It was the best of finishes. It was the worst of finishes.


The thing that really killed me about watching them blow the game on the last play was that it destroyed how well they had played just before that to set up having my heart ripped out.

Tennessee, remember, could have locked the game away by converting one first down on its penultimate series after Eason threw the pick, but it failed to do so.  That was the first thing that had to happen, and the defense did its job.

The offense, in turn, after sputtering for much of the fourth quarter, faced a do or die 81-yard march to take the lead.  And it did, remarkably.  Even more remarkably, it did so by executing at a very high level, with one exception, and even in that case (the false start penalty by Catalina), Kirby limited the damage because he had tucked away his third timeout during the previous Tennessee series and avoided having 10 seconds rolled off the game clock then.

Then came Eason’s touchdown pass to Ridley.  When you watch a game live from the stands, there are only so many things you can focus on as you watch a play develop.  In my case, I was watching the line and Eason.  Stunningly, the left side of the line handled the UT blitz perfectly and created and held the pocket, which Greg Pyke got off the block of the game by shoving aside a Vol rusher.  That gave Eason the time he needed to step up in the pocket.  He was composed.  His mechanics were flawless.  He saw the open receiver and he let fly with a perfect pass that led Ridley into the end zone.

The only thing I didn’t know from seeing it was how Ridley got so open in the first place.  I mean, Tennessee knew Georgia had to go deep at some point in time and was playing the safeties back.  So when I got home and after watching the end of the Clemson-Louisville game, I fired up the DVR to find out.

It turns out that Gary Danielson’s analysis of the play was wrong.  The Tennessee cornerback didn’t give up on the play, or Eason’s arm.  He got baited by Ridley, who slowed down briefly and kicked it back up to full speed to create separation on the play.  It was perfectly done.

In a season in which we’ve been complaining about the receiving corps needing to step up and the coaches needing to coach up their charges, we may have just seen proof that good things are starting to happen.

I just wish they could have happened for about another ten seconds last night.



Filed under Georgia Football

53 responses to “It was the best of finishes. It was the worst of finishes.

  1. BCDawg97

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but I find it ironic though that we would’ve been the ones storming the field as time expired if the 10 second roll-off had occurred. Would’ve left us with :09 for Eason to Ridley.

    • Mayor

      Yep. In a perverse way the 10 second run-off would have helped US–not the Vowels–would have run off all the time on the clock during Georgia’s scoring pass.

      • D.N. Nation

        Of course, in that universe Tennessee is playing different defense on that play, so.

        • Macallanlover

          Exactly right, our chances of beating them deep on a final play would have been seriously diminished. Everything was perfect except for that questionable call for for coming onto the field without a helmet, or mismanaging the Hail Mary play. “Rushing” three and allowing Dobbs to step up and simply make a jump ball out of it increased their chances to almost 50%. Why not put all eleven on the goal line and crowd the field of play if you have no intent to harass The Alien?

  2. Siskey

    I agree. It seemed to me that our best players except Dom Sanders are all freshmen or sophomores. We really need to beat USC this week to get over this heartbreaking loss.

    • That assumes the play would have gone off exactly the same way, something we’ll never know.

      • Mayor

        Senator, is there anything Georgia can do about the obvious bad calls in yesterday’s game? At least get that crew disciplined in some way. And the on-site TV ref was Al Ford, who VD got suspended for the Jasper Sanks fiasco of years ago. And Ford blew some reviews–not by accident either if you ask me.

        • Mayor

          P.S. It looked to me that the bounce pass “reception” and the bogus TD by Dobbs were both called by the same official. We need to identify that guy and get him fired or at least banned from participating in any further Georgia games.

          • Macallanlover

            Mayor, I don’t think he scored either but agree they couldn’t over turn it based on the video footage. I don’t think it changed the outcome because I feel they would have scored from the one foot line, but there was the chance of an offensive penalty or fumbled snap.

            Also, if I recall the missed call was not so much on Ford but the two techies who ran SEC officiating at the time. They had “studied” the probabilities and found that in a goal line scrum the odds favored a fumble and had instructed the crews to call it that way if they didn’t have line of sight indicating otherwise. Found it very strange, but I remember it being discussed then. Not excusing Ford’s crew not stopping play on the incomplete pass that looked very suspicious, but he may not have been a part of an anti-UGA conspiracy in 1999 with the Sanks fumble.

          • Uglydawg

            AMEN..he had to be cheating…If he didn’t see things like they obviously were, he sure as hell isn’t qualified to be a ref.

        • If anything happens, it’ll be behind the scenes and we’ll likely never hear about it.

