Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday morning. Today, we continue trying to wrap our minds around the insane finish in the Dawgs’ 34-31 loss to Tennessee.
Sometimes you just wanna forget about football. You’ll be forgiven if you tuned out of all things UGA after Jauan Jennings came down with that unbelievable Hail Mary. But it’s a new week now. So if you’re just emerging from under your rock after that loss, here’s a roundup of lots of news and takes from Saturday and Sunday to catch you up.
- You’ve been stewing over it for more than 24 hours. Now it’s time to find out what the players think. Georgia players give their thoughts on what Deandre Baker called a “sickening” final play.
- For many folks, Kirby Smart won’t just be judged on his performance this season. He’ll also be judged against Mark Richt’s performance in his first year at Miami. The Canes are 4-0 and ranked 10th in the AP, so a lot of Richt loyalists are probably sitting around saying, “I told you so.” Jeff Schultz wrote about the optics of Kirby Smart vs. Mark Richt.
- Seth Emerson says Jacob Eason already has answered the clutch question through just five games in college. It’s hard to disagree after the Missouri winner and his would-be winner to Riley Ridley on Saturday. At Deadspin, Nick Martin holds the same view, and puts Eason’s Hail Mary in the same category as Marcus Paige’s double-clutch 3-pointer before Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beater for Villanova in the NCAA Tournament final.
- Over at SEC Country, Alec Shirkey wrote about Georgia’s penchant for being on the losing end of miracles.
- At Dawg Sports, Harrison Martin makes a convincing argument for Georgia as the most-tormented fanbase in college football. Be warned: That’s a lot of pain to live through again in one post.
- Finally, there are some reasons to look on the bright side. DavetheDawg has 15 reasons to be optimistic over at Dawg Sports.
- Jacob Eason — Eason didn’t put up anywhere near his best numbers so far in his young career, but he had his biggest moment. If not for Tennessee’s Hail Mary, right now all the talk would be about how clutch Eason is.
- Maurice Smith — It’s not hard to see why Nick Saban and Kirby Smart fought over Smith all offseason. He’s stepped in and become arguably the best defender on Georgia’s roster. On Saturday, he contributed a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception to go along with 7 total tackles.
— Matthew Hall (@Loyal_To_The_G) October 1, 2016
- Natrez Patrick — The sophomore linebacker was all over the field Saturday. Patrick finished the game with a team-leading 10 tackles, as well as 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack.
- Isaac Nauta — Nauta was quiet in the first four games, but really came into his own against the Vols. The former 5-star finished with a team-leading 83 yards receiving, 50 of which came on a catch-and-run that stretched the UGA lead in the second half. It’s good to finally get some tight end production again.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) October 2, 2016
- Sony Michel — With Nick Chubb getting just 1 carry, Michel was once again thrust into the spotlight, and the junior performed as always. Michel finished with 91 yards and a touchdown. An honorable mention goes out to Brian Herrien, who looks like the starter-in-waiting for when Chubb and Michel leave the program.
Dawgs in the NFL
- A.J. Green had a big day in the Bengals’ 22-7 win over the Dolphins on Thursday night, hauling in 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Geno Atkins recorded 1.5 sacks to give him 2.5 on the season.
- Matthew Stafford had a day to forget, going 23-for-36 with 2 interceptions and no touchdowns in a 17-14 loss to the Bears. Cornelius Washington recorded a sack for the Bears.
- Todd Gurley’s sophomore slump continued even as the Rams beat the Cardinals 17-13 and improved to 3-1. Gurley rushed 19 times for only 33 yards. It was really the Rams’ defense that won the day for them, and Alec Ogletree provided a team-high 7 solo tackles for that unit.
- Thomas Davis injured his hamstring in the Panthers’ 48-33 loss to the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. He didn’t return to the game after being classified as “doubtful,” and there’s been no word yet on his status going forward.
Georgia is favored by a touchdown against South Carolina ahead of this week’s showdown with the Gamecocks in Columbia. The Dawgs are 1-3 against the spread this season, including 0-2 on the road.
Unfortunately for Georgia sports fans, it wasn’t just a bad week on the gridiron. Georgia athletics had losses in multiple sports this weekend.
- The women’s volleyball team went 0-2 against Alabama and Auburn this weekend, losing each match 3-1.
- Georgia soccer travelled to Fayetteville, where it fell to Arkansas 2-1 on Friday.
- Men’s golf sits in seventh after one day at the Nike Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.
- One winner did emerge for the Dawgs this weekend. Georgia Equestrian triumphed 9-1 over Alabama on Sunday in an exhibition.
Unsurprisingly, Georgia dropped out of both the coaches and Associated Press polls after two consecutive losses, but I’ve included links to both in case you want to give them a gander. The Bulldogs did end up fourth among others receiving votes in the coaches poll and sixth among others receiving votes in the AP poll. Also fell to No. 9, from No. 8, in the weekly SEC Country Power Poll, which was released Sunday night.
Can You Believe It?
Georgia fans caught by the cameras after the loss to the Vols looked exactly like you felt.
UGA IS STUNNED
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) October 1, 2016
When you realize Mark Richt beat Georgia Tech but Georgia might not pic.twitter.com/m7Ez9qog1B
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 1, 2016
— Anthony Dunkel (@A_Dunkel) October 1, 2016
Except this guy. He knew exactly what was coming and curbed his emotions accordingly.
when you know how being a Georgia fan is always going to end pic.twitter.com/yX7vC3lemc
— Ashley Holcomb (@ashleyxholcomb) October 1, 2016
Bat. Down. The. Damn. Ball.
(Unfortunately) one for the ages, though. God bless you, college football.
— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) October 1, 2016
UGA stats: KO ret. def. (23.0, 102nd NCAA), scoring def, (30.8, 13th SEC), turnovers gained (12, 1st SEC), penalties per game (6.2, 9th SEC)
— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) October 2, 2016
Tennessee's win probability was 0.2% before the Hail Mary
1st time a SEC team scored a game-winning TD as time expired since the "kick six" pic.twitter.com/ItKyHiNvrT
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) October 2, 2016
Sorry Smokey, we know bulldogs will always be the saddest breed. pic.twitter.com/j1Zmv2unrb
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) October 1, 2016
Also that this UGA team returns 8-9 starters on both sides of the ball in 2017. This season is an investment. That didn't make it hurt less.
— Dawg Sports (@dawgsports) October 2, 2016
Let’s Remember the Good Times
There weren’t many things to smile about by the time the Tennessee game wrapped up, but there were a couple of plays that still bring a smile to my face. We’ll always have Jalen Hurd trying to mosey into the end zone, then getting lit up by Deandre Baker before he reached the line.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) October 1, 2016
And we’ll always have Jacob Eason’s touchdown striker to Riley Ridley, a play that showed all the potential the freshman QB holds in a single throw.
Mad props to Eason for this throw… https://t.co/AD5aOzOUhE
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) October 2, 2016
I could watch that a million times, and I just might. Maybe after enough viewings I’ll forget everything that happened after.