Missed it by that much.

After the game, I commented to my friends that it’s rather stunning to me recounting the steady stream of heartbreaking endings I’ve witnessed over the past few seasons:  the 2012 SECCG, Auburn 2013, Georgia Tech 2014 and, of course, last night’s gut wrencher.

I know some of you find the games when Georgia simply failed to show up as being the most unforgivable of sins, but it’s these snatching defeat from the jaws of victory that bug me the most.  (I’m still not over being five yards away from a chance to see Georgia play for a national title.)

I do think losses like these are as much about fate as they are about a team’s resiliency. Think about what it took for Tennessee to even be in position to throw a Hail Mary:  Georgia being flagged for excessive celebration for a player forgetting to put his helmet on before stepped on the field after the most exciting play of the last two seasons and an offsides penalty on the ensuing kickoff.  Dobbs needed every inch of those twenty penalty yards to be able to make a well-placed throw to the end zone on the last play of the game.

Tennessee fans who think that play was payback for the Hobnail Boot game in 2001 miss the real analogue to last night, Georgia’s comeback overtime win in Knoxville in 2013.  Had Pig Howard held on to that ball just a little bit longer — or not tried to stretch his way into the end zone in the first place — Tennessee likely winds up scoring in overtime and the game proceeds in a drastically different way.  Such is the way kicks in the nuts happen.

As I said yesterday, sometimes it’s just the other guy’s year and you can only tip your cap to that.  It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt just as much, though.


Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to “Missed it by that much.

  1. NCAA, repeal the celebration rule! Of course, who am I kidding? The officials have this rule so they can insert themselves into the outcome of the game. If you want to have the celebration rule, change the infraction to a 5-yard penalty unless there is taunting (clearly unsportsmanlike).

    • Ruteger

      Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? After dramatic long pass that appeared to win the game with 10 seconds left one guy takes a helmet off and gets the most punitive penalty in the game outside of an ejection. 10 seconds later a dramatic long pass wins the game and an entire team immediately runs on the field, hey no problem, game’s over.

  2. Jack Klompus

    I was thinking about this all night. That game, Tech, Murray’s tipped pass, AJs penalty against LSU, Auburn game, the phantom timeout against UF when Zeier through the touchdown pass…it’s really hard to be a GA fan.

    • Bart Rich

      AJ’s penalty against LSU is still one of the most egregious ways the refs found a way to snatch away a victory from the Dawgs.

      • North State Dawg

        Yes, that was the worst. There was no celebration. Ref said he called it because A.J. “looked at” the stands. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but Penn Wagers had real issues. Made me realize how corrupt the SEC office could be.

  3. Mayor

    Let’s focus on just yesterday for a moment. The game officials made several questionable calls that allowed the Vols to get into position to win the game in the first place. I agree that the worst was the UC for 15 yards about the helmet and on top of it the 5 yards for offsides (hell you could call that on EVERY kickoff) that allowed UT to get to the area of the field where Dobbs could throw it into the end zone. Without those, no catch in the endzone, the receiver would have had to catch it short and run in–likely being tackled before getting in. The most egregious, however, was the “reception” that bounced off the ground and never got reviewed. Or was it the non-TD by Dobbs that got called a TD. THAT play could have changed the entire game because Bootch might have decided to take the FG on 4th down. I don’t believe in coincidences. Plus I have been seeing this type of ref behavior for too long. The refs helped the Vols and that’s a fact. Was it intentional? You guys be the judge.

    • Mayor

      P.S. Senator, you left off some that IMHO were among the worst: 2009 LSU where the refs pulled that same celebration BS on AJ Green allowing LSU to get the ball at midfield which led to a winning TD for LSU; 2009 Colorado where we fumbled on the last play while maneuvering for the winning chip shot FG; 2010 Arkansas where Murray got earholed by an Arky DE–no call for roughing the passer– when it was 3rd and 5 and if we make a first down the game is over and we win (Arky threw a TD pass on the first play after they got the ball to win it): Georgia still could have won the 2013 Auburn game when Murray got earholed by Dee Ford on the last play of the game–no call for targeting. The ref in that game was Penn Wagers and he said post game that Murray wasn’t a “defenseless player.” There are plenty of others. Plus lest we forget the TV ref in yesterday’s game was Al Ford, a notorious Dawg hater.

    • mwo

      The SEC wants UT and Baka to be undefeated when they play. The completion that wasn’t was missed by a ref 6 feet away and by a roomful of cocksuckers in Birmingham. Even Danielson said they only have 1 job to do and they blew it. Then they review the spike and penalize us for 12 players. I thought when Kirby was hired we might have been forgiven but it seems we are still being penalized for PWG. Plus that water head qb had the ball in his left hand and it never broke the plane on their first score.

