The good, the bad of the USC Gamecocks football game in Georgia

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South Carolina wide receiver Josh Vann (6) catches a pass next to Georgia defensive back Ameer Speed ​​(9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, September 18 2021 in Athens, Georgia (AP Photo / Butch Dill)

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Here’s a look at what went wrong for South Carolina in the Gamecocks’ 40-13 loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Bravo south carolina

Luke Doty makes his debut: Silver liners are hard to come by in a blistering loss, but good news for USC, Doty made his season debut after missing the first two games of the season with a foot injury. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, a hand injury from starter Zeb Noland is what prompted Doty to enter the game early. The sophomore completed 13 of 26 passes for 153 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but his offensive line left him little room to work against the fierce Georgia defense line.

Josh Vann: In three games, the senior wide receiver has been USC’s most reliable target. He landed a 61-yard pass from Noland in the team’s first practice to set up a field goal, and he nearly fell with a similar grip on Doty’s arm before a replay exam ruled that the ball has hit the ground. Vann punctuated the Gamecocks’ receptions with 128 yards on three catches, adding a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Jaylan Foster: On a night when Gamecock’s defense simply couldn’t leave the pitch, senior safety Foster provided two of USC’s rare highlights, intercepting a pass from Stetson Bennett in the first half and netting a pass from JT Daniels. in the third quarter for his second and third pick of the young season.

South Carolina rejects

Injuries: The Gamecocks were bruised and beaten at the start of the contest. Starting linebacker Sherrod Greene injured his leg in Georgia’s first offensive attack and had to be taken off the field, Gamecocks teammates rallying around him to offer their support. Noland only played one drive and attempted only two passes before a teammate stepped on his hand and forced him into the locker room, causing Doty to enter the game.

The secondary : Defensive coordinator Clayton White said mistakes made by the secondary translate to points on the scoreboard, and that was certainly the case on Saturday. Daniels had little trouble moving the ball, consistently finding weak spots in USC zone coverage. On two occasions, a Bulldogs wide receiver was beaten by a USC defensive back for long touchdowns. Jermaine Burton ran by Cam Smith for a 43-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and Adonai Mitchell burned Darius Rush for a 38-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter – both receivers were wide open.

Defense against the third try: In connection with the difficulties of the secondary, the defense of the Gamecocks struggled to leave the field during the third downs, allowing UGA to convert 5 of the 7 attempts of third down in the first half and 8 of the 12 attempts in total then. that the Bulldogs walked the field with authority.

Offensive line: Faced with an elite defensive line anchored by Jordan Davis, the Gamecocks struggled to keep the pressure on Noland and Doty and especially struggled to open race lanes in the first half (13 carries for 9 yards ). Constantly under pressure, Doty used his legs to escape the pocket, but had little time to complete his throws and was sacked twice, including a second-half sling bag that took resulted in a fumble.

This story was originally published September 18, 2021 10:37 pm.

Michael Lananna specializes in Gamecocks athletics and storytelling projects for The State. Featured in Best American Sports Writing 2018, Lananna covered college baseball nationwide before moving to Columbia in 2020. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2014 with a journalism degree.
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