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Georgia football winners and losers following 44-21 win over Tennessee
Winner: Jack Podlesny
The Georgia kicker had a problem. He had his first career miss last week from Auburn on a 43-yard attempt from the right hash mark. So Podlesny reached out to his close friend, former Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
“He responded immediately, helped me and obviously it worked out,” Podlesny said after the game.
Whatever Blankenship told the redshirt sophomore kicker clearly worked as he connected on all three field goals he attempted against Tennessee. He connected on field-goal attempts of 47, 34 and 51 yards.
That final field goal was the longest make by a Georgia kicker since Blankenship hit a 53-yarder against Vanderbilt in 2018.
On the season, Podlesny is now seven of eight on his field goal attempts, while making all 11 of his extra points so far. But the kicker from St. Simons, Ga., isn’t resting easy just yet.
Blankenship helped teach him that he can’t.
“Rodrigo loves the term ‘walk-on mentality,’ ” Podlesny said. “It’s just that. It’s realizing, I might be a nobody, but I’ve got to come to compete every day.”
Loser: Dan Mullen
The Florida head coach is a loser in two different ways. First, his team lost 41-38 to Texas A&M after holding a 28-17 lead in the second half.
But the real reason the Florida head coach lands here is because of what he said after the fact.
“I know our governor passed that rule, so certainly, hopefully, the university administration decides to let us pack The Swamp for LSU next week,” Mullen said. “One hundred percent because that crowd was a major factor in the game. So I certainly hope our university administration follows the governor.”
Mullen is alluding to the decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift COVID-19 restrictions in the state, which allows stadiums around Florida to operate at full capacity if they decide to do so.
To lose one game is a tough look, especially when Florida was a touchdown favorite. But to then demand you have a full stadium — a week after Florida did not sell all of its tickets for a home game against South Carolina with a limited capacity — because the crowd noise affected your team is just weak. And that’s before even going into the ethical question of whether or not 90,000 fans should pack a stadium in the middle of a pandemic.
As for Georgia’s game against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 7, the city announced that there would be a limited crowd in attendance for the game.
Winner: Channing Tindall