#Gamecocks can’t hold Dawgs off, fall to Georgia 24-14 (AUDIO)

Spencer Rattler threw for 256 yards despite facing constant pressure in the second half (Chris Gillespie)

ATHENS: South Carolina had top-ranked Georgia on the ropes, but couldn’t land the knockout blow, instead falling victim to Georgia’s second-half flurry of counter punches in a 24-14 loss, Saturday. The Gamecocks burst out of the gate with a 65-yard scoring drive to take a 7-0 lead and stun the raucous Georgia crowd. USC’s quick pass game paid immediate dividends as quarterback Spencer Rattler completed 16 of his first 18 passes, propelling his team to a 14-3 halftime lead.

Antwane Wells capped the opening drive with a 17-yard touchdown before being forced to the locker room with a foot injury. With Wells shelved, Rattler turned his attention to Xavier Leggette, who vexed Georgia’s defense and finished with seven catches for 75 yards. O’Mega Blake filled Wells’ spot and made his opportunity count, grabbing five passes for 86 yards.

The advantage was short-lived, however, as the two-time defending champions regrouped, tightening the coverage in the second half and neutralizing USC’s game plan. Rattler did his best to scramble away from pressure, but with no running game to keep the defense off-balance, South Carolina (1-2, 0-1) was unable to score after halftime.

The defense stood up to Georgia’s running game for a while, but eventually tired in the second half as the Dawgs finished with 189 yards on the ground. Georgia also dominated time of possession, keeping the Gamecocks defense on the field for more than 37 minutes of game time.

Head coach Shane Beamer was more concerned about his club’s 11 penalties than anything else that may have gone wrong in the second half. In his postgame comments, Beamer said, “I hope they realized you can’t win football games against great teams with a lot of self-inflicted mistakes.”

Final Stats

TJ Sanders disrupted Georgia’s offense, finishing with nine tackles and a sack (Chris Gillespie)

Here’s my view from Sanford Stadium

Antwane Wells, Jr. scored an early touchdown but aggravated his foot injury (Chris Gillespie)

Gamecocks Postgame

Head coach Shane Beamer

Linebacker Debo Williams

Defensive tackle TJ Sanders

Quarterback Spencer Rattler and wide receiver O’Mega Blake

QB2 Luke Doty made his presence felt at wide receiver (Chris Gillespie)

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