads the team witn 38 tackles, plus one interception and a pair of pass breakups.
Georgia players to watch
1. Junior running back D’Andre Swift boasts freakish speed (4.43 40-yard dash in high school) and agility. He topped 1,000 yards rushing last season and entered this one as a preseason All-American. Through five games, he’s already at 460 yards, averaging seven a touch, with four touchdowns. He’s also caught 10 passes for 147 yards. He’s one of the main reasons Georgia boasts a top-15 rushing attack in the nation.
2. Speaking of reasons Georgia’s ground game is so good, junior left tackle Andrew Thomas anchors the Bulldogs’ vaunted offensive line. That unit has been hit with injuries through the early part of the season, but it’s hardly slowed UGA’s rushing attack, and Fromm has only been sacked once this year, the lowest rate in the country. Unsurprisingly, Thomas is considered one of the top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft.
3. Senior safety J.R. Reed does it all for the Bulldogs — he’s tied for second on the team in tackles and passes defended, and he has an interception and fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown. A preseason All-SEC honoree, Reed has started in 34 consecutive games for Georgia and helps lead the SEC’s second-best defense by yards and points allowed per game. He’s also a highly regarded NFL Draft prospect.