      • Mayor

        “The SEC wants UT and Bama to be undefeated when they play.” EXACTLY! Plus if UT wins the rest of their games even if they get beat by Bama the Vowels would only have one loss when they play Bama in the SECCG and that way the winner of the SECCG is assured a spot in the 4 team playoff. Millions of $$ in bowl and TV revenue are at stake. I have been saying for years that they are deciding who wins games at the SEC office in Birmingham. This new TV review system with goons in Birmingham reviewing the plays remotely assures it. How else could so many calls have gone against Georgia–some so obviously BS like the “reception” bounce pass?

        • mwo

          I first thought this when Arkansas was beating Florida several years ago when Timmy teabag was their qb. A couple of bs calls secured the game for fu and the sec won another title. I’m no conspiracy nut but it happens too often to be coincidence.

          • The Lone Stranger

            I’ll keep stirring the pot, as I only just replayed this heartsnatcher of a game.

            What are the standards for a defensive interference penalty? Can a CB snag jersey and pull back on a receiver before the football is passed?

            That’s what was done to Nauta on the 4th-down incompletion midway thru the fourth quarter. Now the pass was tipped but I thought a receiver had the right to complete his route w/o impedance. It’s @ 9:08 of the quarter.

    • C’mon! Everytime our team loses we start looking for excuses. Every college football game has bad calls both ways. It’s part of the game. This game was well played by both teams. Tennessee got some breaks but so did the Dawgs. As a Vol fan I certainly understand your pain. Don’t forget that wears trying to climb out of the sewer of the SEC. We know what it is like to lose. For more than a decade we have felt the sting of being a laughingstock. Now, Tennessee is winning again. We are relevant in the SEC east again. On this day you lost but with that young gun at QB you have a very bright future.

  4. Positively Munson (formerly Skeptic Dawg)

    Now that the events of yesterday have settled in, while still hurt, I am excited about the future of this program. We witnessed mistakes by a first time head coach, mistakes by the players and a ton of positives. This team fought last for 4 quarters yesterday took the lead with 10 seconds left to play on a throw that not many college QB’s can make. Yes, those painful final 10 seconds were filled with mistakes and shortcomings, but this team, coach and program will grow from this experience. I am excited to see what lays ahead for the Dawgs! GATA!

    • Scott

      Those were pretty much my exact thoughts. Painful, PAINFUL loss. But the team competed for a solid sixty minutes, and we had a whole bunch of freshmen give glimpses of a bright future. I think this team is going to get better as the year goes on.

    • Mayor

      You mean coaching staff OJT–why do we always have to lose games because of that?

      • 69Dawg

        It’s the Georgia Way. Ever wonder that in all the years, through Butts, Griffith, Dooley, Goff and Donnan (I know he had experience), no Georgia trained HC has ever gone on to coach at another school except for Richt. With the exception of Dooley no other school wanted them. Dooley could have since he managed not to screw up in 1980 and win the MNC. He did screw up in 1981 and 1982 and managed to lose the bowl that would have gotten us back to back MNC. I’m not saying hiring Kirby won’t pay off but us old guys don’t have many more years to wait til next year.

        • Skeptic…..the future of this program is drek , Yiddish for shit, The school at the highest level chose to fire the winningest coach we ever had in the hope that a rookie head coach would make it better….he didn’t and he won’t. Not So Smart is suppose to understand defense and yet somehow the prevent defense had everyone behind the receiver instead of sandwiching the 6 ft 5 receiver that literally everyone knew the ball was going to be thrown to……Someone please get in touch with Richt’s agent, if he has got one, and offer to double his salary to come back. The fumble in the end zone that UT recovered is on the Coaches. That is an object lesson on why real experienced coaches don’t throw out of the end zone. At least explain to your QB no pump fakes….if it is open throw if not throw it away and live to fight another day. New coaches… bad coaches it is all the same. We just absolutely blew the East championship that Kirby,Not So, Smart was hired to bring to UGA. Has ANY McGarity hire improved the program over the previous administration? I can’t think of one……Please Jere ….clean house the sooner the better. KIrby shit the bed and those of you feel optimistic about the results of this game are delusional…UT was ripe for the picking but our Coaches screwed up and I doubt these kid’s (meaning Richt’s kids) will play for these new coaches much longer.We fired our previous Coach because he couldn’t win the big game…..in case anyone was paying attention yesterday was a very big game ….win and we win the East but instead we get new and creative ways to avoid going to Atlanta. Change just for change sake is a very bad and dangerous thing and the only silver lining is that maybe McGarity will be exposed as the true idiot he is…..he chose this drek.. No Championships…No Peace.

