So, are we a dynasty? The media seems to think we are. I think we are close (if not there) with the potential to remain at the top for a while because there is a very good chance that the Georgia Football team could find itself playing for, and winning, a 3rd consecutive National Championship in ‘23. We’ll be ranked #1 to begin the title defense before you can name the 7th storm of the Hurricane Season next September. For now, that’s all future talk. Soak this all in, everyone. Nothing lasts forever and this certainly won’t. But I do believe that what we have going on with Kirby Smart at the helm will last for as long as he wants to be the coach in Athens.
One of Kirby’s coldest moments ❄️ pic.twitter.com/XXRNng28ER— blakejmorgan (@blakejmorgan) January 10, 2023
Tell me: When you saw this last night, did you feel anything other than confidence?
1. Last night’s performance was the type of game that we have been waiting on since the Oregon season opener. There were a lot of similarities. We certainly played the most inspired game since Tennessee. Was it perfect? No. We had an opening drive false start. We had a mix up between the safety and cornerback that resulted in the only TCU highlight of the night. Think about that? Their only chunk play all evening that resulted in 60 yards. That accounted for almost 1⁄3 of their total offensive output on the night. We had a 3-n-out coming out of the half, but unlike recent 3rd quarters still scored 14 points during that span. And we missed a PAT on our last score. Kirby’s aggressive approach never wavered, from start to finish. It was beautiful.
2. Last year, as Alabama was desperately trying to come back on their penultimate drive of the game that resulted in the Kelee Ringo Pick-6, every Dawg fan across the world held their collective breath and only truly exhaled when Ringo crossed the goal line, sealing Bama’s fate. Winning that game was a relief more than joy, at least for me. The joy came a few days later, and during the subsequent weeks and months that elapsed.
Last night’s game was the most fun watching a consequential Georgia game in my lifetime. The joy of watching our defense crush TCU’s “vaunted” offense and the execution of Todd Monken’s offense - scoring on 10 of 12 possessions (the last possession was the victory formation) - was simply bliss in 60” High Definition.
3. I Tweeted last night that whatever Kirby said to his troops pre-game must’ve have been Churchillian. As it turns out, it would’ve made Churchill blush. And old Winston, had he been in that locker room, would’ve run through a damn wall (or, the Third Reich), too.
Update: It turns out this was leaked audio from earlier this season according to 247Sports. It's still epic.
4. Individually, what can you say about Stetson that hasn’t already been said. I’m sure, somewhere, a really average Hollywood script writer has begun a draft of a movie that’ll either end up as a Disney flick (think, Miracle!) or, god forbid, on Peacock. Anyway, Stetson was the accurate, cerebral thrower that we know he can be. He threaded a few needles when he had to and hit some more beautiful seams down the middle as his offensive line gave him ample time on nearly every drop back. Stetson the runner accounted for 2 scores, but my favorite run of the night was his scramble to the left of a blitzing ‘backer on 3rd and 10. Stet picked up the first down.
Georgia was 9 of 13 (1-1 on 4th down) and many of these were of the 10 yard variety.
Eighteen of 25, 304 yards, 4 passing TD’s. Two rushing TD’s. I think the Heisman Trophy should be award after the National Championship Game is played. Stetson Bennett is deserving of this award.
5. Same thing with the Joe Moore Award. Georgia’s offensive line blew TCU off the ball and destroyed whatever 3-3-5 dreams they had. Compare what TCU was able to do to Michigan, and go back and see how our mammoth line physically whipped their defense. There is no comparison.
BIG block from Broderick Jones... pic.twitter.com/rFo10vU0MR— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 10, 2023
Boom! There’s the rightful Joe Moore Award winning offensive line, right there...
6. Other individual performances that must be acknowledged, in no particular order, beginning with Ladd McConkey. Ladd had the best night since the SEC Championship game prior to his knee injury. I believe his first catch of the game, when he went up for a fingertip grab before going out of bounds was his best. Ladd the Impaler had 5 catches for 88 yards and 2 scores. He has become a very, very good and dependable part of Monken’s offense. Every team is really banged up by this point in the season, and only 2 teams play a 15th game. All those bruised up Dawgs are going to get some much-deserved down time. Here’s a prayer for quick healing for everyone.
