South Carolina knocked off unbeaten Georgia in double overtime for a major SEC upset Saturday, a stunning outcome that will surely dampen the previously unbeaten Bulldogs’ College Football Playoff aspirations.
Gamecocks kicker Parker White connected on a 24-yard field goal in the second overtime to secure the 20-17 victory before Rodrigo Blankenship missed his kick on the ensuing possession.
The upset was the first time a top-6 team in the Coaches Poll has lost in 2019, and it’s also the first time an SEC team fell to an unranked foe.
In the first overtime, South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle helped position the Gamecocks for victory but White missed a potential game-winning 33-yard field goal.
At the end of regulation, Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm found Demetris Robertson for a 6-yard touchdown strike — on a 96-yard drive — to knot the game at 17 with less than 2 minutes remaining. But he couldn’t spearhead a game-winning drive once UGA took over on downs with 34 seconds left.
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Fromm(295 yards on 28-for-51 passing) struggled to drive UGA’s offense before the last drive of regulation, making several costly turnovers — one being an interception that turned into the first pick-6 of his career at the end of the second quarter. That score, an Israel Mukuamu 53-yard return, broke a 10-10 tie to give the Gamecocks a 17-10 lead — and the game’s momentum — heading into halftime. Fromm threw another pick early in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs were trying to mount a comeback, and it was Mukuamu again who caused the turnover.
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp entered Saturday’s contest with a stellar game plan, and his team’s defense came up clutch with several sacks on Fromm and momentum-determining plays. The Gamecocks forced a fumble at the beginning of the fourth quarter and also deflected a field goal attempt by Blankenship right before the half.
South Carolina had a QB shuffle with redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner taking over for starter Ryan Hilinski who suffered a knee injury midway through the third quarter.
South Carolina (3-3, 2-2 SEC) entered Saturday’s game in the middle of the SEC East standings. Georgia (5-1, 2-1) now faces much taller odds to find itself among the final four in the Playoff, having entered the game at No. 6 in USA TODAY Sports’ Playoff Projections. Before the resume-staining loss, the Bulldogs had a 46% chance of reaching the playoff.