  5. Connor

    Obviously sucked to lose that way but I feel a lot better about the team this week than last. play that way the rest of the way and it’ll be a good year. Lose focus and things could derail.

  6. John Denver is full of shit..

    I concur senator.

  7. It’s still great to be a Georgia Buuuuuuuldawg. GoooooooooooDawgs, woof, woof.

  8. Siskey

    The good
    1) Eason- I’ve never been as excited about a QB at UGA. The announcers wanted to compare him to Stafford but at the same place in their careers there is no comparison. He is gonna be the best QB in the SEC soon.
    2) Running game- much improved from last week and from our other games this year. Really like Herrien and how hard he hits the line of scrimmage.
    3) Trent Thompson- He gets better every game.
    4) Isaac Nauta- Its great to see someone catch the ball in traffic.
    The bad
    Aside from the Hail Mary defense and the play where Eason fumbled resulting in a touchdown I don’t have any real criticism for the team. I thought they played really hard and think that if this effort is put forth every week we won’t lose again this season.

  9. Nate Dawg

    Checking a spike play for forward pass (anyone ever seen that before..??) and it costing the Dawgs 5 yards & an extra down resulting in a controversial touchdown. Proly. The. Most. Georgia. Thing. Ever.

    • Dawgfan Will

      This exactly what I said when it happened.

      • BosnianDawg

        The more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that the review was triggered because of the 12th man on the field. I remember seeing our guy still on the field when they spiked the ball while the game was live. I wonder if the replay official saw that too and buzzed the ref because of that and not the spike.

  10. The officiating is what it is. Tennessee’s tackles do not line up on the LOS. They are in the backfield. Which is why it’s so hard to keep contain or get to Dobbs from the outside.

    Until the SEN gets serious about consistently across the board, no matter who the teams are, then these things are going to happen.

  11. heyberto

    Can’t explain why, I’m not that upset. Yes, I’m disappointed but normally a loss like that makes me turn off Football for the rest of the night. Moral Victories don’t count, so that’s not it either.. but I’m heartened by so much of what I see. Good things are coming.. we’re trending up. Everyone delivered on Kirby’s promise last week, and I guess that just makes it more palatable. I love Coach Richt, and all, but if it had been him at the helm and we lost that game this way, I’d be pretty pissed off. Young team, new staff, etc. But the effort and resiliency was there throughout the game. It’s the little things that cost it in many ways. For now, I’m ok with that.

  12. Ray Goff

    We lost that game solely because of poor coaching decisions on the kickoff and last pass. Anybody that thinks a pooch kick and prevent defense is the way to win is an idiot. Georgia pulls that garbage consistently. Play the game to win, don’t play it not to lose.

    • hy

      No mention of the waste of 35 seconds of clock by Smart when he had 3 timeouts… rookie coach mistake… TD pass covered it. Why was the DB trying to catch the ball in the end zone… hands outside of receivers hands… not between them… One arm in proper position = no TD. also need to remind players… interference is not a spot foul.. just another down and 15 yards… No way you let them have a chance to catch. Out of position.. tackle them.. like happened to us earlier…. sure TD DB interfered… 15 yards…

      Was Al ford the replay official? That bounce pass was horrible … then cover it by reviewing the next play???? If replay official does not hit buzzer 3 refs in the office can’t do a thing… Hear it was Al Ford.. of GA Tech ground caused fumble no call…. cost his Crew bowl duty since it was such a bad call… then put him in the box for a key game for UGA>>>> he was horrible for years because UGA wore him out on the bad call… Ref’s make mistakes… when a mistake is made then covered up that is an issue…

      • No mention of the waste of 35 seconds of clock by Smart when he had 3 timeouts…

        It wasn’t wasted. Smart was holding one timeout back for the offense. He needed it, too.

        • Mayor

          Correct. Plus if Kirby had used that TO when these guys said to use it as it turned out there just would have been more time on the clock when UT got the ball back. No, Kirby used the TOs perfectly.

          • JBC

            My apologies for the late response, but I’m just getting around to catching up on the Senator’s blog:

            I believe Kirby made a mistake by not using all 3 timeouts on defense. And I say that fully recognizing that it ended up having no affect on the outcome of this particular game…

            I would much rather have 1:55 with no TOs than 1:15 and 1 TO, especially given the clock rules in the college game and the fact that we needed a touchdown to win.

            I also don’t think you can just assume UGA’s last drive ends up going the exact same way in terms of playcalling, clock management, etc. when judging whether you think he should’ve burned all 3 TOs on defense. With an extra 40 seconds on the clock, having 10 of it run off following an offensive penalty isn’t as big a deal…

            Beyond that individual game though, if your mindset is to try and save 1 timeout for the offense I don’t understand the rationale of not calling one after 1st down and waiting until 2nd and 3rd down. Wouldn’t it be smarter to call them earlier and just let the clock roll after 3rd down? You might end up baiting the opponent into trying to attempt a pass (and gain the big advantage of an incompletion) on 3rd down, and at the very least you would potentially save time in the instance that they somehow turning the ball over.

