No. 1 Georgia rebounds from 11-point halftime deficit to beat South Carolina 24-14

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Carson Beck passed for 269 yards, Daijun Edwards, Dillon Bell and Cash Jones ran for touchdowns in the second half, and No. 1 Georgia came back from down 11 to beat South Carolina 24-14 Saturday.

The Bulldogs, two-time defending national champions, won their 20th straight game in unusual fashion, trotting to the boos of their home fans and facing their biggest halftime deficit in nearly three years.

But Georgia (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) played like a champ after the teams returned to the field on a soggy, gloomy day between the hedges.

The defense completely knocked out Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks (1-2, 0-1), who were unable to capitalize on their 14-3 lead at the break. They passed for just 129 yards in the final two quarters, with Rattler being held to 6-of-24 passing for 104 yards with two interceptions.

The Beck-led offense came out of the break nearly perfect, scoring touchdowns on three of its first four possessions — the only problem being a drive that ended with a missed field goal. Beck finished 27 of 35 passes.

Edwards, who missed the first two games with a lingering knee injury, rushed for 118 yards on 20 carries.

Georgia took the second half’s opening kickoff and quickly drove 75 yards in six plays, scoring its first touchdown of the day on Edwards’ 7-yard touchdown run.

After South Carolina went three-and-out, the Bulldogs ripped off a 49-yard drive that ended with Bell, a receiver who spent time as a running back, taking it from the 3 to give Georgia takes its first lead of the game. game before halfway through the third quarter.

Finally, Georgia finished off the Gamecocks when Cash went in from 13 yards out with just over 9 minutes left.

The first half was stunning, as Rattler carved up the Bulldogs completing 16 of 18 for 152 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown to Antwane Wells Jr. on a third-and-16 screen.

It was the first time Georgia had trailed since last year’s playoff semifinal victory over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl.

The Bulldogs responded with Peyton Woodring’s 31-yard field goal, but the Gamecocks scored another touchdown with just a minute left in the half after Woodring missed a 28-yard field goal.

Rattler guided South Carolina on a five-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Dakereon Joyner powering in from the 2 on a direct snap to push the margin into double digits.

Rattler completed two passes for 53 yards and scrambled twice for 20 yards on the lightning-quick possession, which was helped by a 15-yard faceoff penalty on Georgia’s Warren Brinson.

The final play of the half summed it up for the Bulldogs: Beck was sacked near midfield as time expired, with Georgia facing its largest halftime deficit since the Bulldogs trailed Florida 38-21 in the Cocktail Party rivalry on November 7, 2020.


South Carolina: The Gamecocks have shown great promise under coach Shane Beamer, and their performance in the first two quarters against the top-ranked team in the country was certainly impressive. But the second-half collapse demonstrated that they’re not quite ready for prime time in the SEC.

Georgia: The Bulldogs’ running game was greatly boosted by the return of Edwards, who provided the kind of explosiveness they lacked. But Georgia appears to have a problem in its kicking game, which is traditionally one of its strongest areas. Woodring is just 3 of 6 this year, including two misses from less than 30 yards. He also went wide right on a 43-yarder against the Gamecocks.


South Carolina: Hosts Mississippi State next Saturday in its SEC home opener.

Georgia: Completes a four-game homestand to start the season, taking on non-conference opponent UAB next Saturday.


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