Georgia routs South Carolina 52-20
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia’s offense shined behind a historic night from quarterback Greyson Lambert in its 52-20 victory over rival South Carolina (1-2, 0-2) Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Sanford Stadium.
The Bulldogs (3-0, 2-0) scored on their first six drives led by Lambert, who finished the contest going 24 for 25 through the air with 330-yards and three touchdowns. The junior-transfer finished the first half 14 of 15 for 190 yards and a touchdown and hit on his last 20 attempts. His 96% completion rate broke NCAA and Georgia school records.
Sophomore running back Nick Chubb finished the game with 159 yards and two touchdowns marking the 11th-straight game that he finished a game with over 100 yards rushing. Sony Michel added another 51 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Keith Marshall scored the final touchdown of the contest adding the fourth score on the ground for the Bulldogs late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs’ receiving core had a big day led by Malcolm Mitchell with eight catches for 122-yards and one touchdown. Reggie Davis added 52 yards of his own on three catches and Sony Michel scored two touchdowns through the air. Nine different Bulldogs caught a pass during the game.
The Georgia defense caused trouble to the South Carolina offense all game forcing one turnover and allowing only 258 total yards. The Bulldogs offense finished with 576 total yards.
Head coach Mark Richt was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was a great victory, no doubt,” Richt said. “Anytime you win, it’s a great thing. And to win in the East is super. So many years we’ve started out in a hole in the East hoping somebody would relent to give us an opportunity. We’re thankful to be in the position we’re in right now.”
Georgia’s defense forced South Carolina’s offense off the field quickly on the first drive giving its offense the ball on the 12-yard line after a Gamecock punt. The Georgia offense drove the majority of the field before settling for a field goal and putting the first points of the game on the board.
South Carolina answered with a field goal of its own, but the ensuing Bulldog drive would prove the be the tale of the game as the Georgia offense drove the ball at will going 85 yards in nine plays in 3:35. The drive was highlighted by a 20-yard toss from Lambert to tight end Jay Rome to the two-yard line. Chubb finished off the drive, putting Georgia up 10-3.
The majority of the first-half was all Bulldogs highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel to put the Bulldogs up 17-3, and a five-yard touchdown reception from Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell’s touchdown came after Georgia perfectly executed the two-minute drill going 78-yards in 1:53 to score a touchdown with 17 seconds remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs picked up right where they left off to start the second-half, scoring touchdowns on their next three drives. The first two being 11-yard touchdown receptions by Sony Michel. The final score of the third quarter was a seven-yard touchdown run by Chubb.
South Carolina scored first in the fourth quarter with a seven-yard touchdown run by back-up quarterback Lorenzo Nunez. Georgia answered the Gamecocks score with a nine play, 83 yard, 5:18 drive capped off by a three yard Keith Marshall touchdown run.
The Bulldogs return home next Saturday to host Southern University at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be shown on the SEC Network.
*NCAA Record-Setting Night For Lambert: Junior QB Greyson Lambert set an NCAA, SEC and Georgia record for Best Completion Percentage at 96.0% with a minimum of 20 completions as he finished 24-for-25 for 330 yards and 3 TDs. The old mark was 95.8% as Tee Martin (UT vs. S.C., 1998) and Geno Smith (West Va. Vs. Kansas, 2012) were 23-for-24 respectively. The previous Georgia mark was 86.9% by David Greene (20×23) against Vanderbilt in 2002.
Also, Lambert completed his last 20 in a row, also a Georgia record, which topped Mike Bobo’s mark of 19 straight at the 1998 Outback Bowl in a win over Wisconsin. Lambert’s three touchdowns matched his career high set against Florida State in 2014 while suiting up for Virginia. On Saturday, he connected with nine different receivers, including senior Malcolm Mitchell who caught eight balls for 122 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell’s last 100-yard game came when he had nine catches for 103 yards at Kentucky in 2012.
Sophomore TB Sony Michel finished the game with three catches for 32 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Michel had two touchdown catches during his freshman season in 2014. On the ground, Michel went for 51 yards on eight carries (6.4 avg.) and a touchdown plus he had three catches for 32 yards and two TDs.
*52 Points Ties Mark In USC Series: Georgia’s 52-20 win ties the mark for most points ever scored against South Carolina in the series. It matches the 1970 game (52-34 in Athens) and 1974 contest (52-14 in Athens). With today’s win, the Bulldogs extend their lead in the series to 48-18-2. Until tonight, South Carolina’s defense had not allowed a point in the second half of games but Georgia tallied 28 over the final two quarters. Georgia amassed 576 yards of total offense on 63 plays.
*Striking First: Senior PK Marshall Morgan put the Bulldogs up 3-0 with a 30-yard field goal midway through the first period. The Gamecocks countered with a 45-yard field goal late in the same quarter and then drilled a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half. Georgia went up 10-3 with a 2-yard run by sophomore TB Nick Chubb. Chubb finished with 21 carries for 159 yards (7.6 avg.) and 2 TDs. Chubb now has 11 consecutive 100-yard games. This matches the FBS leader, Toledo’s Kareem Hunt, who also has hit the century mark in 11 straight (Toledo kicked off at 8 p.m.).
*Defending Their Turf: The Bulldogs held the Gamecocks to 20 points and 258 yards on 61 plays. Senior linebacker Jake Ganus finished as the leading tackler with seven stops. Sophomore SS Dominick Sanders led the Bulldogs with six stops at the half while junior OLB Leonard Floyd posted five tackles, including a sack.
