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090322 Atlanta: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Oregon Dan Lanning embrace at the end of the game after Georgia defeated Oregon 49-3 in a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis Compton@ajc.com

Georgia football winners and losers coming out of off week

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Georgia football winners and losers coming out of off week

Winner: Me

Sunday was tough.

I ran my first ever half-marathon, competing in the Athens Half-Marathon. It was an incredible experience, running past many of the places I have either lived or worked over my time in Athens. I even spent a little time in Sanford Stadium, making sure that even during a bye-week I spend some time in Georgia football’s cathedral.

I ran a time I’m super proud of, 1:43:05. I ran to my standard. Next year, I look forward to breaking 1:30.

The running was not the tough part, though. Sunday would’ve been Jackson Smith’s 30th birthday.

I’ve written about Jackson in this space before. Probably will continue to do so. Even with it being now almost three years without him, he’s still a very big presence in my life. He inspires me every day. To laugh, to think, to bring joy to others and make the most of every day.

I had a lot of people tell me they were proud of me, both before and after the race. It really meant a lot to know that I have people in my corner, whether they be in Athens or Los Angeles or New York.

Prior to the race, I wrote JS30 on my shoes. When things got tough around mile 12 — passing the backside of Sanford ironically — I felt like tapping out. But I found a final wind, pushed through the finish and then crushed some Cane’s. I know Jackson, who ran cross country in his day, would’ve done the same.

Oregon is now the No. 8 team in the country and the clear best team in the PAC-12. If the Ducks keep winning, they themselves may have a very real playoff case.

The Week 1 win over Oregon should help bolster Georgia’s claim to the top spot in the current rankings. If the Bulldogs continue to take of their business, there will be little doubt about where Georgia belongs in the pecking order.

Related: Social media ponders Georgia football after impressive Oregon win

But having a marquee win like the one Georgia had over Oregon is why the Bulldogs play in those massive non-conference matchups. The big victory continues to be a statement moment for Kirby Smart and his team.

Loser: Jimbo Fisher

Things continue to get worse for the Texas A&M coach. Losing to Alabama is understandable. Even with the No. 1 recruiting class, the Crimson Tide still held a talent edge over the Aggies.

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