Georgia fans frightened and confused by last year’s wild shootout against the Gamecocks may be relieved to know that the series has returned to form somewhat — only 17 points have been scored at intermission today. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks have most of them, leading the Dawgs 14-3.
South Carolina got on the board first with a two-yard TD run on the Cocks’ opening drive, which Georgia answered with a 27-yard Blair Walsh field goal after some nice runs by Washaun Ealey, returning after a one-game suspension. That was it until the closing minutes of the half, when running back Marcus Lattimore scored his second TD with 1:40 remaining.
Positives for the Dawgs? Well, Aaron Murray hasn’t made any major errors, though the coaching staff has hardly given him much of a chance to (he’s 4-of-8 for 32 yards and no picks). And Ealey has run the ball pretty well for the most part, with 47 yards on 11 carries. The defense has finally shown some signs of the “growing pains” Dawg fans were all worried about in the offseason. Stephen Garcia hasn’t been a huge factor, totaling 107 yards on 9-of-13 passing and also suffering a pair of sacks, but the Georgia defensive front has had no answer whatsoever for Lattimore, who’s already crossed the century mark in rushing yards. Georgia’s D hasn’t tackled particularly well, either, particularly when Lattimore’s been the ball carrier; if you’ve noticed a play where Lattimore went down on first contact, you’ve clearly been watching this game a lot closer than I have.
With the Dawgs likely to face a steady diet of Lattimore as the Cocks try to hold onto their lead and grind down the clock in the second half, it’ll be up to Murray and the offense to come up with some big plays and bring the Dawgs back. We’ll see if it happens.