The Georgia football team was once again propelled to victory thanks to the play of their shutdown defense.
The defense was the MVP of the game, and young guys like Dominick Sanders and Malkom Parrish led the way. Parrish sealed the deal with his game-ending interception. More than 20 freshmen played in the game, including Natrez Patrick, who got his first start at linebacker.
I enjoyed a week-long trip with family in Hawaii, which meant giving up the last home game, seeing the collar exchange between Russ and Que, and a moving tribute to fellow Grady Grad and longtime UGAA employee, Jay Lowe. Instead of watching our offense trudge through an overtime win against Georgia Southern, I watched the waves crash
against the shores of Hawai’i. Tough call, I know.
On the return flight home, I noticed my seat neighbor on the LAX to ATL leg watching “Rudy”. The irony was not lost on me. The eve of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate, and I got to watch Georgia Tech lose on the screen. A smile crept along my face, while my superstitious self was grinning on the inside.
These were NOT cheap seats at $100 face value. I thought Georgia Tech sold the farm after vowing to never do the infamous three-packs with Georgia, FSU and Clemson being the anchor games. With home games against Georgia and FSU, and wanting to capitalize on a double-digit win season and Orange Bowl win, the Ramblin Wreck took the chance and probably made their financial dreams come true. I, on the other hand, took the gamble on Tech having a good year and got the three-pack, and lo and behold, they couldn’t even do that for me. I couldn’t even give away the rest of my three-pack after losses to Notre Dame and Duke.
Pre-game, I didn’t hear the usual heckling between Georgia and Tech fans. The occasional “to hell with Georgia” and “to hell with Tech” could be heard muttered under the breath. Both fan bases walked into Grant Field with their heads hung in shame, 3-8 and 8-3. The matchup was so bad, we got Beth Mowins for play-by-play. Although, I’ve heard she wasn’t half bad. She can’t be worse than Verne and Gary.
The trash talk game in the stands wasn’t much better. “Snap it over his head” and “throw it to us, Greyson” were the best I heard the whole day. To the Yellow Jacket hurling insults at Greyson Lambert: he may not be Heisman trophy candidate material, but the second-string transfer from the worst ACC team is now 1-0 against Tech while wearing red & black.
Get the picture: I wore a red, black and white striped tank top with the super G logo to the first game of the year vs Louisiana-Monroe. I pulled it out again today. It was getting toasty! I’ve never had a chance to work on my tan during a UGA-GT game. I added a pair of red pants that I’ve been searching for since at least 2002. I finally found them, and by Dawg, I couldn’t burn them after just one game. We HAD to win. The pants demanded it!
In the first half, the stats were fairly even: eight first downs for each team, although we had a 60-yard edge on offense. The points, were of course, in Georgia’s favor, 7-0, at halftime. The killer for Tech was the red zone interception. For the game, both teams were 1-2 on fourth down conversions, and Georgia held a slight advantage (4-14) over Georgia Tech (2-12) on third down conversions. The edge was in turnovers (3 for Tech, none for Georgia), and as the game wore on, yardage (402 for Georgia, 276 for Tech).
Once again in the second half, just as Georgia Tech was gaining momentum, the Bulldog defense snuffed it out as Dominick Sanders forced the fumble. While the Dawgs only managed a field goal on the drive, it did put Tech down by two scores. It was great to see Keith Marshall out there that drive. In his final regular season game as a Bulldog, he had 3 rushes for 28 yards.
Just as last year’s game winner cleared the upright by inches, Georgia Tech’s first attempt at a score, a 53-yard field goal attempt, missed the crossbar by inches.
Jake Ganus has been our defensive MVP this year, but his dead ball personal foul gave Tech a fresh set of downs and set them up for their lone score of the day. We were asking for the shutout just a few plays before. He led all Bulldogs with 12 tackles, and has the most tackles of any Bulldog for the year (96). I didn’t see what the foul was, and apparently, neither did Ganus or the coaches.
The loudest the Tech fans got: 1) showing Harrison Butker’s game winning kick last year, 2) Georgia’s failed fourth down conversion and 3) Marshall Morgan’s failed field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. By the time Tech scored its touchdown, most of its fans had given up and beat the MARTA traffic.
There wasn’t a lot to like about offense, but a few things that stood out to me:
* We won the toss and elected to receive. The offense backed it up with a touchdown on the opening drive.
* Getting the ball to the tight end and fullback.
* Offensive line had one of its better games of the year.
The game ending play was a microcosm of the entire game: an interception for Georgia Tech. Sure it wasn’t a pretty win, but even an ugly win over Tech is a beauty to behold. Order has been restored in the state of Georgia, and the Governor’s Cup is in its rightful home in Athens once again.