No. 1 Georgia is looking to win its third straight national title this season and that journey continues Saturday when The Hedges’ home SEC game begins against South Carolina. The Bulldogs have been unchallenged so far in their 2-0 start, winning their first two games by a combined score of 93-10, but the dangerous Gamecocks proved capable of pulling off a major upset twice last year against Clemson and Tennessee. .
It’s a series that Georgia has taken the lead in recently. Under coach Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs are 6-1 against the Gamecocks, including 2-0 against Smart’s former assistant, Shane Beamer. Georgia has even more on the line in terms of streaks, having won 29 straight regular season games (a streak dating back to November 2020) and 19 in a row overall. While Georgia is streaky from previous years, the team on the field in 2023 has largely been defined by new contributors.
Quarterback Carson Beck has been effective in his first few starts, guiding an offense that piled up points early and built leads big enough to rest early in the fourth quarter. But it’s not just Beck. Georgia’s leading rusher is true freshman Roderick Robinson II, and sophomore Mekhi Mews is one of the team’s top receivers after recording just two receptions in four games last season.
That group faces SEC competition for the first time Saturday with the Gamecocks in town looking to bounce back after their season-opening loss to North Carolina. South Carolina is now 1-1 after a win against Furman, a top-10 FCS team, but faces its own elevated level of competition as it faces the reigning champions.
Verify LIVE Updates Georgia vs. South Carolina
How to watch Georgia vs South Carolina live
Date: Saturday September 16 | Time: 3:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Sanford Stadium – Athens, Georgia
TELEVISION: CBS | Live broadcast: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Transmitting on Paramount+ with Showtime (Try it for free)
Georgia vs South Carolina: What you need to know
Georgia deals with injuries to key players: Junior Ladd McConkey, the team’s top option at wide receiver last season in terms of receptions and receiving yards, has not played in the first two games due to a back injury. His status for Saturday’s game is up in the air. Running back Daijun Edwards dressed well for both games, but did not play as he continues to recover from a sprained MCL suffered during fall camp. And just when the defense was finally close to being fully healthy, starting safety Javon Bullard left the Ball State game with an ankle injury. His status for Saturday’s game is in doubt.
While there are talented players throughout the roster, the “next man up” mentality will put someone on the field who has not been as key to the consecutive title runs of 2021 and 2022. If Bullard, the The defensive MVP of the college football playoffs in both the Peach Bowl and the national championship last season, can’t go against South Carolina, it will be David Daniel-Sisavanh and Dan Jackson sharing duties at safety.
Gamecocks dealing with their own injury problems: Star wide receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells has been limited this season by a lower-body injury and recorded just one reception for 5 yards. While Rattler’s main focus a year ago has been off the field, senior wide receiver Xavier Legette has emerged as one of the SEC’s top pass catchers. Legette leads the SEC and ranks second nationally with 148 receiving yards per game, while also leading the SEC with 180 all-purpose yards per game and ranks second in the conference with 7.5 receptions per game. Opposite Legette is Ahmarean Brown, who was knocked out of the game against Furman with an injury. Wide receiver isn’t the only position undergoing changes due to injury. As a team about to play Georgia, Mississippi State and then Tennessee (in Knoxville) in consecutive weeks, South Carolina can’t afford many more injuries.
Spencer Rattler will test Georgia’s revamped defense: The Bulldogs’ defense has been excellent and maintained the program’s standard in its performance, but those impressive numbers will be put to the test against Rattler. The Gamecocks quarterback ranks third among FBS signal-callers with 349 yards per game, behind only Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.. He is also completing 84.3% of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. For Rattler, this is a chance to add another special upset to his resume after defeating Tennessee and Clemson in 2022.
Georgia vs South Carolina Prediction and Picks
Odds via SportsLine Consensus
It’s going to be difficult for South Carolina to maintain its offensive production against Georgia, especially given the apparent advantage in the trenches when it comes time to test the Gamecocks against the Bulldogs’ front. I think Georgia’s strange sack drought (only one sack all season) ends Saturday and the defense shines with a Bulldogs win. Choose: under 55 years old
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