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Georgia downs South Carolina 24-10 to stay unbeaten

UGA Football: SC 2017
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATHENS, Ga. –  Senior tailback Nick Chubb rushed for over 100 yards and freshman quarterback Jake Fromm hit 16-of-22 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs past South Carolina, 24-10, Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia improves to 9-0 this season and a perfect 6-0 against Southeastern Conference opponents. This marks the first time since 1982 that the Bulldogs are 9-0 and the seventh time in school history. The Gamecocks fall to 6-3 overall, 4-3 in the SEC.

The Bulldogs’ defense, ranked third nationally in scoring defense, continued its impressive run and held South Carolina to just 43 yards rushing and 270 total on the day. Junior linebacker Roquan Smith led Georgia with nine tackles, while J.R. Reed and Malkom Parrish each recorded interceptions Saturday evening.

“The team has done a good job,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “We’ll have to continue to do that. The noise will get louder and the teams will get better and everyone will give us their best shot. It’s about how we prepare, so we’ve got to focus on that first. It makes the game easier on Saturday if we make it difficult on them during the week.”

The Bulldogs started the game with an onside kick, which South Carolina recovered at the 50-yard line. The Gamecocks could not take advantage as the Georgia defense held and USC missed a 46-yard field goal wide right.

After a fumble by Terry Godwin on Georgia’s first offensive possession, the Bulldogs finally got on the board late in the first quarter. With Fromm lined up wide right and Sony Michel behind center, Michel took the snap and ran it in from eight yards out to put his team up 7-0 with 2:21 left in the opening quarter.

South Carolina had the answer on its first possession of the second quarter as Jake Bentley hit Bryan Edwards to cap off a 10-play, 75-yard drive and even the score at 7-7.

The Bulldogs answered on the next possession when Fromm connected with a tip-toeing Javon Wims on the sideline to put the home team up 14-7.

A 14-7 lead at the half ballooned to 21-7 thanks to a Fromm to Mecole Hardman 20-yard TD pass on the Bulldogs’ first possession of the third quarter.

Both teams swapped field goals late in the game and the Bulldogs held on for the 24-10 win.

Georgia now travels to Auburn this Saturday to face the Tigers.

Senior tailback Nick Chubb rushed for over 100 yards and freshman quarterback Jake Fromm hit 16-of-22 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs past South Carolina, 24-10, Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia improves to 9-0 this season and a perfect 6-0 against Southeastern Conference opponents. This marks the first time since 1982 that the Bulldogs are 9-0 and the seventh time in school history. The Gamecocks fall to 6-3 overall, 4-3 in the SEC.

The Bulldogs’ defense, ranked third nationally in scoring defense, continued its impressive run and held South Carolina to just 43 yards rushing and 270 total on the day. Junior linebacker Roquan Smith led Georgia with nine tackles, while J.R. Reed and Malkom Parrish each recorded interceptions Saturday evening.

“The team has done a good job,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “We’ll have to continue to do that. The noise will get louder and the teams will get better and everyone will give us their best shot. It’s about how we prepare, so we’ve got to focus on that first. It makes the game easier on Saturday if we make it difficult on them during the week.”

The Bulldogs started the game with an onside kick, which South Carolina recovered at the 50-yard line. The Gamecocks could not take advantage as the Georgia defense held and USC missed a 46-yard field goal wide right.

After a fumble by Terry Godwin on Georgia’s first offensive possession, the Bulldogs finally got on the board late in the first quarter. With Fromm lined up wide right and Sony Michel behind center, Michel took the snap and ran it in from eight yards out to put his team up 7-0 with 2:21 left in the opening quarter.

South Carolina had the answer on its first possession of the second quarter as Jake Bentley hit Bryan Edwards to cap off a 10-play, 75-yard drive and even the score at 7-7.

The Bulldogs answered on the next possession when Fromm connected with a tip-toeing Javon Wims on the sideline to put the home team up 14-7.

A 14-7 lead at the half ballooned to 21-7 thanks to a Fromm to Mecole Hardman 20-yard TD pass on the Bulldogs’ first possession of the third quarter.

