In a season that hasn't started pretty for the South Carolina Gamecocks, things hit a new low as they fell in hard and embarrassing fashion to the Georgia Bulldogs, 52-20, at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
Not much went right for the Gamecocks this evening. They did trail, 24-13, at the break after a career-high 51-yard field goal by Elliott Fry. But on a night where Brandon Wilds (ribs) and Alan Knott (ankle) went down in injury, they couldn't do much to stop a resurgent Greyson Lambert. Lambert, the transfer from Virginia, shook off a rough outing last week at Vanderbilt and picked the Gamecocks secondary apart, going 24-25 and passing for a career-high 330 yards, connecting for three touchdowns. (At one point, he completed 20 consecutive passes, a school record.) His 96% completion mark is a new NCAA record (minimum 20 attempts).
The Gamecocks' defense, which had looked good in the second half in the first two games, actually looked worse tonight after the halftime intermission as they conceded three third-quarter touchdowns - including two in less than thirty seconds to start the third quarter. Georgia actually outscored Carolina 28-7 over the final two quarters to grow a 11-point cushion into a blowout.
Georgia's Nick Chubb finished with 156 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Sony Michel added 48 yards and a score on seven carries, while racking up 32 yards and two more touchdowns through the air. Malcolm Mitchell was the leading receiver with 122 yards and a touchdown on eight grabs.
On the other side, Perry Orth endured a 6 for 17, 66-yard passing night while throwing an interception. Lorenzo Nunez finished the game in mop-up duty and added a little spark, running it nine times for 71 yards and going 4 for 5 for 18 yards. Wilds only managed five carries for 24 yards before departing with his rib injury.
How bad was this loss for the Gamecocks? It was the second-most points allowed in the Spurrier era at South Carolina. They were routed 56-6 at Florida on November 15, 2008.
Central Florida comes into Williams-Brice Stadium next Saturday at noon. The Knights lost to FCS Furman, 16-15, this evening.