This Is Our Year – SEC Championship

Good morning, y’all. Would a rainy day in Georgia give rise to my worst fears? Would the wet conditions be the determining factor that would prevent my Dawgs from achieving the 55-0 victory I had predicted the day before? The SEC Championship game was played in the non-weather conditions of Mercedes Benz stadium and so I can’t blame the weather for us not reaching my predicted 55 points and holding the Bungle tigers to 0.

I had all of my mojo set right for the game. I had the Subway sandwiches on time, I was dressed to the 9’s in my UGA regalia and Butts the wonder dog was in his favorite spot. The folks gathered around at TackyToo were ready for a beat down.

The Dawgs squeaked out a 50-30 win in Atlanta over the Tiggers of Baton Rouge. Like their band, the Tiggers came to play, but ultimately they were no match for the boys in red. In a game that started slow, with the Tiggers marching down the field with the opening kickoff only to be held to a field goal attempt, some of us were already Munsoning. The Tiggers lined up for a field goal, it was blocked, and better than that, the block was returned for a touchdown. Now there’s a play and reversal of fortune you don’t see everyday.

At this point I feared the Bulldogs were going to revert to their old bad habit of “playing down to the level of their competition”. On the return kickoff it seemed like our guys were less than inspired, and the defense seemed to be having trouble keeping up with all of the LSU receivers. LSU returned the favor of the gifted touchdown by scoring one of the few first quarter touchdowns by an opponent this year. 7 to 7 and the battle is engaged. We couldn’t get it in gear after the kickoff and had to punt. I am beginning to perspire.

About then it seemed like the Gods were smiling from above and we collected an interception off of the helmet of an LSU player that was bounced a couple of times in the air before landing in the rightful owners, the Georgia Bulldogs. We score and it’s 14 to 7 at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. We score three more times in the half while only allowing LSU a field goal and we got into half time up 35-10.

A comfortable first half and we get the ball to open the second half with the opportunity to make it a blowout. We fumble. Then they score and it’s 35-17 and the game is closer than it should be in my estimation. LSU has a real gunslinger for a quarterback and we seem to have a hard time keeping up with his receivers. Good news is that they’re gaining mere inches on the ground. If not for the heroics of Jalen Carter and the defensive line, it could have gotten ugly.

Let me take this opportunity to immortalize one of the most iconic moments of college sports I’ve ever witnessed. Jalen Carter, all world everything, rushed the quarterback casting aside the two blockers assigned to stopping him. They did not. He arrived at the quarterback and had the opportunity to drive him six feet into the ground. He did not. Rather he picked the full grown man up in his left arm like a child while raising his right arm to the crowd with his index finger in the “number one” position. The referees blew the play dead as the quarterback’s forward progress was clearly stopped. I’ve never seen a more magnified display of dominance while at the same time displaying compassion for his opponent. I’d love for Jalen to stay another year, but if not, I hope he’s drafted number one. Pay the man his money.

A new attitude seemed to inspire the boys in the second half. Somebody must have lit a fire under some bottoms during their break. Both lines looked like they got the message and the stats bear out their efforts. After the next score, the rout was on. Here are some highlights:

Offense- Ten different receivers accounted for 274 yards through the air. There’s a rumor that we only passed five times in the second half, I need to confirm. Six different runners accounted for 255 yards on the ground with Kendal Milton getting the lion’s share of 113 yards. Why pass when the run is working, right?

Defense – Came to play and appeared to get better as the game went on. They held the Tigger offense to just 47 yards on the ground but gave up a whopping 502 yards in the air. The number and resulting points probably deserves a deep dive and I’m sure the coaches are on it. To my untrained eye it seemed like everything thrown at one of our corner backs was completed, but I’m not calling names. I’d love to get to the 4th quarter against OSU and start subbing in the Freshman again.

Special teams – Did not disappoint, and that’s a big improvement. We have got to have absolute concentration in our next outing or we might be the victims of trickeration.

Coaches – I love the half time adjustment. It seems like we’ve found coaches that can inspire at half time instead of console. I like the boys playing like their heads are on fire. Whoever is pumping the boys up at half time, turn up the volume!

Speaking of turning up the volume, let’s give a big shout out to the Bulldog Nation for bringing the noise to the Benz. We get to do it again against OSU in the semifinals. GO DAWGS!