Georgia committed several costly errors Saturday evening en route to a 45-42 loss the the 12th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. The loss drops the Dawgs to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC.
The Bulldogs started well but couldn’t get into the endzone, instead settling for two first quarter field goals. The teams then traded touchdowns (Stephen Garcia to Alshon Jeffery; Aaron Murray to Rantavious Wooten).
With just under three minutes left, the Gamecocks’ Melvin Ingram took a fake punt and rushed 68 yards for a touchdown and gave USC a 14-13 halftime lead.
Georgia regained the lead 20-14 in the third, but then it fell apart for the Bulldogs. UGA freshman running back Isaiah Crowell fumbled the ball, which was returned by South Carolina to the Georgia five. Garcia punched it in to make it 21-20 USC.
On the ensuing possession, Murray was intercepted at the Georgia 25 and it was returned for a TD to make it 28-20. Later, Murray hit Michael Bennett to tie the game at 28 after the two-point conversion.
Late in the fourth trailing 38-35, Georgia had the ball at their own 30. But Murray was sacked and fumbled the ball for another USC defensive score. The Dawgs would get one more TD to make it 45-42, but that’s where the game ended.
I agree with the Senator in that “…you can’t lay this one on the coaches.” Last week, sure. Last night was a monumentally better effort from the staff and the players. But in my opinion, the four big mistakes were the difference in the game: Allowing the fake punt for the TD, Crowell’s fumble, Murray’s pick-6 and Murray’s sack and fumble for a TD.
“Really, it was three defensive scores. And the punt, too. Melvin, he’s a defensive player. So that’s basically four defensive touchdowns,” coach Steve Spurrier said. “Georgia outplayed us. Give ‘em credit. They definitely outplayed us. But we won the game. Sometimes it happens like that. Somebody was looking out for us tonight.”
Georgia should pick up their first win of the season this Saturday when they host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1:00 p.m. ET – PPV – Tickets). The following week, the Dawgs travel to take on the Ole Miss Rebels.