Georgia Football: A Tough Loss, But Hope Is Still Alive For UGA

Georgia Football: A Tough Loss, But Hope Is Still Alive For UGA

Football

Georgia Football: A Tough Loss, But Hope Is Still Alive For UGA


I know, I know, I know.

It hurts and it feels like Georgia’s season is over.

And if the Dawgs continue to play like they did in a 36-16 loss to LSU on Saturday, the season will be over quickly, with games against Florida, Kentucky and Auburn looming.

But if Kirby Smart and Georgia can figure things out with a much needed bye week up next, then UGA can still create a magical 2018 season.

If we’ve learned one thing since Smart’s emergence as the best young coach in college football, it’s that we should never lose faith in him. He always finds a way to turn things around, and that’s why I admittedly was not terribly nervous when Georgia fell into a hole against LSU. Unfortunately, it was too deep for the Dawgs to dig out of. But at the end of the day, it was only one game. It was a game that we lost in embarrassing fashion, but it was one game.

In Kirby We Trust.

The Bulldogs are now 6-1 (4-1) and, believe it or not, all their hopes are still alive. If Georgia can win the rest of its games and manage a victory over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, then the Dawgs can book a ticket to the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row.

It’s not going to be easy, especially if Georgia plays anything like it did on Saturday. But it’s very possible.

We saw this six years ago and we saw it again last season.

In 2012, Georgia was 5-0 and absolutely rolling, putting up record breaking numbers.

Until October 6th. A visit to Williams-Brice Stadium vs Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina Gamecocks resulted in Georgia fans feeling like they do today.

Much like Jake Fromm on Saturday, Aaron Murray struggled mightily against South Carolina, going 11-31, 1 interception and throwing for just 109 yards. Georgia lost that game 35-7 in one of the most hostile environments I have ever seen.

We all thought the Dawgs were finished. A team with Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley, Tavarres King, Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo. Season over before mid-October.

But we were wrong. Georgia got back up, ran the table and earned a spot in the SEC Championship. No matter the winner of the Alabama vs Georgia game, the conference champion would have gone on to manhandle Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship.

Obviously, Bama beat Georgia in a heartbreaker, but the Dawgs proved a midseason loss does not disqualify a great team from accomplishing its goals.

And what’s different between now and then? Well, in 2012, only two teams had a shot at playing for it all. Now, four teams receive a Playoff berth.

Then there’s last year. No. 1 Georgia, led by Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Roquan Smith, found themselves sitting pretty at 9-0 when the Dawgs had to travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on the 10th ranked Auburn Tigers.

Like 2012 and 2018, it was a top 15 match-up on the road.

Nothing went Georgia’s way all night on the Plains. Fromm went 13/28. Michel and Chubb combined for 48 yards. The Dawgs were flagged 7 times for 75 yards. It was an all-around poor effort, and the 40-17 score on the jumbotron reflected it.

But as tough as that November 11th night was for Georgia, it essentially meant nothing, as long as the Bulldogs kept winning.

And they did. Georgia went on to win its next two regular season games before meeting Auburn again in Atlanta. It was a game UGA had to win if the Dawgs wanted to make it to the postseason, and they did.

Like in 2012, Georgia proved that a loss on the road to a highly ranked team is not a death sentence for the season. Instead, it’s an obstacle, and we all know our Dawgs can overcome obstacles.

This season is no different.

On Saturday at LSU, Georgia played horrendous, to put it kindly. Fromm was 16/34 for 209 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The play calling was questionable. The personnel at times was head scratching. The missed tackles were uncharacteristic and the final score of 36-16 was actually closer than the game felt.

Georgia is going to drop a good bit in the polls after this one, and when the CFP rankings come out on October 30th, don’t expect us to be a top-five team, even if we beat Florida. But UGA will have its chances to claw its way back into Playoff contention, and if it can go undefeated the rest of the way, an SEC Championship win over Alabama will secure Georgia a spot in the final four.

Mark Richt made changes in 2012 after the South Carolina loss and Kirby Smart made changes after the 2017 Auburn defeat.

There’s no denying Smart needs to make his share of changes after this LSU loss if he wants to make back-to-back Playoff appearances.

These Dawgs still have plenty of bite left in them.

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