Coming off a 2017 campaign where he threw for 2,794 yards, Jake Bentley appears to be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. In fact, Bentley’s passing yard totals and completion percentage last season are incredibly similar to Jake Fromm’s. But in this matchup, go with Fromm, who threw far fewer picks last season.
Rico Dowdle and Ty’son Williams rushed for 105 and 82 yards respectively in South Carolina’s opener against Coastal Carolina. Throw A.J. Turner in the mix, and the Gamecocks are deep at running back. Well, the Bulldogs are deeper. South Carolina’s backfield can’t compete with Georgia’s lineup of D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien and, in the second half, James Cook.
With Deebo Samuel returning after an injury in 2017, South Carolina’s receiver corps is loaded. Samuel, along with last season’s leading receiver, Bryan Edwards, and Shi Smith is a combination Georgia can’t compete with.
Edge: South Carolina
Georgia returns four starters on an offensive line that was elite last season. While the Bulldogs have to replace NFL draft pick Isaiah Wynn, Georgia’s offensive line should be ahead of South Carolina’s which had to replace two starters and break in a center who is new to the position.
It is questionable if South Carolina’s 2017 sack leader, defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum, will play against Georgia after suffering an injury in the season opener. Although Gamecock linebacker T.J. Brunson is talented, South Carolina doesn’t boast the depth at defensive line and linebacker that Georgia does.
Both Georgia and South Carolina are tasked this season with replacing players in the secondary. The Gamecocks lost both starting safeties, while Georgia looks to replace Dominick Sanders and could also be without corner Tyrique McGhee, who is coming off an injury. With both defenses facing talented quarterbacks, it is anybody’s guess how the secondary units perform.