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SEC Roundup: Bennett, No. 1 Georgia's D steamrolls South Carolina, 48-7

by The Associated Press | September 17, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) is pushed out at the one-yard line by South Carolina linebacker Brad Johnson (19) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his No. 1 Bulldogs are sending messages to anyone who thought they were going to drop off after a national championship.

The latest statement came Saturday in a 48-7 victory over South Carolina (1-2, 0-2) in their Southeastern Conference opener, where the Gamecocks needed a touchdown with 53 seconds to go to avoid becoming the fifth shutout victim of the Bulldogs (3-0) in their past 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Georgia offense gained 547 yards, scoring on eight of its first nine possessions and was averaging nearly 10 yards a play before the backups came in and took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter.

Even though 15 players left for the NFL after winning Georgia's first national title since 1980, there still is still plenty of talent and an attitude that winning a championship leaves behind, coach Kirby Smart said.

Stetson Bennett went 16 for 23 for 284 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. Just like the Bulldogs' 49-3 victory over Oregon and 33-0 win over Samford, Bennett didn't take a snap in the fourth quarter. He reminded his teammates that it won't stay this easy.

Tight end Brock Bowers had five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score. Georgia let 10 players carry the ball, rushing for 212 yards.

The Bulldogs' defensive line overwhelmed South Carolina's front. A defender was in quarterback Spencer Rattler's face almost every time he dropped back more than three steps. The Oklahoma transfer got off just three deep balls, with two of them intercepted. He didn't play in the fourth quarter and was 13 of 25 for 118 yards.

The 41-point victory was Georgia's biggest against the Gamecocks in their 75 meetings. It was South Carolina's worst loss since a 56-6 defeat to Florida in 2008.

No. 2 Alabama 63, ULM 7

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Bryce Young passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth, Will Anderson Jr. scored on an interception return and No. 2 Alabama rolled to a 63-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

The Crimson Tide scored on offense, defense and special teams in the first six minutes and raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead.

It was a whirlwind start against the 49.5-point underdog Warhawks a week after a much closer-than-expected win over Texas cost Alabama the No. 1 ranking. Young did throw his first two interceptions of the season.

No. 9 Kentucky 31, Youngstown State 0

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Will Levis accounted for three touchdowns, Kavosiey Smoke ran for a score and No. 9 Kentucky shook off a slow start to shut out Youngstown State 31-0 on Saturday.

Ranked in the top 10 ranking for the first time since October 2007, the Wildcats followed up last week's SEC win at Florida by physically dominating the FCS Penguins.

Kentucky outgained YSU 480-192 on the way to its first shutout since beating Miami (Ohio) 42-0 in September 2009.

The Wildcats gave coach Mark Stoops a victory over his hometown school. Levis posted his second 300-yard effort in three games, passing for 377 yards.

No. 20 Ole Miss 42, Ga. Tech 0

ATLANTA -- No. 20 Ole Miss shrugged off its uncertainty at quarterback by running right through Georgia Tech to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins led the way as the Rebels rushed for 316 yards in a 42-0 pummeling. Jaxson Dart returned as the starting quarterback, but it didn't really matter who was taking the snaps.

Evans rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Judkins also scored twice while running for 98 yards.

Ulysses Bentley tacked on a pair of TD runs. The defense held Georgia Tech to 214 yards while sacking Jeff Sims seven times.

No. 22 Penn State 41, Auburn 12

AUBURN, Ala. -- Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 176 rushing yards and four touchdowns as No. 22 Penn State cruised to a 41-12 win at Auburn.

The Nittany Lions' freshman running backs were instrumental in the red zone.

Penn State scored touchdowns on each of its first four trips inside the 20-yard line.

Quarterback Sean Clifford passed for 178 yards. The Penn State defense forced four turnovers by Auburn.

Tigers star running back Tank Bigsby rushed for only 39 yards.

Penn State led by one point late in the second quarter before Allen scored his first of two touchdowns.

Missouri 34, Abilene Christian 17

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Luther Burden III raced 78 yards on a punt return for a score and Missouri defeated Abilene Christian 34-17.

Quarterback Brady Cook and Dominic Lovett connected on a 79-yard touchdown pass in the first half that helped Missouri build a 17-3 halftime lead. Lovett posted career highs with seven catches for 132 yards and two scores.

The Wildcats scored their only touchdown thanks to a Missouri turnover.

On first down from the Tigers 9-yard line in the third quarter, David Oke stripped the ball from Cook and Alexander Duke recovered the ball in the end zone, pulling the Wildcats within 24-10.

Vanderbilt 38, Northern Illinois 28

DEKALB, Ill. -- Freshman quarterback AJ Swann threw four touchdown passes and Vanderbilt rallied to a 38-28 non-conference victory over Northern Illinois.

Swann, making his third appearance and first career start, engineered a comeback from a two-touchdown deficit as the Commodores scored 24 unanswered points in the second half. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 255 yards and the four scores.

Northern Illinois suffered its second straight loss as starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi left the game in the second quarter with an unspecified injury.

Swann rallied the Commodores with three of his touchdown passes, the first a 21-yarder to Ray Davis on a fourth-down play.

Print Headline: SEC Roundup: Bennett, No. 1 Georgia's D steamrolls South Carolina, 48-7

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