COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Georgia fans doubtlessly feel like they've been here before. The last time the Bulldogs played a regular-season game with ESPN GameDay in town -- in 2008 against Alabama -- Georgia seemed stumbled out of the gate and trailed 31-0 at the break.
Saturday's game against No. 6 South Carolina was a repeat of that ugly start as the Gamecocks went up 21-0 on the fifth-ranked Bulldogs in the game's first 10 minutes and coasted into halftime with a three-touchdown lead. Let's review what happened:
Stat of the half: 177-39. Georgia came into Saturday’s game as the most productive offense in the SEC, but the Bulldogs struggled mightily as South Carolina jumped out to a 21-0 lead by outgaining Georgia 177 yards to 39 in the first quarter alone.
Player of the half: Connor Shaw. South Carolina’s quarterback executed two impressive touchdown drives in the first quarter, capping them with scoring passes to Bruce Ellington and Rory Anderson. He finished the half 5-for-9 for 100 yards passing, plus he rushed seven times for 50 yards.
What’s working for Georgia: After struggling to find a pulse in the first quarter, Georgia finally held its own in the second -- although it was down by three touchdowns by that point. The defense held South Carolina to 34 yards of offense in the second quarter and the offense drove to the Gamecocks’ goal line before failing to score on fourth down.
What’s not working for Georgia: There are plenty of choices to point to here. In addition to its struggles at the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball, Georgia also gave up a 70-yard punt return touchdown to Ace Sanders. A general lack of composure existed for the Bulldogs in the first quarter and that resulted in an enormous early deficit.