So. All I can really say about yesterday's game is "Wow." We witnessed a game worthy of any national Championship game, and the kind of game the SEC CG hasn't seen in...well ever. I am still in awe of the game I watched. I'm beat down and drained about the outcome, but the game was still amazing. Someone said that Notre Dame must've felt like an unruly child watching his parents decide which implement to beat him with. I agree.
I don't like the term "Instant Classic" but that game is as close as you can get to one. Its saddening that the Dawgs came up a little bit short, but in a contest there can only be one winner.
1. I don't think you can blame the Referees. Despite the questionable calls, Georgia had chances to win throughout the game, and a chance to win it at the end, and didn't do it. We also had a chance to put it away early in the 4th quarter, and didn't. The officiating was questionable at best, but they did not determine the outcome.
The bitterness that a lot of Georgia fans feel about the questionable officiating is understandable, and justified, but it changes nothing. We'll have to suck it up and move on from this, there are other seasons and other teams. It bothers me to have two games in different sports that officiating was so questionable in, but it happens.
2. Murray can handle himself in the big game. The last play, was an exceptional play by an Alabama defender. Let's remember that Murray turned the ball over once, while Mccarron turned the ball over twice. And he made some huge plays along the way. The kind of plays that quarterbacks who choke in big games don't make. Georgia came up short as a team last night, it wasn't on any one failure. Anyone who says he can't didn't pay attention to anything that happened on that field last night.
I've always liked Murray. He's a talented gamer and very tough. If he sometimes tries too hard, and gets too keyed up, I can live with that. Not many quarterbacks could've orchestrated that last drive. Murray could. Unfortunately he came up just short, and that's what anyone who isn't a Georgia fan (and a lot of people who are Georgia fans) will remember. They won't remember the game kid who took punishment behind an inadequate O LINE for 3 years and kept getting up, they'll remember a tipped pass. In My opinion the truth about Murray is that he is one of the great QBs in Georgia's past.
3. Coach Richt and his staff are some of the best around. Coach Richt has an excellent staff. I am not, nor will I ever be a big fan of Mike Bobo. But let's give credit where credit is due: He called a solid, effective game against one of the most effective Defenses the Collegiate world has ever seen. It wasn't perfect, but it was a well called game on both sides of the ball for Georgia.
Say what you like, but Georgia went into the game with a plan, and executed well. Not flawlessly, but well. The Dawgs came up just short, but not for lack of effort or execution. They were prepared, mentally and physically, to go toe to toe with the best team in the country. And they did just that. Good coaching staffs don't do that, great ones do. Richt's seat is cold.
4. In a game of plays, Georgia came up one play short. The ultimate difference maker I think, was Bama's OLine. That line came up huge when it had to, and really ours didn't. Its quite possible that I"m writing a different post if we convert 3rd and 1 with 7 minutes in the 4th. When very good teams clash, the Lines tend to be where the game is won and lost. That was true last night as well.
5. Seasons like this don't come along very often. A collection of talent, maturity and drive that this team had, its a once a decade team. And even rarer than that for most teams. We are fortunate that Georgia plays in a premiere league and has premiere recruiting.
The prevailing sentiment right now seems to be "If not now, when?" But it should be remembered that Georgia will have talented recruits coming in. There are talented underclassmen who will make their own names stepping up over the next year.
Georgia has a proud football program. Richt will continue to be an excellent coach, and we will be in this position again. Georgia remains a premiere school in the premiere conference. Coach Richt and the Dawgs will be here again, and more than once.
Parting thought: The next 9 months will see an endless circular discussion about whether or not Georgia should have spiked the ball on that last play. There are merits to both sides of the argument.
But Georgia had prepared for this situation. They had a plan in place in that eventuality, and they executed it. Alabama made a play resulting in a tip and a WR caught it shy of the goal line. It is what it is. Georgia opted to maintain tempo and keep a tired Bama defense from substituting. It was a calculated risk decision that didn't pay off this time. If it had we'd be hailing Richt's genius. Except for Chuckdawg. he'd probably still be arguing for spiking the ball.
Go Dawgs! You have nothing to be ashamed of after yesterday's game.