Before the game was even played, folks all around the college football sphere were calling it in favor of the Georgia Bulldogs. But not even the biggest Dawg fans could have predicted a seventy to three outcome like this. In what wound up being a true team victory, the first, second, third, and even fourth string of the Georgia Bulldogs put together a sixty-three to three rout of the Florida State Seminoles in the 90th edition of the Capital One Orange Bowl.
Both teams were believed to be snubbed from College Football Playoff contention and both teams dealt with that experience in very different ways. Ways that 100% affected the outcome of this game.
For the Seminoles, being left out of the College Football Playoff apparently deemed the Orange Bowl meaningless as over twenty contributing players wound up either entering the transfer portal or opting out for the draft. But for Georgia, the Orange Bowl was a last dance for a lot of guys on the team.
Names like Ladd McConkey, Kendall Milton, Kamari Lassiter and more all decided that playing with this team was too special an experience to pass up on. McConkey had a day highlighted by what should have been a pass but turned into a twenty-seven yard scramble and rushing touchdown. Kendall Milton’s efforts earned him accolades as the Orange Bowl’s most outstanding player running nine times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. And the story behind Lassiter’s decision to play is just as if not even more impressive.
In his post game presser, Smart went on and on about how Kamari Lassiter couldn’t bring himself to NOT play in the Orange Bowl– even after getting first and second round NFL Draft grades. In fact, Smart told Lassiter that he didn’t think that Lassiter should play in the Orange Bowl. But after thinking about it for a couple days, Lassiter called up Smart and decided that he’d play in Miami.
Georgia played a good game. And one of the reasons that things went so smoothly for the Dawgs was the fact that FSU had so many opt outs; Smart admitted to that. But going beyond the victory and the fashion in which it went about, this game showed us that regardless of the situation this team is just that– a team. A team dedicated to each other and uplifting one another in order to achieve a goal bigger than themselves.
Kirby’s built a culture to last. A culture that’s strong enough to withstand a CFP-eliminating loss against Alabama. A culture that’s strong enough to get players willing to risk NFL money to play a game. It’s the new standard at Georgia, and it’s going to be here as long as Kirby smart is the head coach