All honeymoons come to an end. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium, the top ranked and defending national champs Georgia Bulldogs brought down the curtain on that happy period for second year USC head coach Shane Beamer. His team has lost half of the 16 games under his leadership, but the 48-7 domination by Georgia in front of the home fans and on ESPN was the first time one of his teams didn’t show up.
This game was never competitive, and Gamecock fans among the announced crowd of over 78,000 showed their displeasure by leaving in big numbers by the end of the first half. The 41-point margin of victory by Georgia was the largest in the history of the long rivalry. The Bulldogs, with former USC head coach Will Muschamp co-directing the defense, kept the Gamecocks out of the end zone until the final minute.
The Gamecocks were down five starters on defense…LB Mo Kaba, SAF RJ Roderick, DE Jordan Strachan, DT Alex Huntley and CB Cam Smith…but as Beamer has said, he has confidence in his depth, and that was certainly tested in this one. Georgia finished with 547 yards on 65 plays, an average of 8.4 yards per snap. They passed for 339 yards and averaged over 16 yards per completion.
The Bulldogs led 14-0 after a quarter (USC hasn’t scored a first quarter touchdown all season) and 24-0 at the half. A 21-point third quarter turned the game into a rout. The Gamecocks fall to 0-2 in the SEC and 1-2 overall, and the Bulldogs improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the league.