The Georgia Bulldogs secured their third consecutive win Saturday against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
But also for the third consecutive time, the team made fans sweat the first half of the game, struggling to put points on the board against a opponent many believed would be manageable for the Dawgs.
The first quarter saw SC jump ahead of UGA 7-3. The second quarter was another touchdown for the Gamecocks, leaving many in Sandford Stadium watching in disbelief as a steady rain fell over the Athens stadium.
Whatever pep-talk Head Coach Kirby Smart gave the team at halftime must have done the trick, because the Bulldogs came back alive in the second half of the game, scoring 14 points in the third quarter and another TD in the fourth, sealing the game against S.C., who did not score at all again after the half.
While the rally put the Bulldogs in the win collum, that it (for the third time) WAS a rally when the team for the past two seasons owned their opponents in all phases of the game made many wonder if THIS team could three-peat another championship.
The Bulldogs have been downtrending in passing yards as of the past three games this season. 400 pass yards against UT Martin, 287 against Ball State, and on Saturday, 269. The team is up-and-down against opponents in rushing yards 159, 99, and 189. (See graph bellow) The Dawg’s tougher schedule this year may play a role in this trend and the first half troubles the team has been seeing as of late.
Bar Graph – Presentation by Sports In The ATL
Digging deeper into Saturday’s game, Georgia QB Carson Beck went for 27 of 35 for 269 passing yards, while the Gamecocks’ QB Spencer Rattler, went 22-42 for 256 pass yards, along with 35 rushing yards. UGA’s Daijun Edwards led his team in rushing yards with 118, and scoring a touchdown.
So what happened to snap Georgia back to life after a dismal first half?
“We came out with energy, “said Beck, to the Associated Press. “We were composed, we were poised, and we started making plays.”
Their come-from-behind victory is testimony to their toughness and tenacity, at least that’s how one Bulldog sees it.
“I learned that we could fight,” said Dawgs center Sedrick Van Pran to georgiadawgs.com’s John Frierson. “It may not always be pretty. It may not always be the most gorgeous thing you see, but I thing we do a tremendous job with our coaching staff making adjustments and then as the players trying t o execute and just fight.”
A good pep-talk from the Coach doesn’t hurt ether.