Saturday, September 18, 2021

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Quick Summary On The Victory: Second-ranked Georgia carried a 26-6 lead into the half and won 40-13 over USC to improve to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the SEC. The Dawgs scored five points in the final 26 seconds of the first half, and then the defense forced a pair of turnovers on USC’s first two possession of the second half that led to 14 points. Georgia’s opponents have scored only 23 points in three games, which matches the total through three in 2019.

More Havoc By The Defense: South Carolina was limited to 13 points, tallying 310 yards on 63 plays. The final stop came on 4th-and-goal from the nine. Georgia finished with one INT, three sacks, and six TFL. With 10:55 left in the contest, USC got a 36-yard TD pass from Luke Doty to Josh Vann which marked the first TD allowed by the Dawg defense this season. In the first half, USC was held to six points on 131 yards (8-rush, 123-pass) on 28 plays.

Tonight’s leading tackler was junior Nolan Smith with a career-high 8 stops, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble that was recovered by Quay Walker. Senior Columbia, S.C., native Channing Tindall was next in tackles by matching his career-high with seven stops. Senior Adam Anderson had one sack to give him a team-high three for the year. Smith and Jordan Davis (2 stops, 0.5 sack) were in on a safety, the first since the final play of the 2020 season (Azeez Ojulari versus Cincinnati in the 24-21 Chick-fil-A Bowl victory).

With a safety tonight, the Dawgs have 21 scores (17 TDs, 4 Safeties) by either the defense or special teams in the Kirby Smart era. The Dawgs improved to 18-1 under Smart when they have a non-offensive score. In the first half following a turnover where USC took over at the Georgia 12, the defense held the Gamecocks to three yards and a 26-yard field goal.

Offensive Leaders Tonight: Georgia QB JT Daniels finished 23-for-31 for 303 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT. Freshman wideout AD Mitchell set career-highs with four catches for 77 yards and 1 TD while freshman TE Brock Bowers had five for 53 yards. On the third scoring drive of the night, Mitchell caught three passes for 63 yards including a 38-yarder for the TD, his first.

Senior James Cook had a 23-yard rushing TD and a four-yard TD catch tonight. He was the last Dawg to have a rushing and receiving TD in the same game, doing it versus Missouri in 2020. Daniels connected with Jermaine Burton for a 43-yard TD strike to cap the second scoring drive. It was the second TD for Burton this year and fifth of his career. It marked Daniels first TD pass this year. Also, Daniels directed a 90-yard TD drive on 11 plays in 4:36, all season-highs. This one culminated with a 38-yard strike to Mitchell.

Points Off Turnovers: Georgia scored 14 points off one INT (Derion Kendrick, 1st at UGA, 4th of his career) and one forced fumble (Nolan Smith on a sack) while the Gamecocks got 13 points off three Dawg miscues (Stetson Bennett INT, JT Daniels INT, Kendall Milton fumble).

Special Teams Summary: Senior punter Jake Camarda finished with three punts for a 51.7 average with one touchback and one downed at the 1-yard line (that eventually resulted in a safety). Also, he had five kickoffs with four touchbacks and one returned for 12 yards. Junior Jack Podlesny was 5-for-5 on PATs plus made a 36-yarder field goal to end the first half. He is 2-for-4 on FG attempts this season.

For Starters & Game Captains: Georgia had one first-time starter tonight in freshman WR AD Mitchell. The captains were senior Jordan Davis (N), junior Kearis Jackson (WR) and senior Channing Tindall (ILB). USC won the toss and elected to defer the football until the second half.

Series History & Up Next: With the 40-13 win, Georgia now has a 53-19-2 edge in the series history including 20-10 since USC joined the SEC. The Dawgs are 5-1 against USC under Kirby Smart. Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) returns to action Saturday in Nashville against Vanderbilt (1-1). Kickoff will be at Noon ET (SECN).

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