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Georgia Football

Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs Announce Captains for Game vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

September 15, 2022
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs announced the program's captains for the game at South Carolina on Saturday. 

Georgia Bulldogs WR Kearis Jackson, LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson and OL Warren McClendon were named captains for the program heading into the Dawgs' first SEC game of the year. Georgia is listed as a 24.5-point favorite to topple the Gamecocks on Saturday. 

GEORGIA-SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES

The Bulldogs lead the series with South Carolina 53-19-2, and they have won six out of the last seven in the series that dates back to 1894. Georgia left the Gamecocks behind 45-16 the last time the teams met in Columbia in 2020. Since becoming SEC Eastern Division rivals in 1992, the Bulldogs own a 20-10 lead in the series. The Bulldogs are 5-1 overall against the Gamecocks in the Kirby Smart era with the only loss coming in Athens (20-17) during the 2019 season while current Georgia assistant Will Muschamp was South Carolina’s head coach (2016-20). Georgia is 30-5 versus the SEC East during the Smart era and three of those losses came in 2016.

Gamecock head coach Shane Beamer was on Smart’s staff at Georgia in 2016-17 as tight ends coach and spe- cial teams coordinator. After serving in several roles for Oklahoma from 2018-20, Beamer took over at South Carolina before the 2021 season. The 1-1 Gamecocks fell 44-30 at No. 16 Arkansas over the weekend.


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FLASHBACK TO 2021: DOGS POWER PAST GAMECOCKS

In last year’s meeting in Athens, Georgia posted a 40-13 victory. The Bulldogs scored five points in the final 26 seconds of the first half, and then the defense forced a pair of turnovers on USC’s first two possessions of the second half that led to 14 points. All 13 of South Carolina’s points came off three Bulldog miscues (interceptions by JT Dan- iels and Stetson Bennett plus a fumble by Kendall Milton). USC gained 310 yards on 63 plays. Georgia’s leading tackler was Nolan Smith who registered a career-high eight stops, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble that was recovered by current Green Bay Packer Quay Walker.

BULLDOGS TAKE OVER AP POLL’S TOP SPOT

A week after moving from No. 3 in the preseason poll to No. 2, the Bulldogs have assumed the top spot in the AP poll headed into the South Carolina contest. Georgia has been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in 16 of the past 18 Associated Press (AP) polls, with the other two weeks at No. 3. Last year, Georgia was preseason ranked No. 5, then moved up to No. 2 for five weeks of the regular season before claiming the top spot for eight weeks. Following the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs dropped to No. 3 during the CFP and ended the season ranked No. 1 as national champions. From 1981 -- the season after Georgia won a national title -- to 2016, the Bulldogs were ranked in the top two a total of 10 times.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

Despite a record 15 players getting selected in the NFL draft, including five defenders in the first round, Geor- gia’s defense, at least through the first two game, looks to be as strong as ever. Once again, the Bulldogs find them- selves leading the nation in Scoring Defense at 1.5 points allowed per game. Georgia is the only FBS team that has yet to surrender a touchdown. The Bulldogs whipped No. 11 Oregon 49-3 in the season opener in Atlanta and then blanked Samford 33-0 last Saturday in Athens.

Senior OLB Nolan Smith, redshirt sophomore DB Kelee Ringo and senior S Chris Smith are the Dogs’ three returning defensive starters from last season’s team. For the third time in school history, Georgia led the nation in Scoring Defense. The 2021 unit allowed just 10.2 points/game and only 153 total points in 15 games.

 
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