        • 69Dawg

          Ford is a living reminder that you don’t F with the SEC refs and get any calls the rest of your life. The SEC using old ass has been field refs to review is a damn joke. I’d be willing to bet he buzzed the Ref on the spike play just to get to penalize us for the too many men on the field. The field refs miss it and the review ref can’t initiate a review of a missed penalty or we would have 5 hour games. By the way I though Kirby had all this substitution stuff down pat, LMAO.

          • Uglydawg

            Exactly right. They used the phony reason of the spiked ball possibly being wrongly directed as an excuse to review it. I’m still shocked we got a couple of pass int. calls against TN. But there was one no-call and because the Ga. receiver did catch the ball no one seemed to notice..but it screwed us out of a first down.


    Just win out.

  4. 69Dawg

    But Senator, Ridley can’t block and as such can only be used in last ditch desperation passing situations.

    • Macallanlover

      I thought he had been fighting an injury that kept him from practicing and playing. Not sure though, and don’t know when he became healthy again. He looked very promising in the Spring and I expected him to play a lot more.

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    I agree that it is horrific that we could have played so well in so many surprising ways and still lose.

    For those of us who understand these things, I hope we are not entering a Kharmic winter.

    Tennessee seems to be coming out of theirs…after a decade.

    • leslie22h

      Kharmic winter? For firing CMR? Nah, it was time for a coaching change. I believe (er… hope) Georgia’s going to have a good rest-of-the-season. And in the spirit of “there’s always next year,” I think this team is going to develop nicely. Kirby has not tried to oversell expectations for this team to the sports press. We fans (or at least this fan) are the ones who had unrealistic expectations. Didn’t Saban win only 7 or 8 his first season at Bama? Just sayin’…

      • Macallanlover

        How in the world do you interpret his comment to be associated with Richt at all? Not saying you, but there are a dozen or so posters who cannot just move along, and almost all of them are them ones spewing the most hate last fall. Game changed, shouldn’t have ever gotten that bad anyway, but there is no reason to not appreciate both of these HCs, both of whom love UGA…which should line up with everyone here. Reading things into comments because of an obsession, is not a reflection of the original commenter but those who see a boogey man behind every tree/word. Paranoia isn’t healthy, and it continues the divide among our fans when everyone rowing in the same direction can only be beneficial to a struggling program. Scorp has deep rooted, and well known, voodoo issues that are unrelated to who is standing on the sideline.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          “unrelated to who is standing on the sideline.” That would certainly seem to be the case, God knows Mark Richt hardly banished the “voodoo effect”

          Yep, deep-rooted is accurate.

          I grew up a Georgia fan, how else do you explain my obsession with the specular highlights of football?

          Now, if Leslie is saying I am concerned about the kharmic impact of firing Richt, I would have to say that because of the way it was done, and the reasons given, juxtaposed with the real reasons it was done, I am concerned about the kharmic implications.

          But change, any change in the kharmic fabric takes a while to be understood.

          In the meantime…I may burn all my hats. Of course, even then, it is possible that last night’s game fedora was better than it seemed at the very end….we did play pretty well here and there.

          Reading the entrails of a goat or two may give some understanding of all this.

          • leslie22h

            Thanks for clarifying, Scorpio. Wasn’t trying to read too much into your comment, but from the Karma standpoint it seemed the common thread between Georgia and Tennessee is the (not-so savory) firings of two long-term, reasonably (if not very) successful coaches.

    • Got Cowdog?

      Tennesse’s karmic winter is just beginning.
      Anybody else see Booch fall on his knees last night? The Bitchez will have their due.

  6. Babyfarts McGeezax

    I’m by no means a Danielson hater, but his killing Kirby for not taking a TO on the first down the defense got a stop was awful. In that situation Kirby deducted he needed one TO in his pocket likely knowing that if he burned all of them the time saved would likely wash out due to Eason’s inexperience running a two minute O. I think he made the right call and Danielson continued to look like a clown calling him wrong even after they got the ball back.

    • TN Dawg

      I hate to do it, but I’m gonna have to agree with GD on that one.

      Perhaps I am alone in this, but I was thinking “Damn, if we had thirty more seconds we’d have a chance” when that lightening bolt struck out of the blue to Ridley.

      i can understand saving the timeout in a three (or fewer) point game because the personnel change for a field goal requires clock stoppage. But when a TD is required time is crucial.

      You never know how things will turn out, but in general I would say the odds favor having the thirty seconds, which can’t be recovered, rather than the clock stoppage which can be achieved by clocking the ball, gaining a first down or by having a TE catch a pass and step OB….well, maybe not that last one.

    • Uglydawg

      “I’m by no means a Danielson hater”….I am by any means. He can shove agent orange up his snooty ass.

    • Got Cowdog?

      Then you not be a Dawg fan. If you can’t hate Danielson after his continual verbal fellatio of Tennessee last night then you need to turn in your Dawg card.