*Points off Turnovers: The Bulldogs remained at +3 in turnover ratio and have scored 24 points off five opponent turnovers this year while opponents have scored no points off two turnovers. On Saturday, Dominick Sanders had his second interception of the year (fifth of his career) deep in Gamecock territory. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown on the next play to go up 38-13. Georgia had a team fumble in the third quarter on a bobbled snap between Brandon Kublanow and Greyson Lambert. USC went four-and-out on its next possession.
*For Starters: Freshman FS Johnathan Abram and freshman receiver Terry Godwin started for the first time. They are the seventh and eighth first-time starters for the Bulldogs this year.
*Up Next: Georgia (3-0, 2-0 SEC) hosts Southern University on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 12 p.m. SEC Network will televise the first-ever matchup between the two teams.
Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt
On the win …
“It was a great victory, no doubt. Anytime you win, it’s a great thing. And to win in the East is super. So many years we’ve started out in a hole in the East hoping somebody would relent to give us an opportunity. We’re thankful to be in the position we’re in right now.”
On scoring 21 third-quarter points …
“We challenged our guys because no one had scored on them in the second half. It was 24-13, a two-score game, and it was very tight. We told them to keep working, keep scoring and keep playing good defense. And that’s what we did.”
On Lambert going 24-of-25 …
“Can you believe that guy had an incompletion? What’s wrong with him? It was one of those days where you just leave him alone. We had a plan again to get Brice (Ramsey) in the game, but after three series, we said, ‘Let’s just keep playing.’ We were good offensively and Lambert was just so hot.”
On the offensive success …
“Coach (Brian) Schottenheimer put a great plan together and we had one of the best weeks of practice we’ve had all year. We then executed all of it in the game. We had a lot of good things happen.”
On getting back to work …
“We’ll enjoy this one for awhile, but we’ll get our hats back on straight and know that we have another opportunity next week to improve. No matter how much we practice, there are so many variables that happen in a game. So many things can pop up. Little by little, we’re learning and gaining more experience.”
QB Greyson Lambert
On setting an NCAA accuracy record…
“It feels great. We kind of just got going pretty quickly and I got going with three-straight passes. Everybody did their role and we were able to get great execution as a team.”
On how well he started tonight…
“It all comes down to execution. It all comes down to just rhythmic offensive possessions back-to-back. For our offense to go out there and put points up on those first drives was big.”
On throwing to the tight ends…
“It was just part of our gameplan. They did a great job all night whether it was blocking or pass catching.”
TB Sony Michel
On getting out in open space…
“That’s what we want. We want to get out in open space by running screens and different plays, so it worked well tonight.”
On Greyson Lambert’s performance…
“He played a great game. He came out there and just played quarterback. He kept his composure and played a really great game.”
TB Nick Chubb
On Georgia’s passing game…
“I thought we did a great job passing the ball. We struggled a little bit last week, but the work paid off and it feels good.”
On the offensive line…
“It was a great night. South Carolina stacked the box and our line did good as always.”
LB Jordan Jenkins
On how Georgia defended the passing game…
“I feel like we hustled and we went and made plays. We were not going to let their guys catch the ball. I feel like we need to be more complete, and we will keep working.”
SS Dominick Sanders
On Georgia’s performance…
“We made a few mistakes but we kept our heads up and made plays. I feel like both sides of the ball played really well tonight.”
On setting the tone early …
“It’s pretty good. We always tell our selves that defense sets the tone and we did that tonight. We have to keep preparing, learn from mistakes and get ready for next week.”
South Carolina Post-Game Quotes
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
“They totally dominated us tonight. Their offense was very good. We weren’t very good on defense or on offense really. We didn’t throw the ball very well, we didn’t run the ball very well. We got clobbered.”
On the Gamecocks’ performance in the game…
“We’ll know how we played as the year progresses. Obviously it was a tough defensive game, although they only got 20 in the second half. That’s all they got. So we slowed them down occasionally.”
On Greyson Lambert’s performance…
“That’s pretty good. Record-breaking day for Georgia, not for us. Kid played well. Had a lot of open receivers and they caught everything. Give them credit, they caught everything.”
Defensive Coordinator Jon Hoke
On Lambert’s performance…
“Give him credit. He made the plays he needed to make. I’m disappointed we did not make the plays, that’s what disappointed me the most. I thought we’d compete a little bit better, but we did not.”
On expectations for Lambert prior to this game…
“You could see they had the ability to play the football. I know they didn’t have to throw it in the games they had played previously, though they didn’t have to throw it. My biggest disappointment was we didn’t execute like I thought we would.”
QB Perry Orth
On his first career start…
“It was great. It was a dream come true. I will remember it for the rest of my life. It wasn’t the outcome that I wanted, but we’ll get back to it on Monday.”
On keeping up with Georgia’s offense…
“Yeah it is tough, but we can’t control what the other offense does. We have to worry about ourselves and execute.”
On the injuries…
“Those are two huge blows, but the next guy just has to step up for us.”
C Zack Bailey
On the noise…
“At first it was kind of nerve-wracking, but I overcame that and kind of blurred out everybody and settled down.”
SS Isaiah Johnson
On tonight’s outcome…
“The outcome tonight was more shocking. The whole previous week we practiced hard and we felt we could beat this team, but we just fell short.”
On the team’s mood…
“We’re not worried about this game. We are already looking forward to next week against UCF.”
LB Skai Moore
On Georgia’s offensive surge at the start of the second half…
“We just didn’t execute. Coach put us in the right position but we just have to execute and make plays…We kept fighting, but we just have to do our job and execute.”
On South Carolina’s ability to compete with the best teams in the SEC…
“I definitely think we can compete [with the best]. Like I said, we have the talent…We just have to keep fighting and doing our assignments.”