7. Brock Bowers was a manimal last night, not only in the utilization as an offensive weapon (7 rec./152 yards/1 TD) but in blocking. Here he is, with Darnell Washington leading the way on Georgia’s second drive of the third quarter:
As great a receiver as he is, and I’ve never seen better, softer hands on a tight end anywhere, he’s simply outstanding as a downfield blocker that can seal an edge against seemingly anyone he encounters and absolutely abuses smaller corners when tasked, to wit:
All those catches, handoffs & yards yet this is what separates Brock Bowers. Flat out effort. The perimeter blocking was fantastic for @GeorgiaFootball last night. Don’t see that everywhere. pic.twitter.com/6g5OSm2cJa— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 10, 2023
Brock Bowers for Heisman needs to get traction, now.
8. Our running backs-by-committee accounted for 254 yards on 44 shared carries, with Kenny McIntosh leading the way with 50. Branson Robinson was the absolute last thing TCU wanted to see coming off the bench, and it showed. #22 gained 42 with 2 scores late in the game. Kendall Milton added a score 33 yards, and Daijun Edwards chipped in 30 yards on 5 carries. Georgia averaged 5.8 yards/carry on the night. That’s a recipe for success, no matter how many Dawgs tote the rock.
9. Defensively, Georgia really pressured Max Duggan from the very beginning and he felt it throughout the evening. He looked flustered at times and genuinely did not know where the pressure was coming from on any given down. That’s the chaos Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp want to create.
10. Duggan was sacked 5 times; the Georgia defense had 9 tackles for loss. Big Bear Alexander is ready for his close-up, folks. He had 1 sack, 2 TFL’s and was un-blockable when his number was called. Big #99 could be the next great monster defensive lineman and will be ready to jump right in next year.
He’s a big ‘ol Bear
Speaking of youth movements: Jalon Walker is going to be a problem next year. That kid looked like he was shot out of a cannon on his lone sack late in the game. Robert Beal, Jr. also got a sack. I’m proud of #33 for hanging with the program and becoming a vital part of the defense. His value increased when Nolan Smith went down during the Florida game. Mykel Williams also recorded a sack, as did Tykee Smith who spelled the dinged up Javon Bullard.
11. Speaking of Bullard: Two interceptions - the pick just before the half was the coup de grace as far as the Horned Frogs hopes were concerned - and a fumble recovery. What a night. For the 2nd consecutive CFP game, he was the Defensive Player of the Game.
As a kid, you know, you always dream of moments like this, and just to see those moments and accomplishments and things like that come true, it’s just a surreal feeling. I’m extremely blessed to be in the position I am. I just thank God for it every day. - Javon Bullard
12. Jacobs and Davis do not play in our secondary...
I really want that hoodie.
13. I’m running out of accolades. I’m also running on fumes because I was so jacked last night I nearly ate a stick of butter and certainly partook in my fair share of bourbon and I didn’t go to bed until about 4 AM. Then, I had to drag myself into work. But, one must sacrifice for the greater good. I hear that SoFi Stadium is amazing, and what I could tell it looked like an architectural marvel. Pity about the weather. The west coast is having a generational rain event. Anyway, next year, I’m going if we (and we should) make a 3rd consecutive CFP appearance. I’ve already started a playoff fund. Winning is beautiful. And it’s damned expensive.
14. I hope in time TCU’s accomplishments are appreciated and that the beating they took doesn’t diminish what they did during the season. They certainly belonged in the CFP, but this says more about Michigan than anything else. That team played the weakest Conference/Non-Conference schedule in the B1G. I still don’t know how Ohio State spit the bit at home and lost to these guys.
15. We are National Champions once again. Our rivals are cringing at what Kirby & Co. has built in a relatively short amount of time. It seems like yesterday when I watched Alabama pound us into submission at home back in 2015, and then Kirby was announced as coach. Many people didn’t agree with this hire. Tom Herman was the hot coach at the time, ultimately going to and flaming out at Texas. There were others, but how fortunate are we that Kirby was the pick?
What a year it has been. This team got up for the biggest games, and played down to its competition at times - perhaps a sign of youth or boredom. Kirby preaches against complacency and his new task is to ward off any sense of entitlement. Georgia is back-to-back champs and on top of the college football world. There is enough talent coming back to perhaps be even better, but complacency would surely be a killer.
I can’t praise the coaching and support staff enough for what we have witnessed and are enjoying today. Thanks to the fans who traveled. You showed up and showed out. Thanks to the readers of this blog and all the support during the season as well.
It’s truly Great to be a Georgia Bulldog. Now and forever.