it's that time again, when we celebrate a Georgia Bulldog victory by tapping the most valuable ‘Dawgs of the game.
This week was a little challenging. While lots players contributed to Georgia’s nailbiting 20–19 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, there were very few statistically overwhelming performances. No 100 yard rusher. No 300 yard passer. No multiple interception grabbing defenders.
It was in many ways a total team effort in which the individual standouts were timely, but rarely dazzling. That said, there were some players whose efforts were integral to a win which UGA fans will likely hold dear for some time.
Offense: Terry Godwin. Terry Godwin’s 2 catch, 36 yard evening was not that outstanding if you look only at the numbers. But his jaw-dropping third down touchdown reception was one of only two Georgia offensive touchdowns on the evening. And it came in a moment in the game when Georgia could have very easily lost momentum and seen the ebb and flow of the game turn conclusively against it. That’s what veteran leaders are supposed to do. Great work, Terry. Honorable mention: Solomon Kindley. The big guy powered through injury and had a decent night against some good defensive linemen, displaying a nasty streak and opening some holes at timely moments. He made some mistakes at full speed, but the late addition to Georgia’s 2016 class is looking like a steal.
Defense: Lorenzo Carter. Holy cow did Lorenzo Carter have himself a game. The senior finished with seven tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The first recovery stopped a Notre Dame scoring drive deep into Bulldog territory. The other sealed the ballgame. Again, this is what you want your veteran leaders to do in big games. Honorable mention: J. R. Reed. The sophomore transfer tallied nine tackles on the night and looks to be cementing his starting spot in the defensive backfield.
Special teams: Cameron Nizialek. Nizialek punted nine times for a 44.3 yard average. That’s very good. But even more amazing was that he handled a couple of snaps that were off the mark and could have ended in disaster. And he consistently kicked unreturnable balls that pinned the Irish deep, giving the defense room to breathe. This is what it’s like to have a punter who’s a weapon. I could get used to it. Honorable mention: Rodrigo Blankenship. Rod the Kicker stroked the game-winning field goal like a ten inch putt to win lunch from his golfing buddy. He was also perfect on extra points and his one field goal miss was a 43 yarder that went right by a whisker. Not bad at all.
Special contribution: Bulldog fans. You guys are the damn best. Georgia fans took over South Bend and wemt a long way toward dispelling the myth that UGA fans aren’t as passionate as some in the SEC. It didn’t go unnoticed.
South Bend AKA North Athens. Wow. #GoDawgs #UGAvsND pic.twitter.com/rMgj3ZccBX— Mark Arum (@MarkArum) September 10, 2017
Jokes aside, so much respect for Georgia fans for showing UP tonight. You guys are unreal #GO Irish pic.twitter.com/dCHFK2opR0— Barstool Irish (@BarstoolIrish) September 9, 2017
Kirby Smart just sprinted 50-yds to celebrate with UGA fans in endzone pic.twitter.com/5SsuRp8rcg— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) September 10, 2017