So how did the football team respond? Organically. #WinItForBennett to my knowledge was born on Twitter by team members. Even if it wasn't the brain child of someone wearing the uniform, the players took to it immediately and began spreading the word. That should tell you that 1) Michael Bennett is the leader in the locker room that we all thought he was and 2) this team is focused on the task at hand.
There was no hand-wringing. No tweets of "someone else is going to step up, we'll be fine" that typically come when a big-time player goes down. They rallied around this. If you're Michael Bennett, you have to think that if the Dawgs come out with a win on Saturday, you still played a significant role even without stepping foot in Columbia.
Personally, I think we'll compensate for Bennett's absence with more two TE sets on third down. I think their size and soft hands give them the best chance to fill the void in Bennett's production. Where we'll miss him the most is on the outside, when "Gurshall" breaks that way. Bennett is a great run-blocker and completely sells out to beat his man. The guy that wants to fill Bennett's shoes won't step up to catch passes as much as he'll step up to Get After Their Asses.
Let's get to some Happy Friday links to further delay your productive hours at work:
How about some lessons from the past? Run Lindsay Run has this great post which includes a YouTube video of every play Aaron Murray participated in for last year's game against USC. You can't help but form a couple of thoughts from watching it. Mine include the hope that our Offensive Line can protect better and that Murray doesn't have to run out of the pocket and get beat up like he did in 2011.
UGA enters Saturday's contest with all players accounted for, meaning it's the first time in a while we're playing South Carolina without having someone suspended. Say what you want about Spurrier, but he completely read our mail when he dropped that nugget earlier this year. Anyway, Tyler Dawgden at the Georgia Sports Blog reminds everyone of the SEC's drug policy after Missouri's recent problems with drug-related arrests. Wow, A&M. Really? That's worse that Florida.
On the podcast earlier this week, we gave Bobo a lot of praise for being so efficient this year with his play calling. Gentry Estes asks whether or not he was too efficient, based on a comment made by Steve Spurrier.
I saw this clip of David Pollack's amazing INT-TD at South Carolina in 2002, which happened to be one of the years I was in Redcoats. If you listen closely it takes us a LONG time to play Glory. Why? WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED, EITHER. To this day, it's still one of my favorite memories. We were dumbfounded.
That's it, kids. I'm all linked out. Don't forget to download the most recent episode of The Dawg Gone Podcast. It's a good time-killer on the way to Columbia.