            Sorry for the rambling, and if that ends up as being incoherent then feel free to ignore. It at least made sense in my head as I was writing it…

  13. AthensHomerDawg

    I thought the pooch kick was taken outta the playbook after the Tech game?

    • 69Dawg

      Nope we just fired the coach and hired one with less experience so we can make all the old mistakes and some new one just for fun.

  14. Ole Dawg

    I don’t know which Dawg had the one night stand with Karma but that b!+c# has been POed at us for a long time.

  15. Macallanlover

    Painful indeed! Several points to discuss but all pale to the ones at the end. First, I was an early adopter to the celebration rule because when it was put in, there was an issue with behavior that was taunting and self-congratulatory at the expense of a team accomplishment. Secondly, it has evolved from where the punitive part was abused to now allow reasonable expression of joy so long as it doesn’t continue and delay the game, and isn’t taunting the opponent. This has been a very good move but is very subjective with many gray areas and varies from crew to crew, and conference to conference.

    I have yet to see any video, or a photo, that shows what Rico (if it was him) actually did. Did he simply cross an end line to congratulate a teammate? Or did he go out and get in a UT player’s face? Or did he stand without a helmet and wave to the crowd or a camera? That is what matters to me because two of those deserve a flag, and one is so ticky tacky that it should never have been flagged and was excessive and vindictive on the part of the official. Lack of discipline, or an emotional outburst that was instinctive, and understandable.

    We were off sides, and it wasn’t minimal, we were 2-3 yards ahead of the kick. I cannot argue the call but do wonder why penalties have changed to where they are not enforced consistently. Why didn’t UT have a decision for a re-kick from the 15, or take the play? Why do they get both options? It doesn’t happen on other calls throughout the game. And, on a similar vein, why wasn’t the unsportsmanlike penalty applied to the extra point distance and not the kickoff? It happened as a dead ball foul between the TD and the extra point try. I realize it has been used that way for years, but why? I may be more troubled by this because I am UGA fan and have seen that cost us a game against UT yesterday, a game against UT when Shula was QB, another against Bama, the phantom LSU call against AJ, a TD against FU when we had a 30 yard penalty assessed, etc.

  16. Bart Rich

    I will never, not ever, in all my life, be over being five yards away from a chance to see Georgia play for a national title

  17. As a Pac 12 fan and an SEC fan, I can testify that officiating pretty much sucks in both conferences. I really do wish that conferences would set up neutral refs–ie ACC refs the SEC, on down the line. Get rid of the subjectivity. I have kinda learned to live with it. Just figure the worse is going to happen with refs, so one is not disappointed.

    • Macallanlover

      True, officiating is the weakest part of the college game. With the money available to all, at least the Power 5 schools/conferences, it is time to get full-time officials trained, and dispatched from a central office…..not the conference using regional guys with personal, or one-off, biases.

  18. Will Trane

    Lot of poor officiating Saturday.
    Dawgs vs Vols
    Tigers and Cards
    TCU and OU
    AD should request Head of SEC officials and that entire group of officials to the B-M for some answers
    In the meantime call everday to SEC and complain

  19. Will Trane

    Special team performance and coaching has to change
    UT is living on the edge
    Their run defense is questionable
    UF and UGA have weak Olines and inexperienced SEC qbs.
    I not sold on the Vols
    Not sure they can handle John Chavez’s defense
    Not sure the Dawgscan handle South Caroline’s either
    Need to get Chubb back and inerior d-linemen back

  20. As a Tennessee Vol fan I understand your pain. I have suffered through a decade of a program trying to climb out of the sewer. The Derek Dooley years were the worst. So I feel the pain Georgia Bulldog fans are feeling. We have been on the receiving end of many butt kickings in recent years.

    Over the course of a college football game bad calls go both ways. Penalties, turnovers, coaching mistakes, poor execution, are all part of the game. Tennessee certainly made their fair share of these in the game against Georgia to give the Dawns an opportunity to win. I’m glad we won. Vol fans deserve it. But I will admit that with that Eason kid at QB and some of the other young players on your roster the future is bright for the Georgia Bulldogs.

    It was a great game. Tennessee was just the buttercream on this day.

  21. Whiskeydawg

    Eason’s pass at the end of the game was the result of well executed play, Dobbs pass at the end of the game was luck. I’ll take the former over the latter, even in a loss.