    • I hate Gary Danielson …

  7. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Kirby limited the damage because he had tucked away his third timeout during the previous Tennessee series and avoided having 10 seconds rolled off the game clock then

    Like many have noted, it turns out that wasn’t such a great thing in the end. But it should have been, and only a year or so ago, we wouldn’t have had the TO tucked away, and UT would’ve just won because we couldn’t get a play off to take the lead. Bleccch. UT making that play – and being in the position to make that play at all – was mostly Booch rubbing the Auburn rabbit’s foot he found.

    I hate losing. Period. That loss hurts and yes, the officiating was horrible and likely contributed to our loss. But we all know that poor officiating happens.

    I was sure we were going to beat UT all summer and through most of the game and was certain we had won until the celebration penalty was called. That rule shouldn’t be ienforced in the last minute of a game; it was originally a sportsmanship concern and a distaste for hot dogging during the meat of the game, but I digress..

    We have played five games, four against pretty good competition and have competed for all four quarters in every game. Eason is twice the QB at this stage than any other QB we’ve ever had. He makes mistakes, but not that many, and he gets better every week. I saw Chaney dial up some stuff that got our run game going a little bit.

    The future is bright; we just have to keep the players from getting too down this week and get themselves healed with a win.

  8. Yea, I noticed Ridley’s move also. He slowed, the TN DB properly slowed also, thinking Ridley may be coming back for a short ball. Just as the TN back was slowing, Ridley accelerated to the ball. Perfect.

  9. Rebar

    Very encouraged by the fight in these dawgs. Got up off the mat from a horrendous Ole Miss thrashing and fought for 4 quarters against a pretty good Tennessee team. It was good to see our lineman pulling and running game coming back. Good to see so lets win out. Florida did not look impressive agaInst Vandy yesterday so I think we can finish with a pretty good record. Go Dawgs!

  10. Charles

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought Ridley made a move with that brief slow down. Impressive to pull that off.

  11. Highlands Dawg

    We found a new way to win and found a new way to loose in the span of 4 seconds. That’s why we love our team and college football, the most entertaining game on earth.

  12. Bulldog Joe

    Impressed with the crowd yesterday.

    Unusual to see for a team coming off a blowout loss.

    • illini84

      Damn right!

    • Uglydawg

      You know GD was disappointed that he couldn’t make a comment about a small crowd.

    • Will (The Other One)

      Was supposed to be a ton of top recruits at the game too. That made me very nervous before the game (because I was nervous it’d play out similar to the Ole Miss game, only at home, so all those 5-star kids would see fans bailing in the 3rd quarter). Instead they got the most exciting SEC game of the season thus far.

  13. Greg

    Hindsight is 20/20 and this has probably already been discussed, but the decision to rush 3 on the last play was a poor one. Dobbs had all day to plant his feet and throw it exactly where he wanted. Bringing 4 or 5 could have pressured him into moving around and maybe overthrowing or underthrowing….or being forced to throw it underneath. Maybe we even would have gotten to him since running downfield wasn’t an option. Our D might have actually made a play to win the game instead of going back on our heels, hoping to knock one down in the end zone. That playing not to lose instead of playing to win mentality was prevalent from the moment we got up 24-14.

    • Macallanlover

      Agree 1000% on not coming after Dobbs aggressively on the last play, but I honestly didn’t feel we took our foot off the gas. Some of our plays didn’t work as well for a period of time but we don’t have a fully functioning offense to this point of the year. I never feel like we can put together a drive at any point, we are feeling our way around and through some weaknesses. That lull was more due to us not making a play, or TN making one, neither team was dominant on offense, 20 of those point were scored in the last three minutes.

  14. I can’t remember a game ever getting me so high and then in a span of minutes, so low. It just seems like this is the Vols year but if we win out who knows what can happen.

    • Chi-town Dawg

      Possibly the 2009 UGA-LSU game where AJ was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty on the go ahead TD with a minute left or the 1985 UGA-Alabama game where we blocked a punt and recovered it for a TD to take the lead with 1 minute left in the game. Mike Shula then lead Bama down the field for the winning TD with 10 seconds left on the clock. In both instances, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…, but neither seemed to sting as much as this game.

  15. time for the old “we aren’t near as bad as we think” statement. And I do not for one second think we are near as bad as we think, and the Vowels aren’t near as good as they think. This group of Dawgs has no quit. They believe in their QB, and regardless of what Reggie says, I think they believe in their coach. If there can be such a thing as a good loss, we may have experienced it. They grew up a ton yesterday. The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

  16. Uglydawg

    Said it last week…things are never as good or as bad as they appear.
    These Dawgs are competitive, young and promising.