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15 Thoughts: Championship Deferred

Well, damn. Just damn.

SEC Championship - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

For the record, I am happy with the trajectory of our program. Despite being a flawed team, we are a damned good team and should have won against The Standard yesterday. These are never easy to write, but here it goes...

1. I hope to look back on this one day from a different point of view that I am feeling at this moment. Our team outplayed and were more physical than Alabama for about 45 minutes. I felt like we, once again, eased up on our aggression offensively. Alabama made some adjustments, but seemed not to.

2. Why did we get away from what was working for 34 of the game as we languished in the 4th quarter? Much like Sony Michel last year, D’Andre Swift more or less disappeared late. Jim Chaney, who called a good game for most of the day, again took the ball out of Jake Fromm’s hands down the crucial stretch. Alabama blitzed a lot, and the pressure affected Fromm, but do we not have some designs to counter this? I know we have some blitz-killing screens and draws in our game plan. Just once I’d like to see a wheel route utilized because it would work. Our running backs are studs. Short passes to get them one-on-one with Alabama’s defensive backs is something that was there to exploit.

3. Special teams failed us. This was supposed to be an advantage. We had so many opportunities to pin Alabama deep on punts, but absolutely misplayed a few shots that could have made a difference. Richard LeCount actually did a great job knocking a ball back into play that would’ve really put Bama in a hole, but the ricochet actually hit the back of his ankle and the ball drifted into the end zone for a harmless touch back. Rodrigo Blankenship’s uncharacteristic missed 30-yard chip shot was an extremely bad omen.

4. Hot Rod’s miss missed points were huge and we could’ve made it a 3-score game. His miss was the infusion of life that Alabama desperately needed and got. A touchdown might’ve sealed the deal on this drive, and it seemed we were destined for this after Jake Fromm tossed a brilliant lob over the linebacker covering Isaac Nauta who bolted for 55-yards through the center of the field and had us set up for what could have been a kill shot. Instead, the momentum changed right there. And this is the problem regarding Bama: We are not handling momentum shifts well at all in this series.

5. I can’t even begin to reconcile the fake punt. Everyone knew it was coming. This wasn’t the defining moment of the game; single plays rarely are. But it was a bad, bad call that is on the coaching staff. You have to kick it there and make them drive a long field.

Having stated what I did, I would not trade Kirby Smart for ANY coach in America. Georgia is an elite program now. Elite. By the end of the 2015 Florida game I honestly thought Georgia was about to fade into obscurity. It seems like yesterday because it was yesterday. We’ve come so far. Keep choppin’.

6. It isn’t losing that hurts. It’s how we lost. Again.

7. Tua Tagovailoa began to find some rhythm in the 3rd quarter, but he was making very bad decisions and was obviously hobbled. I honestly think he was good for one more interception, having already thrown two on the day. His injury-forced departure was a bad thing for us. He was a compromised quarterback and we were affecting him. He’s human after all. You can only tip your cap to Jalen Hurts. The kid came in and saved them. Nice story. I hate nice stories.

8. Post-game, Kirby lobbied hard for a seat at the playoff table. There are a lot of guys in the media that are doing the same. Do we deserve a spot?


Is Georgia one of the 4 best teams in America?

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  • 30%
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    Hell Yes.
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9. I am so very proud of this team. It has been said that we were playing with house money yesterday and I suppose in a sense we were. Imagine if we were healthy on both lines of scrimmage? I think our defense tired in the end.

10. Tae Crowder played his ass off. Our defense as a whole should hold their collective heads up high. So much youth out there making plays and making a difference. These guys are only going to get better. Natrez Patrick and Juwan Taylor played their hearts out. D’Andre Walker left everything he had on the field. He was awesome.

Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell are going to be really, really good.

11. Brenton Cox was held the entire 4th quarter. I’ve seen a bunch of stuff on social media and some still photos showing a plethora of uncalled penalties. It should work both ways, but it didn’t.

Exhibit A. As in, Alabama.

12. Jake Fromm made some NFL throws on Saturday. The dime to Riley Ridley was just special.

13. Georgia is still building a monster. Sometimes, the design & blueprints (coaching) are a bit off and needs an adjustment; sometimes, some of the parts (injuries) were damaged in shipping. When it all comes together - and it’s coming - it’ll be scarier than it already is. Soon.

14. I was sucking down beers unconsciously during this game. I am paying for it this morning. Funny how I never really notice it after a victory.

15. Georgia is one of the best 4 teams in the nation, but the Committee has spoken. We’d crush Notre Dame. We’d whip Oklahoma. We’d handle Clemson. I like our chances in a re-match with Alabama. We had our chance to seal the deal, but just couldn’t do it.

We’ll get another chance soon enough. This season, I’m afraid, is just a championship deferred. Until then, prep for Texas and whip the snot out of ‘em in New Orleans.

That’s all I can muster. As Always,