1. November 30, 1974 was the most miserable day, weather and football-wise, I’ve ever experienced. It was a rainy, cold and foggy day in Sanford Stadium where Georgia, at 6-4, got beat by a Tech team that day 34-14.
As I recall, we were never in the game and it was over before the half, as my mom and I retreated to my Dad’s 4th floor lab in the bio-sciences building to thaw out, eat some cold chicken and listen to the sad 2nd-half details as described by Larry Munson. We didn’t have to wait for the crowd to thin out and drove back to Watkinsville in record time. The Dawgs would wind up 6-6 that season after losing to Miami (Ohio!) in the Tangerine Bowl. Revenge was sweet the following year in Atlanta in a nationally televised Thanksgiving night game. It was 42-0 at the half before Vince Dooley called off the Dawgs. The final, 42-26. Tech was never in the game.
Although I wasn’t in Athens, yesterday’s weather was eerily similar to that day in ‘74, at least early in the day, and I was a tad worried. However, the drizzle gradually stopped as the overcast slowly lifted and, despite the cold, there was nothing that was going to stop our offense except Kirby Smart when he, like Vince, called off the Dawgs with time on the clock in the 3rd quarter, up 45-7. I understand preserving knees and ankles for ‘Bama, but we could’ve named the score and Tech knows it.
2. Paul Johnson, along with a whole bunch of disenfranchised Tech bloggers, seem to think that their turning point was a false start on a 4th and 1 on Tech’s inaugural drive which forced a punt. Let’s assume for a second that Tech grinds out a 6 minute scoring drive after that, or not. Do you think they would have, at any point, ever stopped our first-string offense? Johnson is loathe to give credit to Georgia, and in his press conference seemed to cite that false-start (and generally playing poorly) as the main reason for getting Kirb-stomped. Anyway, here’s what a dominating performance in just a half of football looks like:
Georgia's offense in the 1st half vs Georgia Tech:— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 24, 2018
- Field Goal pic.twitter.com/n5XwUPAtLT
News Flash, Paul: You weren’t coming back against this offense yesterday at any point...
3. When Elijah Holyfield was horse-collared on his very first carry and was wincing in pain on the sideline, who among you felt as I did? I was certain that the awkward way his knee twisted surely spelled more regression-to-the-mean injury disaster for this team. Elijah is one tough as hell hombre and his return, looking no worse for wear with possibly even larger biceps, was a beautiful thing to see.
4. Only a genius would put a linebacker on an island against Mecole Hardman in coverage. I wonder if Jake Fromm audibled on this play? I can imagine his call was, “Red 4, That’s you, Mecole. Run fast! Ha Ha Ha!”
5. What is the rule for targeting, anyway? When a player launches with the crown of the helmet as Tech’s Tre Jackson, a 5’ 10” piece of dreck did on a kickoff against Georgia’s Robert Beal, doesn’t get tossed and celebrates like he just got away with something (because he did), you can only wonder what the rules committee will do in the off-season to really define what targeting is because we all know the rules committee are on it. Of course, this play was wildly celebrated on Tech’s sideline because playing dirty has always been a point of celebration down on the Flats. Anyway, another missed call where the intent to injure was obvious. Maddening.
5A. This is really why I wished Kirby would’ve hung 65 on ‘em.
6. I don’t know how long Kirby Smart will coach in Athens. I suspect it’ll be a good, long run. And I suspect he’s going to have a lot of success against the Jackets. It was very good to win in Sanford. The first of many, many more.
7. This play is a microcosm of how our offensive line bullied Tech while the starters were doing their thing.
Sam Pittman hasn’t just taught these guys how to block. He’s taught them how to finish blocks. Jake Fromm had a lot of time to sit in the pocket and wait for his guys to uncover when we threw, but the balance on offense was truly a thing of beauty. Things will be a little bit different on Saturday.
8. As great as the offense played, I was simply blown away by how our defense responded to the challenge of the tri-option and really shut it down - even more so than last season. Malik Herring, in his first start, was simply superb credited with 5 total tackles, 1⁄2 sack and 1 and 1⁄2 tackles for loss from his defensive end position. Jonathan Ledbetter was never better with nine tackles with one for a loss. Jordan Davis got a beautiful sack on Tech’s skinny midget QB and his star continues to rise.
9. Watching Tech’s offense when they have to pass the ball is what makes life worth living.
10. D’Andre Walker had himself quite the game as well, tallying 7 tackles and a sack to up his yearly total to 6.5 I saw a good bit of Adam Anderson and Walter Grant, too. I’ll be interested in seeing how the youth stacked up when I watch the replay. The defense was led by the experienced guys and they were supremely prepared for yesterday. You could tell this wasn’t their first rodeo vs. Tech. The linebackers had a good day. Tae Crowder was doing his level best to replicate Roquan Smith’s effort last year and did a good job playing sideline to sideline. I saw a ton of guys around the ball all afternoon (at least the starters) and the kudos that Kirby Smart gave to the scout team was absolutely warranted. Everyone was ready.
354 - Tech’s rushing average this season.
128 - What we allowed on Saturday.
11. Hot Rod...just kick the ball to the moon from now until whenever your time is up in Athens.
12. The defensive back weren’t exactly invisible, either. I saw good play from J.R. Reed and he made some nice hits in run support. Tyson Campbell played significant minutes as did Tyrique McGhee.
Overheard a the Georgia Tech players were leaving Sanford Stadium. Unidentified Tech staff person walking with them: "That didn't go the way I thought it would." pic.twitter.com/UKMKwhwAfT— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) November 25, 2018
Dude...it went exactly the way we thought it would...
13. It was simply a dominant effort and I couldn’t be prouder. Will this be the last time we see Jowls Johnson on a Georgia (or Tech) sideline? Part of me hopes it is because of the notion that prepping for his offense is such a pain in the ass. Part of me hopes he stays because we seem to have a pretty good handle on prepping for his stuff. Anyway, enjoy Shreveport or El Paso or whetever the 3rd tier bowl Gods blow you, Nerds.
14. Y’all, we are 11-1. We are undefeated in Athens now for the 2nd consecutive season. For a team that is so young and so damned injured, we are peaking at just the right time. Our offense is dangerous and our defense has been playing better and better since LSU. I don’t know what more we could ask for from this entire group, but the last month of football has been about as much fun to watch as any I can remember.
the new normal.
15. How are we going to beat Alabama? This will be a monumental task, no doubt. Ol’ Lady Luck is going to have to make an appearance. I worry about the SEC officiating crews more than anything ‘Bama schemes, quite honestly. It sounds like we might be without the services of Monty Rice for another week and David Marshall is still not healthy. We’ve gotten this far on plug ‘n play youth and flip-flopping guys all over both lines of scrimmage. I guess we’ll just keep doing that. It seems to be working. Imagine if we were 100%? Anyway, there’s going to be a whole lot of new Dawg fans next Saturday afternoon.
We’ve got a whole week to get ready for this thing and I can’t wait.
- Clemson’s defense looked a bit like Oklahoma’s last night, no?
- The LSU/Texas A&M game - of which I didn’t watch all of - seemed to have a bit of drama:
- Michigan has an Ohio State problem. When something like this gets into your collective psyche (think Georgia-Florida not that long ago), it’s hard to get out. Anyway, if you’re gonna spit the bit Coach Khaki, go large. Then, go home.
- North Carolina fired Larry Fedora after 7 seasons. That could be a good job for the right guy.
That’s all I got. As Always...