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15 Thoughts Just Wasn’t on its Game

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I’m too damned old for 9 o’clock kickoffs. Someone bring me a prune juice and tell those kids to get off my lawn.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Georgia
It looks like Rust Cohle’s therapy has turned out well...
  1. I had a bad feeling about this game, beginning about 2 weeks ago. This was before the news of Jordan Davis and D’Andre Walker being injured with the dreaded “questionable” tag applied, and around the same time rumblings that Deandre Baker decided to sit this one out.
  2. I don’t care what Jake Fromm says, this team played as if they were hungover from the December 1 defeat. Hells Bells. Alabama has beaten us 3 times in a calendar year.
  3. Having said all of that, I really am pretty much detached about the whole thing. Sure, winning would’ve been nice and perhaps a hollow validation regarding the CFP’s. But we have, in 3-short years, as a fanbase already gone from “I hope we get a Florida bowl game” to “if you ain’t in the Final Four, you ain’t a playa.” Our expectations have already jumped to this level, as well they should. I can’t remember a less anticipated Sugar Bowl than the one that just transpired.
  4. After Texas scored their last touchdown and converted on the 2-point conversion, I went to bed. Am I a bad Dawg? No regrets. Slept like a baby. I also had to be at work by 7 after a 2-week vacation. This morning, in a word, sucked.
  5. A wise-man once said, “youth is wasted on the young.” Such was the case with the Twitter barrage over the last month from more than 1 Georgia player. If you are going to talk it, you’d damn sure better walk-it. I hope this is a lesson learned. I think it will be.
  6. The Senator has a nice roundup of the young guys we played, as does Macondawg. I found myself resorting to an excel sheet of roster players I created at the beginning of the season which now seems like a long, long time ago. There is a metric shit-ton of raw, potentially great dudes that saw a lot of playing time. A newly flight-worthy peregrine falcon doesn’t just hop out of the nest and learn how to hunt. It has to be taught. We’ve got a bunch of young raptors that are going to be great...and their time is coming soon.
  7. I feel like this spring might be the most critical in recent years. Guys that really flashed on New Year’s night are going to push some guys who might be looking over their shoulder a bit. That’s a good thing. What differentiates our roster from Alabama’s at the moment is when a D’Andre Walker goes down, we don’t have a seasoned replacement. Bama does. When Jordan Davis goes down, who is the next big body to step right in? Bama has one. We’re still developing them. The gap is closing, but there is still a gap.
  8. I’m not even going to get into the Justin Fields debate cause he’s gone and crying over spilled 5-stars ain’t going to do anyone any good. Jake Fromm is the man in 2019 and perhaps 2020. Yeah, #11 didn’t play particularly well, although he had a ton of drops and the ball to J.J. Holloman was as good a deep ball as you’ll see and should have been caught. Conversely, the post to J.J. on about the goal line that was too high was a sure 6 points. I’m all in on Fromm and do believe he experienced a sophomore slump. I think he breaks out in 2019 in a big, big way.
  9. Will he still be throwing to Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley? I certainly hope so. Some young guys who redshirted or played very sparingly at receiver are going to get indoctrinated big-time over the next few months.
  10. The Bevo incident could have been a disaster. Was he going after Uga or was he actually being “pulled” in that direction by his handlers as they tried to recover the rogue bull. Texas says he’s fairly docile, but that big ‘ol slab of beef nearly stampeded on his own. It was the social media highlight of the evening. I think I prefer Colorado’s, “Ralphie.” She’s never tried to gore a mascot to my knowledge.
TCU v Texas
This is not an indoor pet.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

11. Yeah, we didn’t play well. We had the “big head” as Solomon Kindley so kindly phrased it. Considering all the injuries (which is how 2018 will be remembered), the Mel Tucker exit, the Justin Fields, and the lethargic practices that may or may not have resulted in some disciplinary actions of some experienced dudes, I’m not the least bit surprised that we got waxed. We just didn’t show up until it was too late. I don’t think this is on the coaches. This is on the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. It has been an incredibly trying 4 weeks leading up to this and the fact that we didn’t get absolutely blown-out is a credit to those very young defenders who held the line for most of the night with little help from the offense until late...

12 ...and the irony in all of this is the offense was supposed to be the side of the ball least affected by the drama.

13. I just couldn’t write a 15 Thoughts after the Natty loss last season. I tried and I tried, but the words would not come. Too emotional, I guess. Today, I’m almost emotionless. I guess I can sympathize with some of the players as well. Everything took its toll...

14. ...and credit Texas. They showed up motivated and simply laid the hammer down like a good team should do.

15. Reasons for optimism? Again, Macondawg nails it regarding the trajectory of this team. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n roll. Georgia is getting closer to the top, but every now and then an avalanche comes at you hard and fast. You gotta learn how to duck the adversity when it hits you. This season, injuries really screwed up our chemistry in a lot of areas, primarily on the offensive line where the depth saved the day.

A lot of folks are pointing fingers at our offensive coordinator. Look, there were plenty of plays there for the taking; at least 2 touchdown passes that we not executed. D’Andre Swift’s fumbles were something out of an Cormack McCarthy novel. It affected his confidence as he just didn’t run like he has the 2nd half of the season. Richard LeCounte has got to “see” what he’s tackling or he’ll get passed over, and soon. There was so much fail in the Superdome. I could go on, but I won’t. It is in the rear-view. The game was simply a poorly played exhibition and I’ve forgotten about it (almost) already.

If some guys decide to return and add that element of senior leadership that is so critical to success, I’ll feel even better about 2019. I hope they make the best decision for themselves, but selfishly another year in our system with a very good chance to win it all might be a better option.

We finished 11-3. Not bad for a “down” year.

That’s all I’ve got. As always, GO DAWGS!