Lewis Cine got his first chance to speak to the media at Georgia on Saturday night after the loss to LSU in the SEC championship game.
It allowed a DawgNation correspondent to unravel the answer to a few 2019 mysteries involving Cine.
It wasn’t just how the Under Armour 2019 All-American has worked himself into a regular contributor this fall. Cine is one of just six Bulldog freshmen to play in every game this year.
With Cine, the biggest question coming in could have been in regard to his jersey choice. Or choices.
Was he No. 8? Or No. 16? Or No. 28? Cine wore that No. 28 earlier this year when he picked off the first pass of his Georgia career. (For the record, he’s No. 16. Definitely.)
Did he have a certain number for road games? Home games? Was it his destiny to befuddle play-by-play announcers with the unique phonetics of his last name (Sounds like “Scene” as in the movies) AND his revolving door of jersey numbers in 2019?
Those were all good thoughts coming in, but all of that went out of the wayside as he started his first game as a Bulldog against LSU.
He had to because his unique blend of size, speed, skills and smarts made him the perfect extra defender to stay on the field to try and half Heisman favorite Joe Burrow and that prolific LSU offense.
Cine tied for the team-best totals in tackles against LSU. That furthered the notion that if both fans and those play-by-play TV guys don’t have the phonetics of his last name down yet, then they will soon.
Georgia employed seven defensive backs early in the game to try and keep those receivers hemmed in. Mark Webb Jr. was in the game as usual. But that challenge meant that both Cine and another highly-touted and successful freshman in Tyrique Stevenson also started his first career game.
The platter was full by then of material to cover with Boston native by way of Texas. And then the sky bump happened.
Cine made a play. Scooped up an apparent early LSU fumble and his head coach wanted to meet him for a tap about nine feet in the air.
That’s when Kirby Smart also looked like a man who made a lot of big plays at safety for Georgia. Except maybe one that was coming up fast on his 44th birthday.
“Kirby whenever us players make a big play he’s a player’s coach,” Cine said. “He’s always going to want to celebrate with us. But I didn’t think he would fall like that.”
It appears that Cine was a little too jacked about helping his team and putting those spiked savage shoulder pads on again.
“I think I got a little too high and came with a little too much energy,” he said. “Then he fell like a pile of bricks. I didn’t think that.”
Lewis Cine: His thoughts on his first season at Georgia
Burrow was tough to deal with on Saturday.
“Joe Burrow makes it very tough to cover,” he said. “Because he extends a lot of plays with his legs. You have got to give him credit. He’s a really good player. He made a lot of plays that we didn’t think he was going to make with his legs. The whole plan was to cover the guys but hen he got around us and made some plays.”
He is going forward from that LSU game with his eyes on making an even bigger contribution to the defense in 2020. J.R. Reed, the brilliant three-year starting safety, will be in the NFL. Junior talent Richard LeCounte III will also have some thinking to do about that subject, too.
“I’ve got a lot for J.R. and a lot of respect for Rich,” Cine said. “I watch what they do. The plays they make and I learn from that. Even mistakes they might have made, they told me ‘Lew don’t do that’ and ‘Learn from this’ and I’m hoping really to fill in some big footsteps.”
What else did Cine have to say? Check out his answers in his DawgNation conversation in the featured video atop this post.
- How does he assess his freshman year?
- Cine’s thoughts on his progression for his sophomore year
- Why his number changes were part of being a team player with his special teams duty in 2019
- What does he have to do to get better?
- What makes him feel like Georgia can return to the SEC championship game in 2020?
The Day after on DawgNation: LSU 37, Georgia 10
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- LSU gets No. 1 playoff seed, Bulldogs await likely Sugar Bowl bid
- Bill King: Georgia couldn’t keep up with a great LSU team
- Georgia slips in polls but remains seen as a national powerhouse
- Joe Burrow says the Georgia defense forced his scrambles
- WATCH: D’Andre Swift slowed by a lot of pain against LSU
- Report card: Georgia fails test against LSU