The Gamecocks needed to be perfect to upset a great Georgia team on the road, and that they were not. Here's some thoughts:
- There were a several standout performances by some SC players in the game. Hayden Hurst had his best statistical day, catching 7 balls for 93 yards. Bryan Edwards and OrTre Smith also played really well, and on the whole Jake Bentley was solid. On the defensive side, Skai Moore was consistent as always, and D.J. Wonnum had a great game as well. JaMarcus King had arguably his best game as Gamecock, defending 3 passes.
- SEC officiating continues to be an embarrassment this year. Georgia had 51 rushes in the game, and not a single holding penalty was called. Even if I hadn't seen several holds with my own eyes from all the way in Tokyo, I'd argue that that is nearly a statistical impossibility.
- Given the protection given to offensive players on hard hits in recent years, I think defensive players deserve to be better protected on blocks that put their legs at risk of injury. Early in the 1st Half D.J. Smith was the recipient of an illegal block and had to miss a large part of the game due to the resulting injury to his hip. Georgia was penalized of course, but their player was allowed to stay in the game. If an illegal block results in an injury to a defensive player, I believe the offending offensive player should be ejected.
- While this was a loss for the Gamecocks, it wasn't a disastrous one. The Gamecocks performed much better than the point spread predicted, and I think the general feeling is that they earned some respect in a nationally televised contest by playing tough against the #1-ranked team in college football. It was evident in the game that Georgia's talent outclassed the Gamecocks' at several positions. It was also evident that these two teams will be the class of the SEC East for the next 2-3 years.
Watch the game again below.