Georgia vs. South Carolina: 10 Things We Learned from the Bulldogs' Win
It was not an easy win, and it was not pretty, but the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 41-30 and have a leg up in the SEC East race.
The offense looked more sharp this week than it did last week, and the defense played with more energy.
While the Bulldogs made their share of mistakes, they looked like a different team than they did against Clemson. And with them being off next week, they will have time to fix any issues that have surfaced theses first two games, which is needed because they have LSU in two weeks.
Here are 10 things we learned from Georgia's win against South Carolina.
Todd Gurley Is the Nation's Best Running Back
I don't think there's a better running back in the country than Todd Gurley.
The sophomore rushed for 132 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown in the win, and 90 of those yards came in the first half.
Gurley runs with balance and power. But he also has elite speed to get away from defenders.
It seems like he's getting better each time he steps on the field, and that is very scary for the rest of the teams in the SEC.
Aaron Murray Can Perform in the Big Games
Aaron Murray played a flawless game against a very good South Carolina defense.
The senior threw for 309 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Murray played with poise and always knew where he wanted to go with the football.
He looked like a player who learned from his mistakes against Clemson and should only get better moving forward.
The Offensive Line Is Solid
The reason that Murray played well is the offensive line gave him great protection all game long.
Murray did get sacked a few times, but he wasn't under pressure constantly, and they opened nice holes for Gurley and Marshall.
The bad news is Kenarious Gates injured his ankle, and there is no telling how long he'll be out. But Mark Beard was able to fill in and did a nice job.
This group is one of the more experienced offensive lines in the country, and it played like it against the Gamecocks.
Quayvon Hicks Is a Valuable Player
This is not to say that Quayvon Hicks is the best player on the roster, but when the Bulldogs need a big play, he delivers.
Hicks finished with four carries for 28 yards, and all those yards came in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs ran out the clock for the win.
With the fullback position being a"dying position," Hicks is bringing it back to life. He adds another dimension to a Bulldogs offense that is already potent.
Brendan Douglas Is a Gem Player
What this means is the Bulldogs recruited a diamond in the rough in Brendan Douglas.
The freshman rushed for 31 yards for five carries in the fourth quarter. He was hitting the holes hard and was running over defenders along the way.
The 2-star prospect from Augusta, Ga. is not as fast as Gurley or Marshall or as explosive as the two, but he fights for every yard. He will see a lot more action as the season rolls on.
Brendan Langley Will Improve
I know there are some fans who are getting on the defense for its play the past two games, but this was expected because the players are young and inexperienced. And there are more fans who are going to give Brendan Langley a hard time for giving up two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Langley did not have his best game, and he did make some mistakes when he was covering Nick Jones. But that was only his second game. He will continue to grow and will be much improved by the end of the season.
He has to fight through the mistakes and keep battling.
The Defensive Line Is Solid
The strength of the Bulldogs defense may be the defensive line as it got after Connor Shaw.
Garrison Smith had a sack as well as Sterling Bailey. And the entire line came up big on the Gamecocks' last offensive series as it stopped them on 4th-and-goal.
The players will need to continue to play solid football because the secondary is still trying to find its way. It will be fun to see where the group is at the end of the season because it has the talent to be the best in the SEC.
Justin Scott-Wesley Is a Playmaker
With Malcolm Mitchell out for the season, the Bulldogs need a playmaker on the outside.
They may have found it in Justin Scott-Wesley.
With a three-reception, 116-yard performance including one touchdown, Scott-Wesley made plays when he needed to.
He has the speed to take it and score anywhere on the field, and he has a knack for getting open on third down.
I would not be surprised if he makes his way to the starting lineup when the Bulldogs take on North Texas in two weeks.
Special Teams Still Needs Work
The only really bad thing to come away from the game is the play of the special teams.
The overall play was fine, especially when the Bulldogs attempted the onside kick and got it.
But later in the game, punter Collin Barber could not hold onto the ball, and that led to points for the Gamecocks.
The Bulldogs can't afford to have mistakes likes this because they can be costly. If they continue to have special teams errors, they will have to get a special teams coordinator sooner than later.
The Bulldogs Are a Top 10 Team
The Bulldogs proved that they are one of the 10 best teams in the country by beating the Gamecocks.
They did come up short against Clemson, but had the Bulldogs made one or two more plays, the outcome would have been different.
The offense roughed up an aggressive South Carolina defense, and the Bulldogs defense made plays when it needed to.
The schedule does not get easier for the Bulldogs, but if they continue to learn from their mistakes on defense and play efficient on offense, they will achieve all their goals this season.