ATHENS – The Almighty had seen enough at the 8:35 mark of the third period.
At that point in the Georgia-Louisiana/Monroe sacrificial rite Saturday, a bolt of lightning struck somewhere within 706 area code and both teams were hustled off the field before the first raindrop ever brushed their delicate, downy cheeks.
The good news for the fans who fled the stadium was that there was no pressure, peer or otherwise, to return. They could head for their frat parties and their tailgates and their happy hours without any damage to their darn-good-Dawg reputations.
Yet, the teams insisted upon trying again, after an hour delay. Apparently the message wasn’t received. A reminder had to be served shortly after the re-start. This time, all parties paid heed. In bright sunshine they called the game because of weather with Georgia ahead 51-14 and 9:54 technically remaining to be played.
Best line of the whole ordeal, courtesy of AJC teammate Seth Emerson: “That’s the first time the word ‘suspended’ has been used in this context for a Georgia opener.”
This is what happens when meteorology gets too fancy. As Mark Richt said, “Back in the day, you’d hold a cat out and if the cat didn’t get wet, you practiced.” Such a primitive method might have proven more practical Saturday.
Nevertheless, what all had witnessed in advance of the unseen lightning was plenty.
It took no more than a half to prove that the rumors of a potent Bulldogs running game had merit. This Nick Chubb fellow (120 yards in just 16 carries) might just be more than a very marketable name.
No one can quibble yet with Mark Richt’s decision to go with Greyson Lambert in the great quarterback contest, as he was an errorless and efficient workman against an inferior foe.
Meanwhile, Lambert’s old team, Virginia, fell to UCLA 34-16. He must feel today as relieved as any of the hundreds of former Braves players who have found safe haven elsewhere this season.
Against a ULM offense that didn’t/couldn’t test the greatest vulnerability of Georgia’s defense a season ago (the straight-ahead run), the second version of Jeremy Pruitt’s D was OK. Better if it didn’t give up consecutive touchdown drives between the second and third periods, but most everyone in attendance was in a forgiving mood.
We were just happy to have survived the invisible lightning.