Marc Weiszer reviews the final play of the last national championship game (you might as well brace yourself, because second-and-26 is going to be thrown in our faces all week leading up to and during the game).
Reading the piece, I can’t help but feel for Dominick Sanders, who bit on Tua’s fake instead of staying over the top of the receiver, and is going to be reminded of his mistake every time that play is referenced, but what I found more interesting is that, according to at least one player, Georgia didn’t really prepare for the quarterback substitution.
“He made some dynamic plays,” Ledbetter said of Tagovailoa. “We didn’t really game plan last year, we didn’t know he was going to be that guy to come in and kind of change that game around. We thought Jalen Hurts was the frontrunner and leader on the team.
To me, the interesting thing to remember is Georgia’s defense gave Tua as much as he gave them. Baker managed a pick and don’t forget the penultimate play was a big sack that put ‘Bama in a second-and-26 hole in the first place. Georgia won some of the battles, but ultimately lost the war on an iconic play.
Kirby’s professing to take the lesson from it as being nothing more than tip your cap to the other guy who made the play and move on.
Smart said he’s not personally motivated by the way the last meeting with Alabama ended.
“I really think to each his own,” he said. “That’s not what’s driving me. What’s driving me is the young men (on the team), trying to do my best job for them, and that’s what my coaching staff has to do. … We gotta put the best plan together we can to play our best game against Alabama; not the Alabama last year, not the Georgia last year.”
Still, I bet you that if somehow the Dawgs prevail Saturday, there will be some measure of satisfaction taken overcoming the disappointment of blowing the last matchup. These guys are only human, after all.