Coming off of a 45-0 win over the Austin Peay Governors, the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are setting their eyes on the 24th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.
Last Saturday, it appeared the ‘Dawgs dominated an overmatched opponent and breezed through an easy, flawless game. However, head coach Kirby Smart has predicted this week’s matchup will be anything but ‘easy.’
“We had a hard-fought battle two years ago on the Sunday game, and then last year’s game was probably one of the most physical we played in,” Smart said Monday. “It was a really tough, physical game. A lot of breaking the wheels when it comes to running the ball, them and us.
“We’ve talked to our kids about it a lot over the summer, an opportunity to go into an environment that’ll be as tough as any, as I well know playing over there, from a crowd and a fanbase, and it sounds like we’ll also be playing the heat and the sun along with their team, which is always a challenge.”
In the Austin Peay game, starting quarterback Jake Fromm went 12/16 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Demetris Robertson had a 72-yard touchdown run. As a team, the Bulldogs ran for 284 yards on 33 carries.
Wide receiver Mecole Hardman had six catches for 63 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Riley Ridley had three catches for 33 yards. Both caught touchdown passes.
Georgia played 17 true freshmen and one walk-on in last Saturday’s win over Austin Peay.
Wide receiver Terry Godwin II is expected to play Saturday. He was held out of the Austin Peay game because of knee and calf injuries.
Last season, Godwin caught 38 passes for 659 yards and six touchdowns.
The player to watch for on South Carolina’s team is Tyshun Samuel, known to many as “Deebo.” The senior from Inman, South Carolina, has lined up at running back, wide receiver and even taken snaps in the Wildcat formation.
He has scored 13 total touchdowns in his career, including seven rushing TDs. Samuel is also the Gamecocks’ primary kick and punt returner.
Smart said Monday that Samuel is the most underrated player in the country because no one outside of the Southeastern Conference talks about how great of a player he is.
“He’s probably the most underrated player in all of college football because I don’t know that everybody in the country knows what the SEC knows about Deebo Samuel,” Smart said. “When you look at what he’s done, even two years ago, he gave us fits in that game.
“You see what he’s already done in this game, in one game how explosive he’s been at whether it’s running back, receiver. And they’re creative in ways in finding getting him the ball.”
The ‘Dawgs and the Gamecocks will face off at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST.