From The Field: Georgia vs. Mississippi State 2022

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From The Field: Georgia vs. Mississippi State 2022

Coach Smart tried to warn us all week, and Kirby alluded to Starkville and Coach Leach’s team earlier in the week when he said:

“It’s an extremely tough place to play. A place I’ve been many times. Their environment is electric. It’ll be at night. And their guys play really hard and they’re really physical.”





He was right. Davis Wade Stadium is a very tough venue, and I am sure my ears will be ringing from the clanging cowbells for several days. Thankfully, the decibel level began to drop as fans of the Bizarro Bulldogs headed for the exits and someplace warm as the second half moved along. Emptying an opponent’s home stadium has become a trait of these Dogs.

Even though it was a night game in a hostile environment made worse by those infernal cowbells (WTH, SEC?). I never felt that I was watching a game that would go down to the wire. The punt return touchdown that closed the gap to 17-12 at the end of the first half seemed more like an aberration than a harbinger of doom.

It was another day at the office for the SEC East champs. In the SEC, that “office” is often a brutal environment, even for the defending national champions. Next Saturday in Lexington, Kentucky, the Dawgs will face another test of will. Yes, UK lost to lowly Vanderbilt Saturday, but the Wildcats are another physically big squad playing smash-mouth football. Kentucky may run a more conventional offense than Mississippi State or Tennessee, but playing at home and coming off of an embarrassing loss will motivate the ‘Cats. Meeting a big, physical team inspired to shake off an embarrassing loss will present another challenge for the SEC East champs.





Kirby Smart said it best in his postgame press conference:

“We anticipated things being tough here, so how do you anticipate things being tough? You take your DNA traits, and you say they travel. They’re going with us, and we’re going to use them when we need them. Because if you just lift a 50-pound bar all your life, you’re never going to get stronger, right? You’ve got to lift heavy weight. We lifted some heavy weight tonight in terms of our DNA, our composure, our resiliency, our toughness, and we were ready to use them. Because we practice them all year and it’s like, okay, here’s our opportunity guys. What do we want to do with it?”

Kentucky will put those DNA traits to the test again next Saturday, and the Dawgs will ace that exam, also.





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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.