ATHENS, Ga. (WIS) - South Carolina entered Saturday’s game hoping to end another losing streak against another SEC foe who has been a proverbial thorn in their side for four years.
The game ultimately turned into a 12-round knockdown, drag-out heavyweight fight that saw the Gamecocks take the third-ranked Bulldogs to double overtime. Thanks to Parker White’s 24-yard field goal, South Carolina upsets Georgia 20-17 to come away with their first win against the Bulldogs since 2014.
Georgia got on the board first to start the game. The Bulldogs were able to march down the field 42 yards before trotting Rodrigo Blankenship onto the field. The senior kicker booted a 50-yard field goal through to make it a 3-0 game.
Carolina would take the lead late in the first quarter. Starting a drive from their 7-yard line, the Gamecocks moved the ball 93 yards and capped the series with a 46-yard deep pass from Ryan Hilinski to Bryan Edwards to make it 7-3.
Georgia regained the lead in the second quarter. The Bulldogs punctuated a 9-play, 75-yard drive, which heavily featured their rushing attack, with a 1-yard touchdown run by D’Andre Swift. That score made it 10-7 with 13:35 to go in the half.
Again, the Gamecocks respond. Despite Ryan Hilinski being hampered by an apparent leg injury, Carolina put together a 7-play drive and Parker White finished it with a career-high 49-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 with three minutes left in the half.
The Gamecocks defense got involved in the scoring with about a minute left in the half. Jake Fromm would be picked off for the first time this season by Israel Mukuamu and he’d return the interception 53 yards for a touchdown to give Carolina a 17-10 lead with a minute left in the half.
Carolina would keep momentum on their side at the half. Blankenship attempted a 53-yard field goal with only seconds left in the half, but DJ Wonnum would block the kick preserving the Gamecocks’ lead at the end of two quarters.
The Gamecocks were bitten by the injury bug in the third quarter. A Georgia defender appeared to trip into Ryan Hilinski’s left leg taking him out of the game. However, neither team was able to come away with points.
South Carolina came up with its second takeaway in the fourth quarter when a bad snap by Georgia was recovered by TJ Brunson. However, the Gamecocks weren’t able to come up with points on the ensuing drive.
In the fourth quarter, the defense comes up big again. This time, Mukuamu hauls in his second interception of the day. Again, Carolina failed to come away with points to extend the lead.
Georgia battled back to tie it up late in the fourth quarter. After a holding call against the Gamecocks on fourth down, Fromm tossed a 6-yard pass to Demetris Robertson for the score. That tied the game 17-17 with 1:48 to go.
Carolina was able to put to get the just past midfield in their final drive of the fourth quarter, but Parker White was unable to make a 58-yard field goal giving Georgia excellent field position.
In overtime, the Gamecocks defense stood tall yet again. And again, it was Mukuamu coming up with the big play. His third pick of the game put Carolina in position to win it. However, Parker White couldn’t make the field goal sending the game to double overtime.
White ultimately made up for the miss and connected on a 24-yard field goal to put Carolina up 20-17.
Georgia has one last chance to win it, but Blankenship’s 42-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.
South Carolina improved to 3-3 on the year. They face Florida at home next week.