ATLANTA — Georgia’s young football team fell short on the scoreboard at LSU, but DawgNation made its presence felt in Tiger Stadium and on the airwaves.
The Georgia-LSU Saturday afternoon showdown was the highest rated college football game of the day, according to a CBS sports release, peaking with a 4.5/10 share from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
Atlanta was the No. 3 market in the nation (17.2/37), trailing only New Orleans (25.2/42) and Birmingham (22.9/35). Knoxville, TN., was the No. 4 market (13.8/24) followed by Jacksonville (13.6/23).
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity had anticipated the turnout.
The demand for seats at Tiger stadium was to the extent that the cut-off score for UGA donors to qualify to buy LSU tickets was 99,000 points. The Bulldogs got 6,000 tickets in 102,321-seat Tiger Stadium in its ticket swap with LSU.
“It’ll be interesting to see how much red and black gets inside the stadium,” McGarity said. “Our fans are very creative. They find a way to get it done.”
RECAP: LSU 36, Georgia 16, scoring, news and injury updates from Saturday’s game
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart opened his post-game press conference praising the UGA fan base, which has made its presence felt since the former Georgia All-SEC safety has taken over the program.
“First I’d like to thank our fans,” Smart said in his opening remarks following the 36-16 loss at Tiger Stadium. “Our fans follow us everywhere we go. thought they did an unbelievable job of keeping in the game and staying with us and trying to bring us back.
“We’ve got a great group of fans and I can’t thank them enough.”
Indeed, it’s to the point where the Georgia football players expect to see “a sea of red” home and away.
“Going everywhere around the country, we look up and see a sea of red,” Bulldogs senior receiver Terry Godwin said in the days leading up to the LSU trip, asked what he expected to see in Baton Rouge. “It makes us feel at home, so it makes us feel like we’re back here at Sanford Stadium.”