ATHENS — When fourth-and-10 arrived Saturday, Chuks Amaechi turned away from the field. The Georgia senior linebacker had been watching his offense go down the field, trying for a game-saving touchdown, but with the game now on the line he couldn’t watch.
“I was too scared, too nervous to look at that,” Amaechi recalled Monday.
He wasn’t the only one: Junior linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who was next to Amaechi, was also looking away. But at the last second Carter “caved in and turned around,” according to Amaechi.
But Amaechi kept his back to the field as Jacob Eason hit Isaiah McKenzie in the end zone for the 20-yard touchdown. Amaechi was watching Missouri’s crowd, and the reaction told him all he needed to know.
“I saw wide mouths and heads in laps,” Amaechi said.
As great as it was, there was still 1:29 left on the clock. Amaechi was on kickoff return, so after 30 seconds of celebration – enough time for William Ham’s extra point, which actually provided the margin of victory – Amaechi and his teammates girded up to finish the game.
When they did, Amaechi wasn’t the only one looking at the Missouri fans, who apparently had said some things overheard by Georgia’s sideline.
“Davin (Bellamy) was in his Allen Iverson mode, just taunting the fans,” Amaechi said of Georgia’s junior linebacker. “I felt it was something they needed.”
Amaechi was smiling as he said it, so it didn’t appear the fan comments were anything out of the norm.
On the plane ride home, Amaechi saw the now-viral video of a Georgia fan celebrating the touchdown by breaking glass in his own house and jamming his hand through it. The fan eventually had to get the injured arm treated.
“That our fans love us that much that they would trash their house,” Amaechi said. “I saw an aftermath photo, that he cut his bicep or forearm. Our fans love us that much.”