In Georgia’s 43-14 win over Tennessee this past Saturday up in Knoxville, Bulldog linebacker Tae Crowder delivered what could be called a finishing blow to the Vols. In the fourth quarter with Georgia leading 36-14, Tennessee was still fighting and scrapping to get back in the game when the Dawgs’ defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning, called a cornerback blitz, which Crowder, Eric Stokes, and the Bulldog defense carried out with precision. Both Crowder and Stokes timed their rush perfectly. Tennessee running back Tim Jordan was able to pick up Crowder on the blitz, but that left Stokes uncontested straight to Volunteer quarterback Brian Maurer.
Stoke’s sack on Maurer caused him to fumble the ball, and Crowder recovered, taking the ball 60-yards down the field for a touchdown on a “scoop-and-score.” That play extended Georgia’s lead 43-14, sealing the victory with an exclamation point.
During Kirby Smart’s post-game press conference said that Crowder and Stokes’ play is the definition of Georgia wanting to cause “havoc” on opposing offense.
“Yeah. That play, in particular, was a great call by Dan Lanning. There was a situation where there was actually a whistle blown or something stopped the play, but he changed the call. And it was a great call against what they had. Everybody executed it. The quarterback didn’t see the corner coming. It was a scoop and score. It was what havoc is,” said Kirby. “It’s what we are trying to create.”
Kirby had high praise for his senior inside linebacker and Crowder’s play.
“It’s awesome. I’ve known Tae (Crowder) since the 8th grade. He was a receiver. He got a scholarship super late and came to be a running back. Was going to go to Georgia Southern and then ends up at Georgia. I can still remember the first time we practiced I thought this kid’s a good athlete and he’s not going to play running back here. And didn’t know if he’d ever play linebacker. The first couple of times he played, he didn’t like contact. He wasn’t into all that. He’s come so far. He’s such a great story in college football of perseverance, sticking it out, and staying. Look and see what he’s done. Pretty awesome when you think about that. I know his best buddy Roquan (Smith) and roommate was probably watching him tonight and is proud of him. Told him he was probably the slowest guy on the field by the time he got to the end zone. He looked like a turtle finishing.”
Crowder signed with Georgia as part of the Bulldogs’ 2015 recruiting class out of Harris High School in Pine Mountain, GA as a running back, but switched to defense to inside linebacker roughly mid-way through redshirt freshman season in 2016. This season Crowder has played in and started all five games for UGA. In the Dawgs’ home game versus Notre Dame on Saturday, September 21st, Crowder was Georgia’s leading tackler with 9.
Next up for Crowder and the Bulldogs are the South Carolina Gamecocks which is set for a 12 Noon kickoff on Saturday, October 12, 2019, and will be televised on ESPN.