THE NCAA FINAL
Good morning, y’all. Would a rainy day in Los Angeles give rise to my worst fears? Would the wet conditions outside of a domed stadium provide too much of a distraction for my Dawgs to repeat as National Champions? Would the fear of mudslides and sideways winds permeating the almost enclosed SOFI stadium cause our boys to be distracted enough to bungle the largest game of their young lives? According to the scoreboard, no.
On a night pumped full of drama from talking heads, Disney officials, retired coaches and some that should be, the brave lads from the Classic City met their foes from Dallas Lite on the artificial plains of a neutral field designed to provide the ultimate in comfort and convenience for attending a brawl between the two finest football teams in the land. No tailgating allowed.
Fortunately, I was well prepared in section HD in the Rec room here at Tackytoo. I had all of my mojo set right for the game having purchased Subway sandwiches for all of the attendees. I also went the extra mile and provided UGA t-shirts and hats for the attendees. Mulva had purchase a large sheet cake from Walmart for the anticipated victory celebration time. Butts the wonder dog was in his favorite spot and seemed nonplussed that UGGA himself had not made the game. The folks gathered around at TackyToo were ready for a beat down.
The Dawgs squeaked out a 65-7 win in LaLaLand over the Horny Toads of TCU. We won the kickoff, elected to defer, and then won everything else thereafter. The Lizards took the kickoff, went three and out and then the big dogs started to eat. We scored like a knife going through hot butter. If there was any deity involved it was clear they had their money on the bigger, faster, stronger lads from the Southeast Conference. On TCU’s next possession they fumble but do manage to hold us to a field goal.
Maybe the Gods were smiling from above and thought it would be fun to make a game of it. A blown coverage results in a TCU touchdown and we are 17 to 7 at the quarter. Then it got ugly. We score 21 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and go into the half leading 38-7. Butts has fallen asleep, and I have to admit that my anxiety has lessened too.
A new attitude seemed to inspire the boys in the second half. At Kirby’s halftime interview he mentioned that the Dawgs had not been playing well in the 3rd quarter of late and that TCU was a really good 3rd quarter team. The message must have been delivered with fire and brimstone because the boys came back from the halftime speech with their heads on fire. After receiving the kickoff, the boys go 3 and out and my heart rate ticked up a notch. Not to worry, on our next possession the rout was on. Here are some highlights:
Offense- Nine different receivers accounted for 335 yards through the air. Stetson was an amazing 18 for 25 and 304 yards. Stetson passed for 4 touchdowns and put up 2 by running. Eight different runners accounted for 254 yards on the ground with freshman Branson Robinson accounting for 42 yards on 7 carries. Kenny McIntosh led all of the rushers with 50 yards on 8 carries. Look at the numbers on the season and wonder why Michigan’s offensive line won the award for best offensive line.
Defense – With the exception of one blown coverage, which was costly, we were completely dialed in to what TCU was trying to do. Their all-world receiver was held to one catch for 3 yards. Their Heisman finalist quarterback was held to 152 yards on 14 of 22 attempts. TCU’s vaunted ground game was held to an anemic 36 yards rushing. Our boys collected two interceptions and one fumble on the way to a beatdown that was being delivered by Freshmen in the 2nd half.
Special teams – Sad to say, Podlesny missed an extra point, I think Carson Beck was holding at the time since Stetson had been retired by that time. One wag commented that it was probably because he was wore out from kicking so many PTAs.
Coaches – If there is a finer staff in America, I don’t know about it. The genius of Todd Monken was on full display as he sliced and diced the Frogs time after time. The defense was dialed in and playing like they thought first round NFL offers were being considered with each play. Hopefully, the coaches will love life in Athens for a long, long time.
Let’s give a big shout out to the Bulldog Nation for enduring the indignity of not being able to tailgate at the fancy shmantzy stadium and still traveled in droves to bring the noise to the game. The best fans deserve the best team and we have now proven it twice. We are back-to-back champions! GO DAWGS!