This game in front of a Bobby Dodd
Stadium crowd that was about 70% red and black could have had quite a
different outcome if several plays had gone another way.
A fumble on the Dawgs' first play by Daijun Edwards
was recovered by Kenan Johnson at UGA37. Four plays later, QB
Haynes King was in the end zone. And, once again, Georgia was down 7-0.
Georgia was fortunate early on that it didn't start off worse. A 31
yard pass to Eric Singleton, Jr. was reversed on an offensive
interference call. Instead of being at the UGA43, the ball was moved back to
the Tech 29 and GT had to punt.
Later in the first quarter, a Carson Beck pass deflected off
3 defenders before being intercepted by LaMiles Brooks at the GT 17
and returned 19 yards to the 33. The play was reversed ruling that the ball
hit the ground first.
On the next play, Beck hit Dominick Lovett in the end
zone for a 29 yard TD to tie the game at seven.
Another bit of good fortune for UGA happened later in the
second quarter. On a 3rd and 2 at the UGA20, Malik Rutherford got an
apparent first down run that was brought back on a holding call on Abdul
Janneh. The Yellow Jackets settled for a field goal to make it 14-13.
Still more calls that went Georgia's way. Tech went for it on
4th and 7 at the UGA45. Another big penalty on a pass interference call on
Smael Mondon put it at the UGA30. But, it was ruled the ball was
tipped, negating the call. The result was a turnover on downs at UGA45.
The Bulldogs were off to another slow start, due in part to
the offense not seeing the field much. Partly because of the fumble in their
first drive, Georgia basically only had time for one drive in the first
quarter. Time of possession was GT 10:05, UGA 4:55.
Things finally stabilized for the nation's #1 team with a 75
yard scoring drive at the start of the 2nd quarter to go ahead for the first
An 11 play 64 yard drive capped with an Edwards three yard
score helped the Dawgs pull away just before the half.
A Peyton Woodring field goal was followed by a Kendall
Milton 4 yard touchdown extending the lead to 31-13 as the third quarter
came to an end.
Georgia Tech added 10 more to make it look closer at 31-23.
The Bulldogs would be concerned that they gave up 363 yards
of offense, 205 on the ground 81 by King. That will be put to the test next
week against Alabama, who also has a good running quarterback.
But, that was offset by 437 yards of their own including 157
rushing yards in a great game by Milton.
It was the 12th straight win in the rivalry. With it, UGA set
an SEC record with an amazing 29th straight victory.
I was surprised to see that the last time Georgia Tech had
beaten Georgia in Bobby Dodd Stadium was 1999. I remember that game and
watched it go into overtime from the press box.
As an aside, that was probably my own personal best month of
watching football. From there, I went to Tampa to watch Georgia in the
Outback Bowl go down to Purdue 25-0 only to mount the biggest comeback in
college football history at the time to beat Drew Brees in his last
NCAA game 28-25.
A few weeks later, I was at the Georgia Dome to watch my
hometown team, the St. Louis Rams, hold on to beat Tennessee in the final
play of the Super Bowl.
But, I digress. Back in the press box, we were watching the
amazing finish of the Alabama-Auburn game just before our game started. It
set up what should be a great SEC Championship Game next Saturday as Georgia
(12-0, 8-0 SEC) takes on Alabama (11-1, 8-0 SEC).
I'll be there again at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It's a 4:00
p.m. start on CBS...part of a great weekend of games with #6 Oregon and #4
Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game, #9 Louisville and #5 FSU in the
ACC Championship Game and #2 Michigan and Iowa in the Big Ten Championship.
Georgia probably needs a win to advance to the College
Football Playoffs. #8 Bama definitely does. The way it looks now, if UGA
wins, they would likely face Florida State with Washington and Michigan
facing off. But, anything can change. It will be a great weekend to see how
it all plays out.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, awaits their matchup for the team's
first bowl game since 2018. All of that will be announced on Sunday.