There’s no way to classify last Saturday as anything but a full blown disaster.
It was the most lopsided game played by the Cocks against Georgia... ever. Oh, and these two teams have played 75 times.
Getting blown out like that is embarrassing, and I only hope this game can be used as a learning experience and to wake some people up.
We will find out very soon if Georgia is actually *this* good or if South Carolina is *that* bad, though.
Anyway, I have some grades to give out.
Offensive Grade: D+
I’m going to start with the good news because there isn’t much to give out.
Well, USC scored the first touchdown against Georgia in 2022! It was a meaningless toss from Luke Doty to Traevon Kenion in garbage time, but it still counts in the stat sheet.
Additionally, South Carolina was facing the best defense in the nation, and at times, they put up a fight.
It just so happens whenever the Cocks had a meaningful drive, it either ended with a pick or a turnover on downs.
One of my issues from the game was although you never want to settle for a field goal against a juggernaut like Georgia, I felt like the Cocks left points on the board early when the game was still within reach.
If Spencer Rattler didn’t make a terrible throwing decision on the team’s second offensive drive, they could have ended up with at least a field goal there. Then, they would have kicked it on the next drive because the deficit would not have been as large, making it a 14-6 ball game in the beginning of the second quarter.
Of course it wouldn’t have made that big of a difference, but it would have given the players and the fans a sense of being in it for at least a little more time.
Next, and I don’t even need to remind anyone, but the play-calling left much to be desired.
The decisions to run it on third and long (regardless of it being four-down territory or not) were questionable, and the plays being run were under the pretense that there would be a functioning offensive line to work with against the pass rush of Georgia.
South Carolina did finish with 306 total yards, though, which doesn’t sound as bad as the product looked on the field. For reference, the Gamecocks also racked up exactly 306 total yards against Georgia State as well.
In all, it was not a good day for the offense. While they may not have been completely shut down, turnovers killed whatever momentum they may have created, which needs to be fixed going into next week.
Defensive Grade: F
Let’s start with the obvious point. South Carolina gave up 48 points!
They allowed 208 rushing yards against a team not known (this season) for its success on the ground.
The defense also could not stop the short pass, tackle or handle any kind of misdirection Georgia pulled out of its bag of tricks.
To illustrate their dominance, the Bulldogs concluded every drive but two with a score of some kind.
The sad part was I felt like Stetson Bennett barely even showed what he was capable of despite throwing for 284 yards and two touchdowns. Most of his passes were dump offs or passes that acted as runs with guys like Brock Bowers excelling after the catch.
Anyway, Georgia was able to do whatever they wanted to with little to no resistance, whether it was on the ground or through the air.
The Gamecocks were without a good amount of defensive starters, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.
Let’s hope to force some turnovers and get some stops against a far less talented Charlotte offense next week.
Special Teams: A
The lone bright spot from this mess of a game.
Kai Kroeger had a hell of a game, punting the ball inside Georgia’s 20-yard line every single chance he had.
When he wasn’t punting the ball, he completed a 20-yard pass on fourth down to Traevon Kenion to keep a doomed drive going.
Beamer ball was on full display, even against Georgia.
It’s insane to see this part of the game continuing to be the Gamecocks’ bright spot.
Overall Grade: D+
At the end of the day, you have to remember USC was playing the best team in the country, and they never really had a shot to begin with, no matter how much you tried to convince yourself.
Oregon had the same fate, and they are a good football team as well, who even took down then 12th-ranked BYU last week.
If the Gamecocks continue to struggle, it may be time to panic, but I truly believe Georgia is about to boat race every opponent on its schedule this year, and it was simply South Carolina’s turn for its beating.
On to bigger and better things this Saturday night against Charlotte.