Ge­or­gia turns road test into rout of Game­cocks

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Pete Ia­co­belli AP Sports Writer

Jake Fromm threw for 194 yards and a touch­down, all three of Ge­or­gia’s lat­est run­ning combo scored touch­downs and the third-ranked Bull­dogs turned an ex­pected South­east­ern Con­fer­ence show­down into a blowout with a 41-17 vic­tory over No. 24 South Carolina on Satur­day.

The Game­cocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) came in ranked for the first time in four years, and some thought they had a chance of up­set­ting the de­fend­ing SEC cham­pi­ons early in the sea­son. In­stead, the Bull­dogs (2-0, 1-0) used dom­i­nat­ing of­fense and suf­fo­cat­ing de­fense to win their fourth straight over South Carolina.

Fromm was 15-of-18 pass­ing, in­clud­ing a 34-yard TD pass to Mecole Hard­man. D’An­dre Swift, Eli­jah Holy­field and Brian Her­rien looked ev­ery bit as ef­fec­tive as NFL run­ners Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did a year ago in lead­ing Ge­or­gia to the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

Holy­field led the way with 76 yards and a 5-yard score. Swift had a 17-yard TD run, and Her­rien piled on with a 15-yard scor­ing burst in the third quar­ter as Ge­or­gia went up by 31 points. That’s when many in the crowd of 83,140 be­gan to file out in dis­ap­point­ment — a fa­mil­iar rit­ual against the Bull­dogs.

Cor­ner­back Dean­dre Baker set the tone on de­fense early with an in­ter­cep­tion off a tipped ball in the open­ing minute that led to a quick, if un­con­ven­tional touch­down. Baker let the ball loose be­fore cross­ing the goal line, but team­mate Juwan Tay­lor picked it up and took it the fi­nal yard for a 56-yard score.

From there, Ge­or­gia’s de­fense and run game took over — as they have so of­ten against South Carolina. The Bull­dogs out­rushed South Carolina 271 yards to 54.

When South Carolina had a chance to tie it af­ter Rashad Fen­ton’s in­ter­cep­tion deep in Ge­or­gia ter­ri­tory, the Bull­dogs al­lowed just a yard on the next four plays. They took over on downs af­ter Bent­ley’s fourth-down in­com­ple­tion.

Ge­or­gia rarely let up. South Carolina drove 70 yards to the Bull­dogs’ 5 in the fourth quar­ter be­fore safety J.R. Reed’s end-zone in­ter­cep­tion.

South Carolina quar­ter­back Jake Bent­ley threw for 269 yards with two touch­downs and two in­ter­cep­tions.

THE TAKE­AWAY

Ge­or­gia: With its first sig­nif­i­cant test com­plete, Ge­or­gia again looks like the class of the SEC East and a likely par­tic­i­pant in the league’s ti­tle game. The Bull­dogs’ most chal­leng­ing league games are against West op­po­nents — at LSU on Oct. 13 and against Auburn on Nov. 11.

South Carolina: The Game­cocks hoped a strong show­ing against Ge­or­gia would prove they be­longed near the top of the SEC. South Carolina will try to re­group against Mar­shall at home be­fore re­sum­ing SEC play.

POLL IM­PLI­CA­TIONS

Ge­or­gia strength­ened its spot in the polls by eas­ily putting away a ranked op­po­nent. South Carolina’s first stay in the polls since Septem­ber of 2014 will be a short one.

KEY IN­JURY

South Carolina de­fen­sive end D.J. Won­num did not play be­cause of an an­kle in­jury sus­tained against Coastal Carolina last week. Won­num was in sweats and had his leg el­e­vated on a scooter dur­ing pre-game warmups.

UP NEXT

Ge­or­gia re­turns home to face Mid­dle Ten­nessee next week. South Carolina plays its third straight home game to start the sea­son when Mar­shall comes to town next week.

/ AP-Sean Ray­ford

Ge­or­gia run­ning back Eli­jah Holy­field (13) runs with the ball against South Carolina de­fen­sive back Keisean Nixon (9) dur­ing the first half of an NCAA game in Columbia, S.C., on Satur­day.

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