Dawgs Sweep September
Summer came to an official close recently, and this football season got off to a white hot start with GEORGIA facing Top 10 competition from LSU, South Carolina and Clemson. Clemson, currently #3 in the nation, edged UGA in a tight contest, taking advantage of UGA’s young defense and especially excelling when dominant runner Todd Gurley was out mid-game with a minor injury. That game came down to an onside kick by a backup kicker, and it was recovered by the home team. UGA had to contemplate the reality of potentially starting 0-2 as the calendar flipped to September, which had happened two seasons prior, as a talented South Carolina team invaded Athens with a head of steam and a three-game win streak over the back-to-back SEC East champs. This time, Gurley got thirty carries instead of the twelve he had at Clemson, and the Murray-led offense exploded for forty-one, winning by eleven. A week off and then a beat down of C-USA member North Texas came between the next giant matchup. Georgia put forty-five on the Mean Green, the defense only yielding seven, but two special team touchdowns by the boys from Denton were daunting. LSU excels at special teams, was undefeated and brought Mettenberger back to town with a stable of running backs and two incredible wideouts. Much like UGA, LSU is young on defense this year and super-explosive. It was a 40+er for both sides wild shootout; GEORGIA escaped with the win. Gurley was rolled up relatively early in the contest and knocked to the bench after running hard early, and UGA did not have a very dominant running game without him. Meanwhile, LSU could not run on UGA much all day, but diced the Dawgs with passing, especially to Jarvis Landry who had a career day, as did Mettenberger. But what mattered most was the will of Aaron Murray. His fifth total touchdown (including one rushing) sealed the deal with under 2:00 on the game clock. Tick-tock the Dawgs made a big D stop, Floyd and Jenkins really coming into their own on the UGA perimeter. The gauntlet was over, and UGA is undefeated in the SEC and has only lost once, a tough loss, sure, but not a derailing one. GEORGIA is a national championship contender a year after coming within four yards and one play of the big game. Dawgs’ll be favored for the rest of the season, traveling to a former house of horrors next week: Rocky Top. Hobnail Boot time. Great job by Richt.