Both teams swapped field goals late in the game and the Bulldogs held on for the 24-10 win.

Georgia now travels to Auburn this Saturday to face the Tigers.

POST-GAME NOTES

*Bulldogs Stay Undefeated: With today’s 24-10 victory over South Carolina, Georgia improves to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the SEC. This marks the first time since 1982 that the Bulldogs are 9-0 and the seventh time in school history. The Bulldogs have a 50-18-2 advantage in the series history over USC.

*Scoring Defense: Georgia came in third nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing just 11.9 points a game. Today, the Bulldogs held USC to 10 points. Senior ILB Roquan Smith led Georgia with nine stops, including 1.5 sacks, while senior ILB Reggie Carter had seven tackles and a half sack. USC ran 53 plays and tallied 270 total yards (227-passing, 43-rushing). The Bulldogs finished with 438 yards of total offense (242-rushing, 196-passing).

*Balanced & Methodical Attack: Coming into Saturday’s matchup, Georgia had posted only four drives that measured 10 or more plays in its 38 touchdown drives. Today, the Bulldogs’ first three scoring drives were all 10 or more plays and went 69, 75 and 75 yards. Georgia also had a season-long 15-play scoring drive that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship. Seven different Bulldogs carried the ball and eight Georgia players caught passes.

Senior TB Sony Michel scored his ninth touchdown of the season out of the “Wild Dog” alignment on an 8-yard scoring run in the first quarter to put UGA up 7-0. Freshman QB Jake Fromm, who connected with sophomore WR Riley Ridley on a seven-yard strike to put Georgia at the 8-yard line, made the final block that freed up Michel into the end zone. The scoring drive was 11 plays, which matched a season best, 69 yards and lasted 5:30. Earlier in the drive, the Bulldogs were on the USC 34 yard line with a 4th-and-1 situation. Senior FB Christian Payne took the handoff and went four yards for a first down. Georgia is now 4-of-7 on fourth downs this season. The Bulldogs have now outscored their opponents 97-17 in the first quarter this year.

Senior TB Nick Chubb notched his 22nd career game with at least 100 yards rushing as he ended up with 102 on 20 carries plus had his first reception (a 9-yarder) since the road win versus the Irish. For his career, Chubb ranks 5th among all SEC rushers with 4,291 yards. Michel finished with 81 yards on 16 carries.

*Success Through The Air: Georgia got it done in the air as well. Jake Fromm went 16-for-22 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Senior WR Javon Wims caught his fourth touchdown catch of the season (fifth of his career) on a 10 yarder at the 9:27 mark in the second quarter to give Georgia a 14-7 edge. Wims matched his career high with five catches for 46 yards, all coming in the first half. In the third quarter, sophomore WR Mecole Hardman hauled in a 20-yard touchdown, the third of his career, to put Georgia up 21-7. Hardman completed the game with three catches for 41 yards.

*Turnovers: Georgia is +3 in Turnover Margin this season and was +1 on the day. South Carolina is now +7 on the year. Senior WR Terry Godwin caught his second pass of the game but fumbled on the USC 4 yard line in the first quarter. This broke the Bulldogs streak of a perfect 31 straight Red Zone conversions, which led the nation. The Gamecocks were forced to punt three plays later. In the final seconds of the half, redshirt sophomore DB J.R. Reed caught his second interception of the year. Georgia had time to run one play and it finished as an incomplete pass. With 1:49 left in the contest. Senior Malkom Parrish notched an interception, the fifth of his career. The Bulldogs ran out the clock. Opponents have forced 11 turnovers and turned them into 31 points while the Bulldogs have forced 14 turnovers and registered 48 points.

*Starters: Senior OT Aulden Bynum got the nod at tight end for his first start of the year and fourth of his career. Senior OG Dyshon Sims lined up wearing #45 and gave the Bulldogs six starting linemen in their opening play of the game. Sims had already started three games this year.

*Next Up: The Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC) travel to #14 Auburn (6-2, 5-1) to face the Tigers next Saturday. CBS or ESPN will televise the matchup at either 3:30 or 7 p.m.

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