I can't quite bring myself to dissect this game too much, so forgive me for my brevity. There's really no need for me to address what has already been addressed ad nauseum; no need to read about what all went wrong for the first 45 minutes of the annual grudge match between Georgia and Auburn although you are most welcome to vent. Yesterday was simply a microcosm of the 2013 season.
I was chatting with Kyle this morning and he said what I was thinking: This game will haunt me for years, just as the SECCG last December still haunts me now and always. Yesterday's ending was worse than 2005, when we left a concussed defensive backfield player on the field. It was eerily similar to "The Bluegrass Miracle" - LSU vs. Kentucky in 2002. If Auburn's Hail-Mary is run a 1000 times, it falls incomplete 999. Fluke. Bad luck. Cursed. Our season, our destiny.
1. I actually turned off the TV during the commercial break after Auburn drove down to the Dawgs 16 yard line at the end of the third quarter, poised to take an insurmountable lead. I wandered around the house just long enough for CBS to sell a few more cars, then morbid curiosity took over and I turned the tube back on. I can't walk away. It's what a fan does, I suppose. Georgia did hold, forcing an Auburn field goal. At this point, there is 12:59 left in the ball game. You're down by 20 with an offense that has shown some life, but a defense that no one expects to get any more stops. Still, one hopes...
'Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.'
- Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding to Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption.
Georgia scored 21 points to take the lead with 1:49 left in the 4th quarter. Every phase of the game, up until the last :25 seconds, was executed about as well as it has been all year long. The offense had been aggressive, while overcoming maddening procedure penalties. Bobo was allowing Aaron Murray to play. Our receivers were catching balls all over the Auburn secondary, which was being exposed. Twenty one points and the lead. Amazing.
Aaron Murray should never, ever have to buy a drink in the state of Georgia again. Ever. He's a great player, a great representative of our University and, when allowed to do what he does, is one of the finest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He won that game for us, until it was lost.
No one comes back from a 20 point hole on the road, Right? We did. Say what you will about Todd Grantham, and you've said a lot: His adjustments, at least for a quarter, were brilliant and put us in position to at least get back into the game.
We tackled very well on special teams. Why we still cannot kick a ball through the back of the end zone is one of the great mysteries of physics. Our punting was horrible at times, the opening kickoff was cowardly (too harsh?), but Auburn's vaunted return game was held in check.
2 - 15: I hate Penn Wagers. I don't think Mark Richt is especially fond of him, either. Richt's justifiable tantrum after we appeared to cover a fumble right in front of the Georgia bench was rooted in history. A lot of bad history between Wagers and Georgia. From top to bottom, the Nation's best Conference has the worst collection of referees hands-down. Penn Wagers is still the top turd. I hate him.
That's it. I'm too blue to continue. I'm proud of this team. Never prouder. I'm not going to blame Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons on the heartbreak Hail-Mary at the end. No one feels worse that those two kids, I'm sure. You don't need an interception there, but it was a flukey thing on a wobbly, under-thrown ball where the stars aligned for Auburn and that's that.
Again, sorry for the brevity. We got Kentucky on Saturday. I hope Auburn doesn't beat us twice, if you know what I mean. Then, Tech after that and a minor bowl.
Not to look beyond next weekend, but the Tech game is our bowl.
I'm proud of these guys. We had it until we didn't. Consider this the Sunday Commiseration Open Thread. Just
don't drop too many F-Bombs try and keep it civil. It is Sunday, after all...