Daniels, Georgia Defense Lead No. 2 Bulldogs Past South Carolina 40-13
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — JT Daniels returned to the lineup with three touchdown passes, Georgia’s fearsome defense nearly made it three straight games without allowing a TD and the No. 2 Bulldogs romped to a 40-13 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night.
Daniels completed 23 of 31 for 303 yards, including scoring throws of 43 yards to Jermaine Burton, 38 yards to freshman Adonai Mitchell and 4 yards to James Cook.
Georgia (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) finally gave up a touchdown while on defense when Luke Doty, getting the ball on the Bulldogs’ side of the field after a fumble, connected with Josh Vann on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 10:55 remaining.
To that point, the only touchdown against Georgia this season had come on an interception return.
With Doty playing for the first time this season, South Carolina (2-1, 0-1) gave up three sacks and a safety, along with two turnovers that led to Georgia touchdowns.
Daniels sat out a 56-7 victory over UAB with an oblique injury, watching as backup Stetson Bennett tied a school record with five touchdown passes.
Daniels wasted no time re-establishing his hold on the No. 1 spot, completing a 21-yard pass to Brock Bowers on his very first snap and guiding the Bulldogs to the end zone on their first two possessions.
Bennett got a shot the third time the Bulldogs had the ball. He promptly threw an interception that was returned to the Georgia 12, setting up a field goal.
Daniels returned to the game and didn’t leave until early in the fourth quarter with the outcome no longer in doubt.
After punting the ball away in the closing seconds of the first half and content to settle for a 21-6 lead, Georgia wound up scoring five more points.
Backed up on their own 1, the Gamecocks explicably attempted to throw out of the end zone. Doty was sacked by Jordan Davis and Nolan Smith for a safety.
Then, after receiving the free kick, Daniels completed three passes for 39 yards to set up Jack Podlesny’s 36-yard field goal as time expired, sending Georgia to the locker room up 26-6.
Georgia put it away in opening minute of the second half, again sparked by a huge defensive play.
Doty’s pass was picked off by Derion Kendrick, who returned it to the South Carolina 20. Zamir White ripped off a 15-yard run, then took it in from the 5 to pad the lead to 33-6.
Cook had two touchdowns, also scoring on a 23-yard run.
Jaylan Foster picked off a JT Daniels pass at the Georgia 47 and returned it 35 yards to the Bulldog 12. Carolina was not able to punch it in the end zone, as Parker White’s 27-yard field goal made it 14-6 Georgia with 1:34 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs responded with a second quarter touchdown drive, a safety and a field goal as the Gamecocks did not get any closer in their first loss of 2021.
128 – Josh Vann went over 100 yards receiving for the second straight game, hauling in three passes which included a 36-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Vann had 127 receiving yards last week vs. East Carolina.
Carolina returns to Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25, as the Gamecocks host Kentucky. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.