No. 2 Georgia Hopes To Avoid Huge Upset Vs South Carolina

Georgia coach Kirby Smart and tailback Zamir White celebrate the team's win over Clemson in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Georgia coach Kirby Smart and tailback Zamir White celebrate the team's win over Clemson in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

South Carolina (2-0) at No. 2 Georgia (2-0), Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN).

Line: Georgia by 31 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Georgia leads 52-19-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

In the first of eight straight Southeastern Conference games, Georgia hopes to get started on a run that will end with an appearance in the SEC championship game and a shot at the College Football Playoff. For South Carolina, this is the first real chance to gauge where the Gamecocks stand in coach Shane Beamer's inaugural season.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia's front seven against South Carolina's quarterback. The Bulldogs are loaded up front with a bunch of players who are expected to go in the early rounds of the NFL draft. The Gamecocks haven't said who will start at QB — former graduate assistant Zeb Noland or Luke Doty — but whoever it is will have his hands full against a Georgia squad that already has 10 sacks. Noland started the first two games in place of Doty, who sprained a foot in practice last month.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Carolina: RB Juju McDowell. The Gamecocks are hoping the freshman can carry over the momentum from gaining 45 yards on six carries in a game-winning drive against East Carolina last week. He also had a 62-yard kickoff return that set up a tying field goal.

Georgia: RB Zamir White. The Bulldogs are looking for more explosive plays from their running game. Their longest run in the first two games was White's 22-yarder against Clemson.

FACTS & FIGURES

Georgia hasn't lost a home game since a stunning 20-17 loss in double overtime to South Carolina on Oct. 12, 2019. Since then, the Bulldogs have won seven straight at Sanford Stadium. ... Georgia special teams coordinator Will Musgrave was the head coach at South Carolina for nearly five years, compiling a 28-30 record until he was fired with three games remaining in the 2020 season. ... Georgia's defense did not allow a touchdown in the first two games. The only scores against the Bulldogs were a field goal by Clemson and an interception return for a TD by UAB. .... Filling in for injured starter JT Daniels, backup QB Stetson Bennett tied a school record with five touchdown passes in Georgia's 56-7 victory over UAB. ... South Carolina committed three turnovers on its first five drives last week against East Carolina, but rallied from a 14-point deficit to win 20-17 on a field goal as time expired.

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