Georgia, It’s Your Time

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Georgia, It’s Your Time

D'Andre Swift (7)
D’Andre Swift (7)

Today’s the day. Georgia takes on Alabama for bragging rights and the SEC Championship title. The Bulldogs are currently a 12.5 point underdog in the matchup, and that is understandable. Alabama demolished every opponent that step foot in its way this season. However, so did Georgia. The only difference, the 20-point LSU loss Georgia has. Despite being the underdogs in this game and most expecting a loss today, it is Georgia’s time.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a homer, someone who is completely biased about this game. I know that Alabama is the better team. The Tide is deeper than Georgia, and well they have a sophomore quarterback by the name of Tua Tagovailoa that is almost like a video game cheat code. Not to mention Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country and rarely lets opponents score. Regardless of what Alabama has, it doesn’t have what Georgia does.

What does Georgia possess that Alabama doesn’t? Heart, grit,  and a massive chip on their shoulders. On paper, Alabama is the safe bet. And sure it sounds stupid to say that they don’t have heart and determination. However, this is Alabama’s 12th SEC  game appearance, along with 26 conference championships. The Tide has been here over and over, and well they usually win when they make it to this game. But this game brings a different atmosphere. It’s the second time these two teams have faced off in less than a year on the same field. Of course, we all know how the first matchup went, but this one is different.

Since that LSU loss, Georgia has dominated everything in its path. For the second year, the Bulldogs went undefeated at home and in the SEC East. A lot of people expected the Bulldogs to be in Atlanta again this season, but it could have gone the other way entirely. However, it didn’t. Instead of letting that loss define them, the team came back with a vengeance. Georgia dominated the Gators, made Kentucky realize who it was in the SEC East and well the Bulldogs cruised right past Auburn without blinking. Four ranked opponents in a row, with a record of 3-1.

The loss lit a fire in Georgia, and well after that loss, it beat opponents by at least 17 points or more. Dominance was the message and well it put the Bulldogs right back into the playoff race.

Georgia’s heart is going to be a massive factor in this game. How bad does Georgia want it? How bad does Alabama want it? I cannot physically answer that question, but after rewatching the games since LSU, this team wants to win more than anything else. They want to send the seniors out on top after falling short last year. They want to bring back that SEC Championship trophy to Athens for a second-straight year. They want revenge. Thirty plus years is a long time to go without winning a national championship, and while that is still two games away, the team can smell it. National Champs seem to be the goal, and that’s all this team seems to see, and they know they have to get past the freight train that is Alabama first.

Sometimes talent doesn’t just win you the football game, sometimes the team who wins just flat out wants it more.

Grit, as defined by the Webster Dictionary is, courage and resolve; strength of character. If that doesn’t describe this Georgia team, I don’t know what does. Especially on the defense side of things, the Bulldogs show an immense amount of grit. From Jordan Davis stepping up and filling the void at nose tackle, or D’Andre Walker stepping up and being the leader of this defense, this defense exudes toughness. Head coach Kirby Smart often describes this defense as resilient, and I cannot think of a better word to use.

Georgia seems to have a chip on its shoulder from last year. Regardless of Smart saying it isn’t about revenge, in my opinion, it is. No one gives Georgia a shot to beat Alabama today, even some Georgia fans have their doubts, but they shouldn’t.

The Bulldogs are the youngest team in the SEC, yet they’re here. They have fought through multiple injuries on the offensive and defensive line, and yet they’re in the SEC Championship game. Georgia keeps fighting and keeps pushing, no matter what. No matter the obstacles or adversities that come Georgia’s way, the team overcomes it.

There is only one obstacle the Bulldogs didn’t overcome, but can in Saturday’s game, and that is beating Alabama. Georgia has the opportunity to finally get rid of the hurt from the national title game.

That feeling of losing the national championship in overtime likely sits on the player’s hearts, especially the ones who played in it last year. The way to get rid of that hurt? Beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Today marks the start of a new dynasty.

Georgia, It’s your time.

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Savannah Leigh is a recent graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is an avid SEC, Dawgs, and college football fan. She also adores her three-year-old black lab, Champ Bailey.