There’s plenty of thanks to be given to everyone in the Bulldog Nation, but first, we must get The Governor’s cup back to Athens…
This past Saturday in Sanford Stadium was exactly what the doctor ordered for the entire Bulldog Nation. Our team’s exceptional seniors went out with a bang by grinding a gritty Kentucky Wildcat squad into the ground. And what’s there not to like about our Bulldogs finishing the 2017 season with all Ws in Sanford Stadium?
Indeed, it was a job well done by everyone, who bleeds red and black!
Now, comes the biggest one of them all as Georgia travels to North Avenue for its annual contest versus the Bees. Yes, I’m talking about Tech, and unfortunately, Paul Johnson and company have had some success lately against our Dawgs winning two of the last three games. And you can bet that Johnson would like nothing better than ending Georgia’s national aspirations.
Here at Bulldawg Illustrated, there is no one that loathes Tech more than Jeff Dantzler. The last 355 plus days have been awful on the ole’ boy. Losing to“the enemy” is simply something that he cannot tolerate, which is exactly what I hope the feelings are for everyone on this 2017 Georgia team.
Without question, Georgia Tech’s offense always presents problems, so our Bulldogs will have to play their most disciplined game of the season. The amount of penalties that our guys have committed in recent games is certainly a major concern. You can bet that the Tech fans, players, and even head coach are going to poke and prod our team from the very moment they step into Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Jackets best chance of winning on Saturday is to force our team into silly mental mistakes, which is exactly what Auburn did on The Plains two weeks ago.
However, rather than bemoaning the bad game at Auburn, I prefer to view it as a learning experience for our Dawgs. In fact, when I went to the media session the Monday after the Auburn loss, I asked both Jeb Blazevich and Aaron Davis about the team losing its focus versus the Tigers. I’m happy to report that both their answers were exactly what you would want to hear out of your senior leaders.
“A lot of lessons learned … so now it’s up to us to spin it into a positive and learn and grow from it,” Blazevich said. “It will only be a failure if we don’t grow from it.”
Versus Kentucky, our team rebounded just the way we wanted them to. It was Senior Day and my, oh my, didn’t the elder statesmen of our team show out in a most positive manner?
When coming up with the idea for the Tech cover, I actually lucked out when leaving the media session I spoke about above. While waiting on the elevator in Butts-Mehre, I turn to my left and happened to notice the empty trophy case for the Governor’s Cup. Of course, the trophy has lived on the Georgia Tech campus the last year. BI’s Greg Poole saw me taking photos with my I-phone and agreed to get a better quality shot of the empty case later that afternoon.
Next up for the cover, I needed to decide what players I wanted to feature. As you would expect, it was a no-brainer … Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellemy. I asked both Greg and Rob Saye to do their best after the Kentucky game, and sure enough, Rob came through. I can only imagine what he had to do to corral them for the photo. Good stuff.
By now, most Georgia folks know that these four seniors weren’t satisfied with the 2016 season. It bothered them enough, to make the decision to put their NFL aspirations aside for one more year playing as a Georgia Bulldog. From that moment on, the prospect of 2017 being special was certainly attainable with both the talent and leadership of these four damn good Dawgs.
Of course, there are so many others that have made this team so solid, which the humble Chubb, Michel, Carter. and Bellemy would all certainly tell you. But despite their selflessness, it is my sincere hope that Saturday’s game is all about helping these four accomplish what they returned to Georgia to do. They’ve won the East and will play in the SEC Championship in two weeks, which is incredible. But revenging the recent losses to Georgia Tech is now the task at hand.
Since it’s Thanksgiving week, I want to extend my most sincere thanks to all our players and coaches for one terrific season.
And to the Georgia fan base, this has certainly been you at your greatest. I know I ask you each week to dig deep in your support of our guys. On Saturday, our team will need to feel our love as we help them get The Governor’s Cup back.
I hope you will enjoy this issue and certainly wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. See you on The Flats with your game faces on. Go Dawgs!!