(photo courtesy Trevor Frey / Athens Banner-Herald Staff)
“That’s Georgia, we never give up, we will never give up.” Ray Gant said that tearfully after his last game as a Bulldog, but the sentiment remains true. Say what you will about Georgia under Mark Richt – the Dawgs may not win ’em all and even when they do win they may not be pretty in doing so – but one thing’s for sure. They don’t quit.
And there were several opportunities to do so last night. Georgia managed to overcome losing the turnover battle, Tripp Chandler’s hands, blowing not one but two ten point leads and Coutu missing what for him was a money shot to win the game in regulation to pull out a game against a coach already being anointed as the best in the conference three games into his ‘Bama career in front of an energized crowd.
I’ll save the detailed analysis for later. On a bigger scale, while I’m sure many will compare this game to the last one Georgia played in Tuscaloosa, I’m reminded more of what happened in Knoxville in 2001. Stafford has his signature win. It may not be his best game from a statistical standpoint, but in terms of proving to himself and his teammates that he has what it takes to be a winner in the SEC, it’s his most important one.
And the coaching staff once again proves its relevancy – to a young team still trying to find its way, to the media, to the conference and maybe even a little to its own fan base. I know it’s standard in the coaching profession not to celebrate the last win too long, but I hope these guys will savor what they did last night a little while. They deserve it.
Especially Stacy Searels. For the offensive line in that loud, hostile setting to hold up against a defense that was throwing every look known to man at it is remarkable. Georgia had 377 yards of offense and buried Alabama in time of possession. The guy can coach a little.