Georgia lost 20-17 in a stunning upset in which Blankenship, who won the 2019 Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best place-kicker, missed two field-goal attempts, including a 42-yarder in overtime.
To Blankenship, it all went wrong for him when he couldn’t find an orange Powerade at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, an on-campus hotel in which the Bulldogs stay Friday nights before home games.
“I had a purple Powerade instead of an orange PowerAde before we played South Carolina,” Blankenship said during the Bulldogs’ preparations this week for the Sugar Bowl. I couldn’t find an orange Powerade in the hotel. So, I just thought, ‘It’s not that big of a deal; I’ll just have purple, and it’ll be fine.’ I guess it wasn’t fine.”
Blankenship is only half joking. Like most kickers, his routine before and during games is very important to him. For instance, he always dresses exactly the same way and in exactly the same order: compression shorts, left sock, right sock, pants, left cleat, right cleat, tie left shoe, tie right shoe, jersey over shoulder pads, shoulder pads and jersey on, helmet, snap chin strap, specs, left wrist band, right wrist band.
He also eats the same meals and same snacks at the same times, depending on kickoff.