The 10 best SEC games of 2007: #7

September 22, 2007: Georgia 26, Alabama 23 (OT)

(photo courtesy Athens Banner-Herald/Trevor Frey / Staff)

Mikey Henderson on a fade route might seem as unlikely a way for Georgia to win its first road game in 2007 as could be imagined – especially against a revitalized (and higher ranked!) Alabama team that had just come off of its most dramatic victory in years.

Truthfully, it never should have gotten to that point.

Georgia, which never trailed in regulation, went up by ten at the 12 minute mark in the fourth quarter and looked to be taking control of the game. The Dawgs had held the Tide offense to 200 total yards to that point. But over the next eleven minutes of play with the game on the line, Alabama would rack up 149 yards, including a ten play, 88 yard drive that allowed it to pull into a 20-20 tie with less than a minute to go.

From there, Georgia was able to move the ball from its 34 to the ‘Bama 30 in 50 seconds, handing the ball off to the usually reliable Brandon Coutu for what would be his first ever game winning FG kick. That moment would have to wait (Coutu would come through in a couple of weeks against Vanderbilt), though, as the missed 47 yard attempt sent the game into overtime.

The Georgia defense, which had been reeling in the final minutes of regulation, suddenly righted itself and didn’t allow the Tide a yard in its first OT possession. Leigh Tiffen kicked a field goal and Georgia trailed for the first time in the game.

Georgia got the ball back. And offensive coordinator Mike Bobo went for the kill.

His call: 142 Z takeoff. Stafford was to fake a handoff to the right, drawing the safety that direction. Then he’d look for his receiver deep on the left side against one-on-one coverage.

“If they stuffed the run on first down, at their end of the field, their fans are gonna go berserk,” Bobo explained. “You’ve usually got to hit one deep in a game like this.”

Georgia’s sideline coaches asked Bobo which receiver he wanted to run the route. His response: “I don’t care.” Receivers coach John Eason made an unusual call, going with Henderson — a senior who never had caught a touchdown pass, and who had dropped a deep ball earlier in the night.

From there, it went just like he drew it up:

It may not have been Mike Patrick’s signature call, but no Dawg fan will be able to think of Britney Spears in quite the same way ever again.

One other note of interest from this game: if I had to pick a name for someone whose interests included being a “dog pile historian”, Opie would be at the top of my list.

The significant stat story of the game came from Georgia’s offense. In their first road test with three freshmen on the offensive line, the Dawgs allowed zero sacks and outgained Alabama with 377 total yards of offense. The offseason battle between ‘Bama and Georgia (or between Richt and Saban, if you prefer) to obtain the services of one Stacy Searles yielded its first rewards to the winner.

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7 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

7 responses to “The 10 best SEC games of 2007: #7

  1. dean

    Should’ve put the one with Scott Howard’s “TOUCHDOWNNNNNNN!!!!!! ONE and DONE BABY!!!
    Cold chills man, cold chills.

  2. I thought about it, but, honestly, when I hear Howard’s call, it reminds me that this was the first game that Munson missed… too sad for me.

  3. HamDawg11

    Cold chills, no kidding! I live in Birmingham amongst the Bammers and was at this game in the Tide Pride section…what a game! Even though it was a close one, I have not spoken to one Bama fan that thinks they should’ve won the game. They definitely felt UGA was the better team.
    How many days to opening day again……………….

    HamDawg11

  4. dean

    I understand your mixed emotions on the Howard call Senator. I would’ve liked to heard Munson make that call myself.
    And HamDawg11; it’s 193 days until kickoff but who’s counting (insert winking smiley face) .

  5. Bulldog Bry

    You know, I feel like this play got lost in the shuffle of the rest of the season. And truly, it was a great win, EVEN IF we let them back in it during the fourth quarter. I watched the game recently and had forgotten how well we marched down the field on our first possession.

    Dear Mr. Coutu:
    This changes nothing – you are always a DGD!!

  6. Excellent series. Looking forward to the rest.

  7. Robb

    As much as some point to the Florida game as the turning point for UGA, I think it was this one. Mentally, the team started to believe they could beat anybody they faced. Behind a solid Offensive Line performance, the hard work was really starting to pay off for the underclassmen. From here, the team really got it together, got a little lucky along the way (Vandy), did some stumbling (Tennessee) and by the time we played Florida, it all came together.