I’m sure everyone that traveled to the Tennessee game this past weekend is like me — a little tired, yet full of jubilation as both the city of Knoxville and our beloved Dawgs were over the (Rocky) Top.
In my opinion, Knoxville doesn’t get enough credit for being a stellar road game destination. There are multiple areas in the city with great dining and nighttime spots. And I’m happy to report that our Bulldog brethren touched them all, from Market Square to Historic Old City to good ole’ Calhoun’s on the River. It never gets old seeing our fans doing what they love most on roadies and that’s having a good time, while rooting on our team.
Kirby Smart and company certainly did their part in Knoxville too. As I expected, the Vols’ funky offense was good enough to give the home team an early 7-0 lead. However, there was zero panic from our awesome D, who weren’t so forgiving to the orange (black) and white the rest of the evening. And the Georgia offense, both on the ground and through the air, had their way throughout the game with the porous Tennessee defense.
Dawgs 41 Vols 17.
As he has done this entire season, Stetson Bennett made plays with his legs, while dropping dimes in the passing game. And James Cook certainly earned this issue’s cover with his stellar play against the Volunteers. It’s so incredible to see these seniors leading the way for this special 2021 team.
Speaking of our seniors, unfortunately, Saturday’s game versus Charleston Southern will be their last on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. My goodness, these guys have won a slew of games during their time in Athens. Coach Smart often talks about “playing to a standard” and this current group has executed that to a T. For that, I think I speak for the entire Bulldog Nation when extending my heartfelt thanks to these damn good Dawgs. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch you over the years and to see such fine play come together so brilliantly (thus far) this season has been magical.
So as our cover says … Keep Cooking!
As I’ve already mentioned, seeing so many fans in Knoxville was awesome, so I encourage you to check out all the fan photos from the game beginning on page 32. To me, road games are also extra special when you’re lucky enough to sit near UGA’s Redcoat Marching Band. They truly are the gel that helps the small Georgia contingent make a difference in enemy territory. A sincere thanks goes out to the Redcoats and their seniors, who will also be performing at their final home game on Saturday.
On the sports front, Jeff Dantzler gets things rolling with an excellent column about the 2021 seniors. Four SEC division titles in five years and a 27-1 home record since 2017 speaks for itself. Amazing.
Loran Smith (page 54) is back in this issue and goes behind the scenes in how our Bulldogs get to road games. 27 minutes in the air sounds dreamy to me after it took almost five hours in the car to get back to Athens earlier today. Brutal.
You’re also going to love Hamilton Culpepper’s article (page 48) about the popular Athens “Kids Tailgate,” which was started by his grandfather, E.C., and other Athenians back in the 60s. Hammy isn’t lying when he proudly says it’s one of the best tailgates for football games. Again, there’s really nothing like seeing our Dawgs with their closest friends.
On the social front, be sure to checkout our Georgia Girls (page 28) with Carolyn Shuler Bettin. I loved learning that Carolyn learned most of her course work in LeCounte Hall, like me, while earning her degree in History.
Our Proust Q&A (page 44) this time out is Athenian Tom Allen. It’s fitting that he picked Cincinnatus as his historical figure because Tom is definitely a stand-up fellow, who will do anything for anybody.
Alright, Georgia fans we are down to our final home game, so like you have done all season let’s get in Sanford Stadium for kickoff. Your marching orders are simple … “Keep Cooking and Saluting our Seniors.” See you at high noon. Go Dawgs!! Loran Smith (page 54) is back in this issue and goes behind the scenes in how our Bulldogs get to road games. 27 minutes in the air sounds dreamy to me after it took almost five hours in the car to get back to Athens earlier today. Brutal.