College Sports

Thumbs up, thumbs down: South Carolina vs. Georgia

A look at what went right and wrong for South Carolina football in 20-17 win at the Georgia Bulldogs

Thumbs up

93-yard drive

South Carolina took a 7-3 lead with an impressive nine-play, 93-yard drive in the first quarter.

The Gamecocks converted on two big third downs in the drive and it was capped off by Ryan Hilinski’s 46-yard pass to Bryan Edwards.

Gamecocks D-line

South Carolina’s defensive line played its best game of the season, and Georgia coach Kirby Smart and quarterback Jake Fromm said just that after the game.

Javon Kinlaw, the senior from Goose Creek High School, showed why many NFL scouts have him as a potential first-round pick. Kinlaw was disruptive all game and his pressure on Fromm resulted in a pick-six by USC’s Israel Mukuamu.

Kinlaw wasn’t the only member of USC’s defensive line that shined. DJ Wonnum, Kinsley Enagbare, and Rick Sandidge all contributed for the Gamecocks, who had three sacks in the game.

UGA only had given up one sack all year coming into the game.

Israel Mukuamu

The sophomore defensive back had a game to remember.

Mukuamu intercepted three passes, including a 53-yarder returned for a touchdown to give USC a 17-10 lead in the second quarter.

Mukuamu’s other pick came with 9:25 left in the fourth quarter and stopped a possible UGA scoring drive and had another one on the Bulldogs’ first possession of overtime.

Dakereon Joyner

The sophomore quarterback’s numbers won’t wow you. He was just 6-of-12 for 39 yards and had 29 yards rushing.

But Joyner came in the game in a tough spot after Hilinski went down and played composed, extended plays with his feet and didn’t turn the ball over.

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Thumbs down

No challenge?

South Carolina had a good drive going after Georgia took the lead 10-7 in the second quarter but stalled after a false start penalty on fourth and one at the UGA 41.

The play before that, Kyle Markway appeared to be close to picking up the first down. Instead of challenging the play, the Gamecocks went hurry-up and resulted in false start.

Slow down

Almost half of South Carolina’s penalties were false starts.

South Carolina offensive had five false starts in the game of its 11 penalties.

Late holding call

South Carolina had a chance to end the game before overtime but Jammie Robinson’s holding call on fourth down and 11 extended Georgia’s drive. The Bulldogs scored a play later to tie it at 17.

Third-down defense

This has been an area of concern for USC’s defense all year and the Bulldogs were 9-of-18 on third down Saturday.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.