When I submitted my score for the Bulldawg Illustrated Missouri edition score prediction article, I guessed that Mizzou would score 25 points or less. My guess was wrong, of course, but my thought was that the Tigers would score more points on Georgia than any opponent so far this season. In fact, during the first half, it appeared for a moment the Missouri’s passing game might test Georgia. However, all it took for the home team to pull ahead was a couple of stops because the visitors’ defense was not very good.
Several injuries and a suspension have the defense playing at a handicap, and it showed Saturday night. As Coach Smart said in his post-game presser, “the offense had the back of the defense.” Offensive line coach Sam Pittman’s unit continues block to exceptionally well and wears down defenses. Missouri had no answer for Georgia’s run game. Late in the game, the o-line group on the sideline was all smiles (between pulls on the oxygen supply). Speaking of the offensive line meeting area, this year it has, appropriately, also become the home of the running backs. It is great to see the backs meeting in the same area with the guys who make the ground game go.
Kirby Smart has begun each of his post-game press conferences this year with a thank you to Dawg Nation for the support that the team feels from the fanbase at home and on the road. I don’t know how it sounds in the stands but on the field, the crowd is deafening at all the right times. It is also clear the team responds to the energy of the fans. Sanford Stadium rocks when the Dawgs roll in and don’t stop until well after the final horn. Night games accentuate the atmosphere. Old Sanford comes alive with the roars and the night air seems to make it visceral – a unifying tribal identity crosses barriers that are rarely breached in the workaday world – unity in red and black. Winning makes the experience even more powerful.
There was a consistent theme during the post-game interviews. Every player I talked with, as well as the head coach, took the opportunity to say that the coming week is not an “off-week” or a “bye week.” Instead, they agreed that Monday would begin a work week. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in next and this Georgia team is fully aware of the game’s recent history. The grind continues as Kirby’s Junkyard Dawgs get ready to face the Gators. I am looking forward to the trip to Jacksonville and the game itself.
Recent Articles by Greg Poole