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#DGD: Catching up with former Bulldog Arthur Lynch
In this week’s installment of the #DGD or “Damn Good Dawg” series, we catch up with former Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch. After a slow start to his Georgia career, Lynch blossomed into an All-SEC tight end and a key member of Georgia’s 2012 SEC East championship team.
DN: This question seems sort of trivial compared to everything else you’ve been through, but did you get to watch much of Georgia football this season and if so what did you think of them?
AL: I will say Georgia football was a top priority for me, and they always are for me. The only problem for me is that we didn’t television. But the good thing about having basic training in Fort Benning is that half of the Army civilians grew up in Columbus, Ga., and they’re either a Georgia Bulldog fan, an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan. So I would always ask the Army civilians on Sunday morning what happened in the Georgia. I did get to watch the SEC championship game, but I only saw four games this year. But I was always very aware of how they were doing.
DN: So since you did see the game, what did you think of Georgia’s performance against Alabama?
AL: It felt like deja vu really with the 2012 game. It was tough. There’s probably a little bit of a mental hurdle that has now been built in front of Georgia football by Nick Saban and Alabama. I hate to say it, but since I lived that first game in 2012, I almost have an expectation for us to somehow lose in dramatic fashion. It’s a terrible thing to say but man. Unfortunately, watching that game, it ended up playing like something out of a movie with (Alabama quarterback) Jalen Hurts coming in at the end against the team that basically forced him to lose his spot. It was pretty dramatic and theatrical. But when that all started to take place, I kind of had a feeling that this to would end in a defeat for Georgia. It was tough watching it, but I also know that there’s a light at the tunnel. At the end of the day, Nick Saban is on the other sideline, and if you give him an inch he’s going to take a yard. I think Georgia is equally talented and I do think that Kirby Smart is the man who will lead Georgia to a national championship, but they have to get over that Alabama hurdle that’s been there really since 2008.
DN: So in your 2012 game, you have the big catch to get Georgia inside the 10-yard line before the final play. And then the game ends the way it does on the tipped pass that Chris Conley ends up catching. You guys were arguably the second best team in the country that year, and somewhat like this year, you didn’t get the chance to play for the national championship. How did that SEC championship game loss motivate you for both the bowl game and then going into that 2013 season?
AL: I think in the bowl game we were just so pissed off at the end of the game. We realized that we were probably the second best team in the country. Then when we watched Notre Dame in the national title game we were like, ‘Really? This is the team that’s playing for the national championship?’ And Alabama just wiped the floor with them. That should’ve been us. And then going into the next year, if anything it motivated us for that next year. Georgia was motivated as ever going into this season after what happened last year. So this result will only fuel them even more, and probably even drive them crazy, which is why I say they’ll have a little bit of a mental hurdle to get over. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia comes back out and wipes the floor with Texas. They finish the year ranked No. 2 or 3, and just start on a hot streak to begin next season. That’s what I would predict, but again it all comes back to can you beat Alabama when it matters most. As for us in 2013, we brought back a ton of guys. But then in that first game of the season against Clemson, Malcolm Mitchell tears his ACL celebrating a touchdown with Todd Gurley, and that sort of was a precursor for the season. We lost to Clemson by three points but then we beat two top-10 teams. But it just seemed like every week, we lost another key player to injury. By the end of the year we lost Keith Marshall, Michael Bennett, Mitchell and Aaron Murray to knee injuries. So for us we had a lot of motivation but the attrition of football ended really any hopes we had.
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