The rain continued to pour down on another Georgia football game, but the Dawgs flipped the script in a win against Kentucky.
To my knowledge, this has been the rainiest football season, and definitely the rainiest since my first game in 1998. Perhaps the first game of the year being called because of lightning should have been an omen of how the season would progress. Then again, LSU didn’t even have their first game count because of the weather, and they were the only undefeated team in the SEC until Saturday.
Marc Curles served as the head referee, and I know A.J. Green was in attendance, and that didn’t end well for the Dawgs last time. The first play from the line of scrimmage was a penalty just like last week in Jacksonville. What was the bright side of a three-and-out to start the game? We got to see another booming punt by Brice Ramsey. I’m trying, y’all.
I was late getting to the game, so I missed our first touchdown. I parked downtown, and made my way to the stadium as the first quarter progressed. Scalpers were earning their moniker, charging $20-25 per ticket 20 minutes after kickoff.
In case anyone forgot, it had been two games since Georgia had scored a touchdown, and three since there was a rushing touchdown. We finally got that elusive touchdown, and it was on a 28-yard run by Terry Godwin, by Dawg! On that first drive, we had runs for -2, 10, 2, 7 and 28, and one incompletion. Even without Nick Chubb, we are still a running team.
But as soon as I sat down, Ramsey had his second punt and Kentucky muffed it to give Georgia excellent field position. Georgia called a timeout, but we didn’t get the first down. I’ll take a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after scoring nine and three TOTAL POINTS in the past two games. We were favored by 16 in this game, and I said to my Sanford neighbor, we haven’t scored that much the last two games!
Our season in a nutshell: Dominick Sanders picked off Patrick Towles and looked poised to run it in for a touchdown. He then fumbled on the six and Kentucky got the ball back. So Kentucky lost five yards, and got a fresh set of downs.
A couple of head-scratcher during the last drive of the first half: With 16 seconds left in the half, the Dawgs ran Brendan Douglas up the middle, instead of passing or going for the sideline, and then Greyson Lambert had to scramble for four yards to the 21. With two seconds left on the clock, Marshall Morgan missed the 38-yard field goal.
For the second time this year, the Redcoats performed the halftime show from the stands. They did a medley of Amazing Grace and America the Beautiful, then performed the songs for the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The Redcoats rested as the halftime show closed with Dr. Gregory Broughton of UGA’s School of Music sang God Bless America while UGA recognized military veterans and Purple Heart recipients on the field. They even had their service animals with them. I wonder how Que felt not being the only dog on the field!
A light sprinkle started as Georgia started its first drive of the second half, but it didn’t stick around. Two touchdowns quickly followed, including a 10-yard catch and run by fan-favorite Keith Marshall.
The crowd perked up when the Karoake Cam blasted Zac Brown Band’s Chicken Fried. Gym Dawg alumna and Bronze Star recipient Leah Brown got a nice ovation as she was shown on the field during Military Appreciation Day. Saturday was the first time I’ve ever worn a tank top and ate Dippin’ Dots at a football game in Athens in November. Oh, and I never want to hear Eric Zeier singing Backstreet Boys again. He was a heck of a quarterback for us, but his only action with a microphone should be as the color commentator. That whole promotion needs to be scrapped. Zeier is a DGD for providing some comedy though.
Georgia did a great job running the ball in the third quarter – 102 yards on 13 rushes. As soon as we got to the fourth quarter though, we switched from running to passing, and the incompletions returned.
Sanders had his second interception, and before the Dawgs could run a play on offense, the scoreboard showed Vanderbilt recover a fumble in Gainesville, Fla. While we had great field position after the interception, we stalled in the red zone again, and had to settle for a field goal.
By the time Kentucky called a timeout with 43 seconds left, most of us were following the Vanderbilt-Florida game on our phones, and we joked that the scoreboard should put that game up instead.
Despite the soap opera surrounding Jeremy Pruitt, the defense continued to shine, allowing just 180 yards against a Kentucky offense that averaged 387 yards per game before Saturday. Sanders’ two interceptions were key in the game as well.
When the Dawgs kicked off against Kentucky, I knew this would be my last game of the year between the hedges. I am skipping out on Georgia Southern for a family Thanksgiving in Hawaii. I’m not asking for pity, but I will have to find somewhere to watch the game at 6 AM. I will be at the trade school the Saturday after though.
You’ve heard of season affective disorder (SAD)? Perhaps that is what the team and our fans are suffering from. We need some sunshine, literally and figuratively. Saturday’s win definitely helped, especially since sunshine wasn’t on the forecast for a few days. Walking back to the car, I was cheered by this video. Que is still a little shy, I guess?