Ryan Hilinski vs. Georgia

Ryan Hilinski

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia chipped and chipped away all afternoon long and finally, at 2:02 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium, finally gave the final blow.

Georgia pummeled South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski through two and a half quarters until seven minutes into the third, when Bulldog Sam linebacker Adam Anderson — who looked to have tripped over Gamecock left tackle Sadarius Hutcherson — smacked into Hilinski’s left knee. The quarterback fell to the grass and punched the goal line repeatedly with his right fist.

Hilinski, who had been hit in the same knee earlier in the game and was wearing a brace on it, was helped off the field and did not return to the game. The quarterback was seen after the game on crutches in the tunnel by the Sanford Stadium interview room.

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“I’m not sure. We’ll find out more,” Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp said. “I mean, he was just not moving well enough to protect himself and that was the reason we took him out.

“It was not that we feel like there was any severe injury or anything, he just wasn’t moving well enough to protect himself. The health of the student-athlete is the most important thing.”

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The freshman finished the day 15 of 20 for 116 yards and a touchdown — a 46-yard heave down the left sideline that gave the Gamecocks’ an eventual 7-3 lead with two minutes to go in the first quarter.

Left tackle Sadarius Hutcherson left the game with cramps and defensive end Aaron Sterling’s meniscus acted up. Both players are fine, Muschamp said.