No. 1 Georgia scores 21 straight in second half to beat South Carolina, 24-14

Georgia trailed 14-3 at halftime

Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) looks for an open receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Georgia is 3-0 after outscoring South Carolina 21-0 in the second half on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

No. 1 Georgia overcame a sluggish start to put South Carolina away in the second half on Saturday.

The Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks, 24-14, thanks to 21 unanswered points in the final two quarters. The Gamecocks scored a late touchdown in the second quarter to lead 14-3 at halftime but Georgia cut that lead to four points less than three minutes into the second half.

The two-time defending national champs then took the lead for the first time midway through the third quarter on a short touchdown run by Dillon Bell.

As the offense found its footing, the defense also played better. South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler was 16-of-18 passing for 152 yards and a TD in the first half but the Gamecocks’ first three drives of the second half ended with punts. South Carolina ran just 12 offensive plays over those three drives and had two three-and-outs.

The Bulldogs then put the game away in the fourth quarter when running back Cash Jones scored from 13 yards out.

Is Georgia vulnerable?

Saturday’s game was the first decent test for a Georgia team that won its first two games by a combined score of 93-10. And there are some things the Bulldogs need to work on.

Kicker Peyton Woodring missed two field goals, including a shank on a chip shot in the first half. RB Daijun Edwards was the only player to have consistent success on the ground and the offensive line lost Amarius Mims to what appeared to be a lower left leg injury. Edwards had 20 carries for 118 yards while the rest of the team combined for 24 carries for 78 yards.

Carson Beck didn’t make many mistakes as he was 27-of-35 passing for 269 yards but he could have managed the drive at the end of the first half better after the Gamecocks took an 11-point lead.

South Carolina also did a good job of holding Brock Bowers in check. The star tight end had seven catches for 54 yards β€” his longest catch went for 13 yards β€” and one carry for a single yard.

However, there’s no real reason to worry about the Bulldogs at this point. Georgia has a game against UAB in Week 4 ahead of a trip to Auburn to end September. And remember, there are no ranked teams on the Bulldogs' schedule until Ole Miss on Nov. 11. They have the clearest path to the College Football Playoff of any top-five team.